With the end in sight for third-party cookies, contextual targeting is having a renaissance. But contextual advertising today is not the same as contextual advertising of old.

Statista predicts that contextual advertising spending will reach $562 billion by 2030, up from approximately $200 billion in 2022. Connatix research showed UK and US marketers intended to increase investment in contextual advertising.

Intent data helps B2B sales and marketing professionals understand who within their target audience are showing behaviour that suggests an interest in a particular area or topic. This may include people researching or interested to buy and everything in between. But how do you find intent data?

Intent Data can be sourced from intent data platforms, like Radiate B2B, web analytics tools, hiring, community review websites, event attendance, social media monitoring, surveys, customer feedback, and more.

At its simplest the dark funnel is just word of mouth – where people share their knowledge, experiences or recommendations about a product or service with others.

It can be both positive and negative and is often invisible to tracking by sales and marketing teams. Yet sales opportunities that enter the pipeline because of word of mouth tend to close more often and faster. This is not surprising as conversations start on a stronger footing due to the recommendation coming from a trusted source.

So why the rise of a new term?