As marketers, we use all sorts of data to form our messaging, tactics, and our overall strategies.
We can use firmographic data such as a job title, name of the company the lead works for, and the sector or industry. Other derivative information might also include the revenue band of the company, the size of the company, where it is based, and so on.
We can look at product holding and transactional data. Anyone looking at this will know not just the lead's contact details and the profile of the company they work for but also what this customer has previously bought.
Moreover, interaction data in the form of lead scores have become increasingly popular. But a lead score is just a sign of how engaged people are with your marketing, not why they are so engaged with your marketing.
All those data sources provide rich and valuable insight into your customers and prospects. However, marketers are missing out on the next level in prospect and customer data: interest data.
What is interest data?
"Interest data" is exactly what it sounds like. It is the interests of your prospect or customer—collected and stored in various ways (a unique profile or in a CRM database) for actionable use by marketing, sales, and customer service teams.
Interests can legitimately be just about anything: people, places, organizations, concepts, products, events, and so on. Right now, I am interested in marketing automation (a concept), Salesforce (an organization), and idio for Salesforce (a product). You might be interested in Marc Benioff (a person) or Dreamforce 2015 (an event).