Contextual thinking and intent are the future of internet-based marketing! Is your customer really interested in buying from you? Maybe not! And it is only due to the lack of intent. Internet consumers, today, don’t have the time for irrelevance. With technology taking over every industry, modern marketing has experienced a paradigm shift in the way organisations sell their brands. It’s the new era of Search Intent optimisation. When it comes to advertising, whether B2B or B2C, intent-based marketing is primary to overall customer experience making purchase decisions.
CMOs should reposition themselves to apply the Intent-based marketing theory, which gives ample opportunities for organisations to reach real users looking for a specific piece of information at a particular point in time.
67% of the B2B consumers perform internet-based research before buying products
Marketing works with two primary data sources, the internal, which includes website and campaigns, and external, where prospects are active on peripheral platforms. While internal data is confined and identifiable, intent data relies on the external, and provides insights about audience activity on external websites.
Figure 1 Courtesy: https://www.markletic.com/blog/what-is-intent-based-marketing-and-why-is-it-important/
Imagine what it would be like if your prospects got exactly what they are looking for? It means that with intent-based marketing, you are literally sitting on a gold mine. The intent is now a new experience – a creative digital approach based on demographics, actions and thought processes – in that order.
To administer intent-based marketing strategies, you have to understand the buyer’s journey first. This is also the primary difference between experience – and intent-based marketing approaches.
The theory of intent-based marketing
Determining who you are trying to target is one of the most important parts of building a marketing strategy. In order to drive more business, you have to identify the right audience. This is where intent marketing helps. All your focus is trained on the consumers’ intentions, requirements and challenges. These are no longer the days of ‘spray and pray’ marketing. You are now in the era of ROIs against marketing budgets and targeted consumerism.
With intent-based marketing, you can tailor campaigns to meet the requirements of customers with unique objectives. You no longer have to guess because, with a constructive analysis of the customers’ online behaviour, their choices can be easily determined. The information can be successively used to oblige the customer with offerings according to their tastes.
Marketers must lay a lot of emphasis on deep intent especially in a winner-takes-all world
A blog published by Rand Fishkin called ‘the 10 predictions for digital marketing in 2016’ projected that normal distributions will no longer be a consideration and the ‘winner-takes-all’ market will see a sharp rise.
According to Fishkin, only the big winners will stay ahead of the game. Building a target audience around demographics might seem easy but buyers have individuality. Especially true to B2B marketing, a title in one company does not match with the other. But when it comes to internet marketing, all titles are technically the same. Thus, intent marketing revolves around users who maximise their digital actions and thought processes. And when you target user intentions, you can reach out to all buyers’ titles because you are directly speaking to the person behind the keyboard. Intent marketing helps you identify prospects that handle social media, web development and email.
“The most effective way to build buyer personas is to interview buyers who have previously weighed their options, considered or rejected solutions, and made a decision similar to the one you want to influence. Unfortunately,” ― Adele Revella, Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer’s Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business.
Building the Buyer’s Persona
The ideal buyer persona is a utopia or a fictional representation of the distorted actual. But to move forward in your marketing strategy, you must begin by defining the buyer persona, which in turn, helps you identify what the audience is actually thinking. A combination of estimations, data, demographics and online research is used to build the ideal buyer persona. The process aids in the identification of a problem that the buyers are trying to resolve. Then, you get to classify the most sought-after criteria, when they pick a product or service that preferably meets their requirements. This way, you should be able to deliver contextual and strong messaging to the ideal customer.
Make sure you understand the customers’ observed behaviour on your website when you are checking your analytics.
To build this persona, you have to, first, collect data around your customers. Interview them to know more about their thought processes and subsequent actions. Check for keywords that they are looking for or where they get their information from – these two aspects influence their decision-making. Remember to work with a minimum of 5 personas only lest you lose track of your marketing strategy. The trick is to get an understanding of the customers’ deep behavioural and individual activity data. Now, it’s time to build the buyer’s journey.
Establishing the buyer journey
Identify the route taken by the customer from recognising the problem to the moment that a solution is found. Awareness, Consideration and Decision – these are primarily the three stages through which buyers traverse to find an answer to their problem.
In the first awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, the customer identifies the problem itself and tries to figure out a way to resolve it. Since they initiate the first step to research, they are always on top of the funnel.
The consideration stage examines the various available options once the problem is identified. A variety of alternatives are sought out by the customers as more information is collected and learnt, about the choices that they can make.
Finally, in the decision stage, the consumer makes an informed decision based on all the available data.
An overall strategy has to be derived to map each of these stages of the buyers’ journey. This is also what will drive the customer from the bottom of the funnel. In the end, using informative and contextual elements, the map converts prospects into leads.
Benefits of Intent Marketing
Intent marketing is a new approach that has opened doors for marketers to create more relevant marketing strategies. With this strategy, you get a real targeted persona that can optimise customer engagement and improve content marketing. The strategy helps marketers narrow down on their targets and get better results and better performance.
When you have a truly targeted persona, the reach and outcome are both optimal. Keep updating your customer persona as you learn more about your customers each time.
Deliver the right messaging to the right person at the right time by creating content relevant to meeting your customers’ requirements. Clients’ needs are promptly fulfilled when their needs are directly addressed.
Customer engagement remains optimised with the clarity of the buyers’ persona. You can use this data to build better content and optimise it.
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