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.

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?

Intent data is now a critical tool in the armoury for sales teams when generating leads. All business-to-business (B2B) companies are constantly seeking new ways to generate high-quality leads and drive revenue growth. Intent data does exactly this.

At any particular time, 5% of companies are in market and buying. Identifying companies who are in market in normal times is a challenge. But in uncertain economic times, generating leads becomes even harder.