Built On Good Intentions: An Introduction to Intent Marketing
Here at Business-Software.com, we strive to deliver a valuable amount of business segment information in bite-size theme weeks. Last month, we delved into hospitality software and looked at how it can be utilized (by my mother) to keep a B&B up and running. This time around, we’re focusing in on a segment near-and-dear to our hearts (and job titles): Marketing.
It’s not news that marketing strategies are forever changing, evolving to suit whatever new business landscape unfolds before us. Some strategies are left by the wayside while others get facelifts and become more formidable players in the marketing field. Either way, marketers are constantly walking that thin line between ‘using what works’ and ‘finding something that works better’.
In the past, the idea was to cast the widest possible net in order to capture everyone, knowing that at least some percentage of that audience would eventually pay a company for their product or service. But over time, it became more and more clear that narrowing down the target audience to include only serious consumers was much more beneficial.
Interest Does Not Equal Intent
Intent marketing is the concept of focusing marketing efforts onto people who have the most actual intent to buy rather than a wider audience that may consist of people who only show a general interest. Previously, the concept of an ‘interested consumer’ was all it took to put a marketer on their trail, but as we (now) know, interest does not equal intent. A consumer may only be expressing a future intent to purchase, or may have no intention of purchasing at all and is only doing research (something I’m definitely not guilty of on a regular basis, not at all).
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
…just make it better.
There’s a saying that cautions against reinventing the wheel, an idea that definitely applies here. The ability to analyze what people are looking for, where they’re looking for it and how they’re going about their search is information that has been accessible for quite some time. Passing that information through an intent marketing filter allows marketers to hone in on exactly who they want to reach.
Keyword and search phrase ranking, commonly done through Google Analytics, is one way a company can accomplish this. Using those keyword and search phrase rankings to determine what people are looking for isn’t a new idea; again, let’s not reinvent the wheel. But intent marketing is the concept of using that data for accuracy rather than indiscriminate distribution.
Closely related, search history can also be a good indicator of where a potential client or customer’s intention lies. By looking at the things people have thought about buying, marketers can target them with ads for similar (and therefore relevant) products or services. I think we’ve all reached a state of online existence in which we’ve experienced this first hand; you do one search for ‘big face animal t-shirts’ and then the sidebar ads on every site you visit thereafter is for TheMountain.com.
It might be annoying (or a little scary) but it can work. Someone may have searched ‘riding lawnmowers’ and not found the one they wanted to purchase, but now you know to fix them up with some ads that could convince them you sell the lawnmower of their dreams.
Marketing with Intention
As the title suggests, this is just an introduction to intent marketing. In a very ‘tip of the iceberg’ manner, the tactic becomes more and more intricate the deeper you go (just wait until you get to high commercial intent keywords). While the strategy may become more detail-oriented, the concept stays the same; there are people out there looking for what you have to offer, and taking advantage of intent marketing can ultimately make your content, product or service the one that they find.
Before you go, remember when I mentioned this is Marketing Theme Week? We have four more days ahead of us (since that’s usually how ‘weeks’ work), so check back in tomorrow and see what we have to say about social media marketing.
But if you’re already excited to try your own email marketing techniques, check out our report on the Top 10 Email Marketing Software and start driving traffic right where you want it.