Buyer intent data is information about your target audience’s online behavior that indicates their interest or intention to buy. This information can include anything from content downloads to website page views, social media interaction, internet searches, and more. Buyer intent data is a critical piece of any modern digital marketer’s strategy and can be used to build targeted sales and marketing campaigns, personalize the content on your website, build ad retargeting lists, and much more. Buyer intent data generally comes in three distinct types: first, second, and third-party data. 

Side note: if you’re looking for an in-depth explanation of each type of intent data, that can be found in our other article: What is buyer intent data? But if you’re looking for a fun, easy-to-understand explanation of intent data through the analogy of fishing, then read on!

First-Party Data

First-party data is catching a fish right off the dock. You have your fishing pole, a bucket of bait, a good radio station, and that’s it – all you have to do now is sit back and wait for the fish to bite. The benefits of this type of fishing (aside from being a relaxing way to spend a Saturday) is that you know exactly where the fish came from, you can do whatever you want with it, and once you have your fishing pole and bait, all the fish you catch are essentially free.

First-party data is information about your website visitors that you collect yourself across your digital properties. The benefit of first-party data gives you unmatched insights into who your real audience is, what they are interested in, and when they are looking at your solutions. In addition, since you collected the data yourself, you can assume it is highly accurate. You can also do whatever you want with it – whether it’s personalizing content on your website, bringing warm leads to your sales team, building targeted email or ad campaigns, or any other ABM activities, you can use first-party data for all of it. Finally, once you have your tracking technology in place, the data is essentially free to access. It’s simply collected 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

However, when fishing by yourself, you are limited to the number of fish you can catch on your own. First-party data is limited to data gathered from your own digital properties, meaning you can only gain insights from your audience once they visit your site(s).   

Second-Party Data

Second-party intent data is making friends with the person fishing next to you. You both catch some fish and can trade or buy the fish from each other. The key here is that you both have caught the fish yourselves. Second-party intent data is basically someone else’s first-party intent data that you buy, trade, or otherwise use in conjunction with your own first-party data to make more informed decisions about your audience – what they’re looking at, searching for, etc. 

The benefit of using second-party data is that it can greatly increase your visibility into your target audience, and it can generally be considered reliable since it comes from a trusted source (you trust the person fishing next to you). However, second-party data usually comes at a price. This could be trading your own first-party data in exchange for theirs or simply paying the second-party provider a fee for access to their data (you have to buy their fish or give them some of your fish in exchange). 

Third-Party Data

Third-party data is like buying fish from the grocery store. The store didn’t catch any fish itself. Instead, it purchased the fish from a variety of different fishermen from many different places. The store then wraps the fish up into a neat little package so whenever you need a fish, it’s ready to go. Third-party intent data is collected from a variety of different sources around the web by vendors, segmented based on demographic or firmographic traits, and finally packaged up as “intent audiences” and sold to you, the consumer.

The benefit of using third-party data (buying a fish from the store) is that it is easily accessible (you don’t have to catch the fish yourself), and because the store brings in data (fish) from all over, they have a consistent supply and wide selection to choose from. 

On the other hand, while third-party data may be easy to get, you pay for that convenience. Just like the grocery store put time and effort into procuring fish from different fishermen, the third-party vendor put time and effort into gathering intent signals from various sources, and that cost is passed down to you. In addition, since you aren’t the one gathering the data (catching the fish) yourself, there’s no telling where it came from, how it was gathered, or how high quality it is. Finally, the third-party vendor is in total control over the data, meaning they can tell you what you can and cannot use if for or choose to stop selling it to you any time they want.


With more buyers than ever before doing more research online before reaching out to a salesperson, buyer intent data gives marketers a glimpse into what their target audience is looking at, what content they are engaging with, and the perfect time to reach out to them. Leveraging buyer intent data across your sales and marketing teams is the key to filling sales pipelines and driving greater revenue in the modern B2B buying landscape.   

So, where does KickFire fit in?

Think of KickFire as the rod or net you use to capture first-party data. KickFire can be used to catch fish right off the dock (small company) all the way up to a commercial fishing operation on the biggest boats (enterprise company). KickFire allows you to identify your interested audience, build your sales and marketing pipelines, power ABM campaigns, and so much more. If you’re ready to start catching more warm leads, sign up for a free trial of KickFire today.