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Intent Driven Content: Marketing Strategy To Boost Your Brand and Sales

September 11, 2020
Growth Hacking
Lead Generation

Intent driven marketing has recently become very popular in the marketing world and for a very specific reason. It focuses on bringing tangible results to online businesses. This can mean sales, new customers, reviews, website traffic, brand visibility and new partnerships. Intent driven marketing helps businesses pin-point factors that cause people to buy by carefully analyzing their expectations and behaviors.

In this article we will dive into what intent drive marketing is and how online businesses can use it in order to increase their brand exposure and drive sales.

What is Intent Driven Marketing?

With the constantly evolving expectations and demands of buyers online, it’s extremely important for online businesses to fully understand their buyers' process and experience from start to finish. Intent driven marketing involves the process of marketing a product or service based on the customers intent to make a purchasing decision. 

Intent driven marketing visual

This is based on the buyers previous purchasing behavior and actions they have previously performed on a website. Obviously this is easier said than done, but tracking consumer behavior is now much easier with the use of the right software and marketing strategies. Some of the ways consumer behavior can be tracked include:

  • Drip Marketing
  • Split-Testing
  • Shopping Cart Analysis
  • Interactions with website
  • Website traffic analysis 

These are just a few of the popular ways you can gain insight into the purchasing behavior of consumers. Once you have an idea of your buyers purchasing decisions you can develop an intent based marketing plan that will help you boost sales for your products and services. 

Once marketers have a solid understanding of their buyer’s persona and browsing behavior, they can tweak their targeting strategies in order to trigger more sales and interactions. But knowing a buyer's browsing habits isn’t enough. You also need to know at what stage of the buying process your customers are. 

Where intent-based marketing becomes powerful is by introducing the element of time in the overall purchasing process. 

Reading tip: How to gain insights from you website traffic

Relevance of Time in Intent-Based Marketing

It’s important to note that past purchasing behavior doesn’t always give us a clear picture of how likely a consumer is to make another purchase. If a customer has visited a certain product or service page multiple times and has not yet made a purchase, there are several things that could be holding them back from making a purchase. 

  • Price
  • Time of the year
  • Alternative products
  • Uncertainty of the product
  • Waiting for a discount
  • Previous purchases made for similar products

All of these factors can play a role in the customer making purchasing decisions. What you have to understand as a marketer is how to craft your intent driven marketing strategy in order to help them buy. This involves knowing some key elements about your buyers such as:

  • How long they have previously taken to make a purchase
  • How long they have been a customer
  • What kind of product they previously purchased
  • Their average order value
  • The current price of their product of interest

These are dynamic factors which can influence how long a customer takes before making a purchasing decision. 

For example, a customer who just purchased a new bed is not likely to purchase another one for quite some time. As a marketer, it’s obvious you should no longer market beds to them, instead you need to shift your focus and market accessories for their bed. Things such as pillows, sheets, lamps, drawers and others. 

This will help you capture more revenue and improve your connection to your buyer. They will feel as if you are helping them complete a chapter in their life instead of just shoving products down their throat. The intent is to help them complete a full room, instead of simply purchasing more products. 

Breaking Down “Intent” in Marketing

Intent in marketing consists of the topic (product or service) and context (reason for the purchase). The topic and context will reveal important data about your customer, but they aren’t very easy to reveal right off the bat. 

Topic ( Products or Services )

Breaking down intent marketing with products or services

In the world of ecommerce, the product or service starts off with a single page. The web page represents all the information about a product or service and lists out all the important elements to help customers make purchasing decisions. These elements include:

  • Product or service photos
  • Price
  • Descriptions
  • Features
  • Warranties
  • Reviews

The elements bring that intent to the center of their decisions. But how the buyer interacts with a certain product or service page can provide us with more information about whether or not they will make a purchase.  

Websites like HotJar can help you visualize how your buyers are interacting with certain pages on your website with heatmaps, recordings, incoming feedback, surveys and more. 

Analyze online behaviour with Hotjar

As a marketer this can help you identify where you can make improvements on your website in order to improve your sales and conversions. If you know where the attention of your buyers is going on a certain product or service page you have essentially gained access to their buying consciousness. 

Pro tip: Install the new Google Analytics G4 property to gain more insights.

