How you Can Implement Intent-based Targeting: Marketing Tips for Small Business

Most brands are generally not aware what the potential buyer is searching.


Intent-based target marketing involves the marketing of a product or service basis the consumer’s intention to make a purchase decision which is demonstrated by their actions. It is a precise marketing where the behaviour left by the consumers in the form of digital footprints speaks volumes about consumers willing to make a certain purchase.

As the lockdowns have been imposed in various parts of India, pushing people in the confines of their homes, their reliance on gadgets and phones will increase. With services such as gyms, hotels, salons, car wash, etc. and recreation centres such as clubhouse, resorts, gaming areas facing closures, people on their devices would search for instant answers expecting brands to be able to provide it. For instance, a person searching ‘AC repair near me’ is in urgent need of AC repairs near his/her neighbourhood, while a search intent like ‘Split AC repairing’ shows that the person wants to know and understand how split AC repairing is done.

Words such as ‘buy’, ‘visit’ and ‘purchase’ express a crystal clear intent to transact. The data generated from such search intentions is helping brands to close more sales opportunities. It shows marketers a range of factors and buying signals to determine whether an account is worth targeting (or not).

Benefits of Intent based targeting

Focusing on the actual buyer

Data is the lifeline of any business. Buyers respond to brands that fulfil their needs. The ideal customer should be clearly defined, whose pain points should be known by the company. When we have adequate information about the customers, we can design the content of the website in a way that answers their queries effectively. Most brands are generally not aware what the potential buyer is searching and that leads to targeting the ‘average buyer’. Without intent based targeting they depend on onsite analytics to gather insights. A marketing strategy that involves intent data, helps companies to find out what the potential cohorts of customers are searching and before they ask they find your business. Companies can next focus on answering queries with targeted ads and outreach campaigns.

Get ahead of the competition

With intent data, the daily tasks become simpler. Businesses can incorporate it to better understand consumer intent and then align to business outcomes. They can target the customers in the moments that matter and drive sales as a result. From the data new help documents, whitepaper, blog posts can be created to answer frequently asked questions that the prospects care about.

Increasing responses from email marketing and telemarketing

Through intent based targeting we reach the right set of consumers where we can expect responses to the emails and calls which otherwise end up in spam. Using intent data we can find out whether the prospects are searching for our business solutions or competitors solutions across the internet. Before we send content through email marketing to the customer we use intent data to identify if the potential customers are in the buying cycle and then identify the best types of content to send to them.

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When we have adequate information about the customers, we can design the content of the website in a way that answers their queries effectively.

Methods to implement intent based targeting

Retargeting the ads

With retargeting ads on Facebook and Google, businesses choose to target people based on the pages they visit on the company’s website. For example, if the searcher visits the ‘About us’ page, we can assume that they are interested in our business offerings. We can retarget them with relevant content that will let the visitors know more and further bolster their buying decision. Not running retargeting ads is equivalent to leaving opportunities on the table. Ensure that the retargeting ads are set up in a way that matches the sales funnel and buyer’s journey.

Third Party Intent-based data

If companies know the exact content and sites that the leads are researching, it will help in closing sales more effectively. To gather data for intent based targeting we can take the help of a third party intent data source. Third-party intent data is sourced by companies that make use of publisher networks or similar. With third-party intent data we can identify what companies are researching and take action accordingly. With data on hand companies will spend less of their time prospecting and searching for leads to contact, and will spend more time building productive conversations with sales qualified leads.

Where can the companies find intent data

The intent data can be extracted by analysing the digital footprints of buyers. The data is related to the person who is consuming content online and it can be found from:

  • Product reviews
  • Website visits
  • Time on pages
  • The content topic on web pages
  • Downloads such as whitepapers

How beneficial it will be for startups?

Intent-based targeting is a more evolved method and soon will make the traditional demographics-based targeting look obsolete.
When companies focus on buyer intent we will start seeing benefits such as more effective targeting for sales and marketing teams, an increase in advertising effectiveness and will help to stand out in the clutter.

Shalmoli Sarkar
Shalmoli Sarkar
An MBA in marketing and a BTech in chemical engineering, Shalmoli writes on marketing strategies and business technology for new and aspiring entrepreneurs.

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