Skip to main content

Intent‑Based Marketing: The Future of Customer Acquisition

Intent‑based marketing is a vital sales and marketing tactic for businesses of all sizes. Learn more about this type of marketing and its benefits.

In the rapidly-changing world of marketing, intent data has stolen the spotlight. Real-time information and analytics allow marketing and sales teams to adjust their strategies quickly. They are no longer committed to launching entire campaigns and sticking to a communication strategy until they use up their advertising budget.

Today, companies can use targeted advertising informed by intent-based marketing to tailor communications, offers, and promotions for individual internet users. This targeting is based on multiple variables, including their search and purchase history.

Data and analysis bring a better return on investment (ROI). Instead of guessing, marketers can target users who already display interest in specific product categories, offers, or services. These people will enable a higher conversion rate and increased ROI on ad spending.

Intent-driven marketing is an essential strategy for every business. Here's a closer look at how to employ it to improve ROI, customer acquisition, and other crucial metrics.

What is intent-based marketing?

Intent-based marketing is a unique concept that's quickly becoming a major element in advertising campaigns, user-experience models, and customer retention strategies. This hyper-focused marketing approach gauges customer intent and automatically tailors marketing content and offers.

Intent-based marketing uses an individual's online data to build targeted messages and encourage buyers who are most likely to purchase. It looks for customer intent using different variables, including how long a user stays on a particular page, which page they navigate to next, and their overall browsing history. It then uses intent marketing data to engage customers in the final stages of their buying journey, coaxing them toward a purchasing decision with relevant information and targeted offerings and promotions.

Intent-driven marketing uses both active and passive activity. While active intent occurs when customers engage with content and search using keywords directly related to a certain product or service, passive intent is when customers research more broadly and use general words.

For example, customers display active intent when searching for product reviews, specific product features, or pricing information. They communicate passive intent when searching for product categories or browsing daily or weekly promotion pages.

Why is this important? Passive intent is more indicative of a customer who is in the early stages of the buyer's journey. Active intent indicates that a customer may be ready to choose a specific product and make a purchase. Marketers can use advertisements and communications designed for a particular stage in the buyer's journey and help move them toward the final purchase.

Examples of intent-based marketing

Businesses can carry out intent-based marketing in various ways. Their methods depend on the information and resources they have at their disposal.

Here are some examples of intent-based marketing and how businesses can implement these techniques.

  • Targeted ads: Targeted ads use customer data and purchase intent to create personalized offers tailored to the individual customer's search habits and interests. A good example is Google's ad targeting, which relies on cookies that log past activities to determine consumer interests.
  • Personalized content: A travel website might use intent data to create content tailored to the individual customer's interests, such as recommendations for hotels in a specific city or activities to do in the region they are researching.
  • Social media and email campaigns: An e-commerce site can use customer data to create personalized emails and content to market on social media. Such campaigns can feature discounts and other offers on products the customer has purchased or that they may be interested in based on their search history on the site.
  • Retargeting campaigns: An online retailer can use customer data to create ads targeting customers who have recently visited their website but have not made a purchase.

The exact intent marketing strategy for your business will depend on the industry, type of product or service, competition, and how you define your intent categories.

Why is intent-based marketing important?

71% of customers expect personalized offers and user experiences when they visit a website. Intent-based marketing delivers this type of personalization automatically.

However, the benefits of intent-based marketing go beyond user experience. Here are some additional advantages.

  • Improve search engine optimization. With intent-based marketing, you'll be able to gain a better understanding of which keywords and topics your audience is interested in. Doing so ensures you can make content that will engage your audience and drive organic traffic.
  • Improved targeting. Intent-based marketing helps businesses target each customer with the right message at the right time. This increases the likelihood of conversion, as customers are more likely to respond to offers and content tailored to their needs. Ensuring your content is tailored to individual customers can help your business thrive since many consumers will stray from brands who don’t deliver a personalized experience.
  • Increased customer engagement. With intent-based marketing, businesses can gain insights into the needs and interests of their customers, allowing them to create more engaging and personalized experiences to grow an audience.
  • Cost savings. Intent-based marketing allows businesses to be more efficient with their marketing resources. Since they can target customers who are likely to be interested in their products or services, they don't have to waste money on ineffective marketing campaigns.

Finally, intent-driven marketing brings a higher marketing ROI. Higher conversions and less waste means higher profits with leaner marketing budgets.

Limitations intent-based marketing

Though it offers specific advantages, intent marketing does come with a handful of potential pitfalls that companies, whether large or small, need to be aware of when they launch their campaigns.

  • Quality of data. For intent-based marketing to achieve its goal, data collection must be accurate and focused on the right types of activities. Inaccurate data leads to poor targeting and inaccurate offers.
  • Integrating existing data with intent data. While intent data should be combined with the existing lead scoring systems for intent marketing, engaging higher numbers of data sources increases the complexity and presents a significant challenge for businesses. This type of data dilution can decrease the accuracy of analysis and make personalization and lead intent qualification impossible.
  • Cost. Intent-based marketing requires sophisticated technology and data to identify and track user activity. It typically requires investing in new software and systems.
  • Privacy. Intent-based marketing requires the use of personal data, which can be a privacy concern for some consumers.

None of these drawbacks are deal breakers. You simply need to be aware of potential problems so that you can account for them when you launch your marketing efforts.

How to use intent-based marketing at your business

Intent-based marketing tools can help businesses of all sizes employ these strategies. Combined with a methodical approach and organized data, you can enjoy the benefits of intent-driven marketing without succumbing to the pitfalls.

However, how do you use intent-based marketing in your business? The following steps will help you create a campaign to market your product and grow your audience with highly targeted ads, content, and communications.

  • Define customer stages. The first step in the process is to define the different variables that will tell you what stage a user is at in the buying process.
  • Target offers and content. After this, you will create marketing content or come up with offers meant to target users in each stage of the buying process.
  • Analyze competitors. Your offers and content should bring value to customers. However, you should also see what your competitors are doing and ensure that the promotions and branding stand out from theirs.
  • Content optimization. Use the information and research to create optimized content and marketing campaigns for your intent-driven categories. In addition to targeted content and ads, you will want to highlight the novel aspects of your product or service so that those looking for information or comparing products can see how they stand out from the offers of your competitors.

A successful intent marketing campaign requires the right tools and services.

Grow your business with successful intent-based marketing

Through intent based marketing, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer behavior, enabling them to craft more effective messages and ultimately drive more conversions and reduce customer churn. When done correctly, intent marketing can be a great way to build loyalty and create long-term relationships with customers.

Mailchimp provides various intent-driven marketing tools that can help sales and marketing teams of all sizes engage with customers. For example, Mailchimp marketing automation tools allow you to define customers based on activity. You can then create different segments using activity data to help decide a category for each customer. With our tools, you can also personalize communication with names and other elements that make your content stand out.

With these intent-based marketing tools, you can further streamline your campaigns and take full advantage of the high-ROI potential offered by intent marketing strategies.

Share This Article