Context ( Reason for Purchase )

Reason for Purchase with Intent Content Driven Marketing Strategy

If you know the reason why the majority of your buyers are buying certain products or services you can make the necessary adjustments inside your marketing mix in order to scale it. This can be a difficult task, but again it starts with knowing your buyer. You need to know:

  • Who majority of your buyers are
  • How they are finding your website or online store
  • Volume of their purchases
  • How long they take to make a purchasing decision

Knowing this data requires you to collect information about your buyer. This should all be done when they sign up as a customer through your customer portal. Important questions and data you should consider adding to your online forms and product checkout pages to help you understand your buyers include:

  • Is this your first time purchasing from us ?
  • How did you hear about us?
  • Did anyone refer you?
  • Was a coupon used during the purchase
  • Location of the buyer
  • Sex of the buyer 

The more you know about your buyers the more you can align the intent in your marketing strategy to fit their buyer persona. It’s important to note that the more information you have in terms of topic and context the better you will understand your customers buying behavior.

Recommended Reading: How to Build a Sales Cadence that Converts Leads Efficiently

What type of intent data should you focus on?

As a marketer you should focus on intent level data which helps you better predict buyer behavior. 


This is obvious, but how do you determine the combination of data which helps to predict future buying behavior? This isn’t so obvious and it can get quite complicated with the more products and services your company offers.

It’s also worth noting that it can also be quite easy to identify if you have done a good job of setting up the right kind of tracking on your website and it’s related pages. 

Instead of focusing on all the behaviors on your website you need to start with where you are already seeing conversions. If you aren’t seeing any conversions on your website at all, the problems can be much deeper. 

Start your focus with the following from the top down: 

  • Origination of your website traffic (organic search traffic, paid traffic )
  • The most viewed web pages 
  • Bounce rate on those pages 
  • Conversion rate on the pages
  • Size of the pages

Once you have analyzed the basics and where you are actually seeing conversions and what is helping to drive those conversions you can then move to products or services that are struggling. All of this tracking can be easily set up inside your Google Analytics panel.

Are Traditional Keywords Losing Their Relevance ?

With the rise of intent based marketing many marketers are making the argument that traditional keywords are losing their relevance inside the buying process. Although this argument makes sense it’s not entirely true.

Keywords still carry relevance inside the buying process IF their conversions are properly tracked. If you don’t track what kind of behavior keywords cause on your website, then they become irrelevant. 

This requires you to use keyword research tools in order to gain insight into the types of keywords people are actually bidding on. 

If you think traditional keywords are losing their relevance go to Google and perform a search for keywords “social media marketing” and see how many ads come up for it. This is one way to do a quick test and see how much interest there is in bidding for those keywords in paids ads.

Intent Driven Marketing Example

As I was writing this post, a perfect example of intent driven marketing made its way into my email inbox. I recently purchased an electric smoker from Wayfair and received a notification as soon as it was delivered.

get an transactional email as soon as package is delivered

Wayfair is aware of the fact that I purchased just the electric smoker with no additional accessories. Their automated drip campaign following the delivery of my smoker featured other product accessories that I might need in order to help make my experience better. temp agencies austin tx

Top article picks based on behaviour

These are additional products that I actually need to help me during the process of smoking meat. As a customer this is a friendly reminder to order these if I need them and if I do, Wayfair in turn gets to make more money. 

Setting this kind of automated drip marketing adds extreme value for me as the customer and Wayfair. The intent here is to help me out further and drive more revenue for Wayfair and the brands that sell on their platform.

Benefits of Intent Driven Marketing

There are many benefits to intent driven marketing and one of them is that it helps you identify the persona of your buyers. By diving deep into a buyer's past purchasing behavior you can have the necessary insight to find out what causes them to make purchases online. This allows you to pinpoint the baseline for intent and segment your buyers from non-buyers. 

Intent based marketing isn't about higher conversions and more dollars. As a marketer you get to find out the current buying stage that your buyer is in. This helps you determine how you can make an impact in their life by providing them with the right products for the right price and the right time. 

Intent driven marketing benefits the business along with the customer at the same time. This is because it allows customers to make better purchasing decisions and because it allows marketers to improve their sales and marketing channels. It’s a win win for everyone. 

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