Wouldn’t it be great if marketers magically knew exactly what prospects want to buy and when? Although reading a prospect’s mind isn’t possible, intent marketing can help.
With intent marketing, you spot patterns in consumer behavior and use data-driven insights to predict their needs, goals and actions. So, even though you don’t have a mind-reading superpower, intent marketing can reveal what your prospects are thinking.
Intent Marketing: A Definition
Intent marketing data helps businesses accurately target their marketing messages and increase their campaign efficiency and effectiveness. Marketers use predictive analytics to understand consumer behavior and interests, identify highly qualified leads and deliver relevant, personalized messages that convert.
By understanding the customer journey and the intent behind their actions, marketers can grow sales and ROI. They can meet prospects at every stage of the funnel and drive them through the purchase funnel until they’re ready to buy and eventually become loyal customers.
How Intent Marketing Works
Marketers track prospect and customer interactions across search engines, email, websites, mobile and so on. They look at what products customers view or purchase online to determine future buying intentions.
Marketers then use this data to create campaigns tailored to consumers’ goals and interests. As a result, they can reach customers at the right time, when they’re on the right device and place to buy.
The Different Types of Intent Data
Intent data covers a wide range of signals:
- Website searches and visits
- Time on site
- Keywords and topics
- Content consumption
- Social media interactions
- Online purchases
- Product views
- App interactions
Intent data comes from a variety of places: ad platforms, search engines and web traffic. It can be first-party data, like Google Analytics or customer relationship management (CRM) data. You can also supplement with third-party data, the offsite data you must buy.
Analyzing this info can help you understand what your prospects are interested in and how they behave as they’re considering your products or services.
Intent data falls into these four buckets:
- Search intent – Shows you the keywords or phrases people enter into search engines (reveals what they’re looking for so you can produce and promote content that will ease their pain)
- Engagement – Tells you if people have read, shared or commented on your content (usually pulled from social media sites, email and blogs)
- Firmographic – Shares company info (provides company size, industry, location and revenue)
- Technographic – Explains company tech infrastructure (software, hardware and networks)
How To Implement Intent Marketing
To get started, pull insights from your customer data to understand highly qualified leads’ buying patterns, interests and individual preferences. Ask:
- What are prospects looking for in a product or service?
- What are their pain points?
- How should you reach prospects?
Do market research to understand prospect buying intentions. After you’ve developed comprehensive buyer personas and target audiences, create tailored audience segments.
Develop your marketing strategy and build out a content pipeline to support prospects along the buying journey. All your content should aim to meet your target market’s needs and solve their problems in every stage, from awareness, consideration to purchase.
Lastly, see what’s working and what isn’t. Track, test and learn how potential customers are interacting with your material before they make a purchase. This may require a lot of tweaking, adjusting and optimizing, but the legwork will be worth it. You’ll get an invaluable bird’s eye view of how your intent marketing campaigns are performing over time and an edge in capturing new customers.
The Best Intent Marketing Tools
Marketers are leveraging a variety of tools to track user behavior and highlight consumer interest.
Of these, automation software might be the most powerful one in a marketer’s tool belt. Automation software allows you to analyze data collected through multiple channels and anticipate consumer intent by recognizing patterns in consumer behavior. With it, you can craft tailored messages that resonate with each segment of their target audience.
Along with automation software, you can take advantage of other intent marketing tools for content optimization and personalization, customer journey analytics and predictive segmentation capabilities.
Look for a unified campaign platform to coordinate and execute your marketing efforts across channels. When it comes to intent marketing platforms, plenty of options exist to help your business grow. Consider using Bombora, Demandbase, Leadfeeder or ZoomInfo. Each of these platforms offers up unique benefits for businesses looking to capitalize on customer intent. Use them for personalizing content and targeting prospects based on their interests and past purchases. You can even create account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns that focus on specific objectives.
An intent-based platform could prove invaluable to attracting new prospects and curating more meaningful relationships with existing customers.
The Benefits of Intent Marketing
Intent marketing helps you make meaningful connections with prospects. When you understand what consumers want to achieve, you can deliver the right messages at the right time. If you help them achieve their goals faster and easier, they’ll likely choose you over other options.
You can create more customer-centric campaigns that engage customers most interested in your products or services. Overall, you make the most of your time and marketing efforts, which
leads to better business outcomes.
A successful intent marketing campaign can lead to higher customer loyalty, repeat customers and return on investment (ROI). By better knowing your prospects and understanding their needs, you can craft promotions that speak to their pain points. It also gives you customer insights you wouldn’t have had otherwise, which can help you create better relationships with those same customers over time.
The Downsides of Intent Marketing
Intent marketing has garnered a lot of attention in recent years for its ability to engage and build relationships with customers, but the approach isn’t without its flaws.
Sometimes, it can feel intrusive. Many people interpret intent-based offers as a privacy breach or a personal space invasion.
Additionally, intent-based content may not be correctly tailored to a customer’s individual needs or target demographic. In some cases, it can be a one-size-fits-all solution, which may not yield the best results or user experience.
Intent data can also be hard to organize, analyze and interpret. Relying on it alone can give you a skewed view of your customers’ existing behavior and interests. However, introducing and leveraging other data sources such as contextual data can help you gain deeper insights into the customer journey.
Intent Marketing for Lead Generation and Sales
Intent marketing turns the traditional approach to customer acquisition on its head.
Through customer data predictive analysis, marketers can identify trends and provide a means of predicting what products or services prospects desire next.
Intent data-driven strategies are especially effective when you leverage lead scoring in your CRM. Fill your customer journey with content that considers contextual insights, like industry trends and audience demographics, to create relevant messages.
Remember to target existing customers to maximize your return on your sales efforts too. Engage your customers through multiple channels — webinars, email and social media retargeting. Evaluate search queries, website visits and the like.
How Top Advertising Brands Use Intent Marketing to Succeed
Intent marketing is a strategy that many big brands are using to anticipate customer needs before they’re even aware themselves. Below are intent marketing examples from big brands.
How Nike Masters Customer Interaction
Nike has become a master at intent-driven strategies by combining physical and digital channels to meaningfully interact with customers.
It debuted a “dedication score” algorithm, which uses customer first-party data to understand what drives customers, and what makes them happy. Based on the findings, Nike provides desired offers and content to loyal customers to drive more conversions.
How Amazon Improves the User Experience
Similarly, Amazon has integrated intent-driven tactics into its digital customer experience by suggesting products based on past purchases and browsing history. It’s also used this concept in its search bar by recommending content to users as they type in queries so they have quicker access to their desired content or product. Through its strong individualized approach, it successfully creates better customer experiences that drive sales.
Intent marketing is the key to success in today’s ever-evolving digital market. Partner with Goodway Group to collect, analyze and stitch together all your data from various channels and platforms. We’ll help you understand your customers and prospects to build more effective campaigns.