How can I generate more sales? A question most businesses are asking themselves every day.
Well, you can remain with the tried and tested methods, but we all know it’s not the best way to remain competitive.
But don’t throw away what works just yet! Rather look at ways to make it work better.
The answer to increasing positive sales leads is to use intent marketing strategies. With this, you will be able to reach individual consumers who are itching to buy.
Marketing is successful when a business can integrate various funnels like loyalty and ambassador programs, social media, affiliate programs, and the added bonus of intent marketing to generate sales.
Imagine the potential when all your focus is on individuals who are already browsing to buy!
Intent marketing is not new. But with new technologies, it has become a necessity for the success of online businesses.
With Intent marketing, you will have the resource to qualify consumers who are in the market to buy. And you will also be able to design content around big data that will boost your sales.
Sounds promising right? So here’s the scoop.
The overwhelming majority of online-based consumers go through a process that mostly leads to a purchase. This process is referred to as the buyer’s journey. And understanding this journey is vital to the way you market yourself.
From a buyer’s journey, you will be able to identify their intent and that’s where intent-based marketing comes into play.
A potential customer will leave tell-tale signs of their intentions through their online behaviour.
The sites they visit or revisit and the amount of time they spend on specific content make predicting their intent a reliable means of forecasting their journey toward a purchase decision.
It is important to understand that a buyer journey relates to an individual person. Even with B2B dealings, the decision-makers are the buyers that you will be focused on and not the entire company.
They will mull over what you have to offer. So your objective is to guide these individuals to a purchase decision.
You will make use of the same dynamics that drive intent-based marketing, with individual consumers. This is the foundation for identifying your target: an individual person.
For intent marketing to succeed you have to be one step ahead of a customer in their buyer’s journey. To do this you have to read into a buyer’s intent.
Using demographics and browsing history alone does not give a clear enough picture of a buyer’s intent at a specific moment in time. An interesting statistic from google confirms that limited data can sometimes be deceiving.
This means that if you operate in the baby industry and only target potential buyers based on demographic data, you’d be missing out on a whopping 40% of buyers!
Targeting strategies are most effective when current data is added to the mix. This helps to more accurately read intent.
You’ve probably heard people say, “strike while the iron is hot”. Well, this is what intent-based marketing is all about.
You have the ability to watch the iron warming up along the buyer’s journey, so you have to strike at the right time to convert intent into a purchase.
Because you are focusing on consumers with high purchase intent, your returns will be much greater than with other approaches. Dollar for dollar, intent marketing is definitely worth the investment.
Purchase intent can be defined as the probability of a person’s motivation to purchase a product or service.
By following the buyer’s journey, you will be able to develop content to lead consumers along their journey to the purchase stage and beyond.
Below is a basic picture that outlines the different stages of a buyer’s journey.
Consumers in this digital age use the Internet as their first go-to resource when they want or need anything.
The Internet serves as an instant information bank that guides consumers to their specific topics of interest, and this is where their buyer’s journey begins.
To tap into a potential business, companies should actively create purchase intent among consumers by placing their products or services in front of them.
This creates brand awareness and purchase intent without the consumers specifically searching for the product or service.
As illustrated below, statistics show that companies can increase purchasing intent by 186% in they respond to product misuse and give adequate guidance on product usage.
They can increase intent by 92% if they offer refunds, upgrades, or exchanges on products.
And finally, they can increase intent by 116% if they do not refer purchasers to additional steps, like contacting customer service.
Big data allows a company to not only identify interest but also to strategically lead the consumer to considering and making a purchase.
Purchase intent can be divided into two main categories namely, informational intent and transactional intent.
With informational intent the consumer is more focused on educating themselves on the benefits of your product and is possibly comparing what you have to offer to that of your competitors.
That’s where comparison sites and blogs come in handy ( the full strategy can be found below).
This is a call to action and the way you interact with this consumer will largely determine whether or not they become a customer.
They do have the intent to purchase but need a bit more convincing at this point.
Transactional intent shows behaviour that indicates a willingness purchase. Here too, you need to prime the consumer to actually make the purchase by listening to them and giving them precise answers without the usual padded sales pitch.
The consumer has already shown an interest in your product or service and after the initial purchase, you can connect with them and suggest add-on purchases that will benefit them.
You now have them as a customer but you want to turn them into a loyal customer.
By placing yourself out there you are open to praise and criticism alike which is a good thing in both cases. You have to take care of your online reputation because a good reputation breeds trust.
The more organizations, companies, groups, and individuals recommend or vet you, the better your company will be perceived by others. And this will result in an increased conversion rate that will show in your sales figures.
In spite of the fact that the cost per click may be higher, pushing up your intent-based marketing budget, the ROI in most cases is 3X better than other approaches.
This says a lot about intent-based marketing. Because you are able to remove the clutter and concentrate on good quality leads, each qualified lead can be viewed as a potential sale in the making.
Your ROI will depend on how well you are able to close the sale and how you communicate with your customer after the sale.
Intent-based marketing is widely used and your competitors probably use it by only targeting consumers with high purchase intent.
In order to remain competitive, you have to focus on the same segment of consumers; the ones with high purchase intent. If not, you will be losing a lot sales in the process.
Intent marketing in our digital world helps to channel marketing directly to the end-user without the need for blanket coverage that produces far fewer sales for the same effort.
This direct link with targeted consumers is a fast-growing marketing strategy that produces good results, obviously depending on the effectiveness of the data tools used.
Intent marketing promotes brand growth by paying attention to the intent of the Internet using individuals.
Browse the web and find articles on similar companies that can be related to your company.
Study the information they provide and compare it to the information you have created about your company.
Make contact with the companies that you feel are doing well and ask them to review your company and include your company in future content.
As part of your research, find third-party websites that provide solution reviews in your industry.
These third-party sites are a valuable source of information because customers write about their experiences, both good and bad that will give you a clear indication of where you stand in the industry.
It is also a good indicator of how your brand is perceived.
You need to turn negative reviews into a positive experience for the customer. In this way, you will be able to take care of your online reputation.
The more reviews your business gets, the more sales leads you will get. A review of the service your company provided will start off on one site.
And because of the automated sharing structure of the net, that one review will become visible on a number of different platforms as it will be used by other websites as a source.
If the review is positive it will result in more sales leads. Your online reputation depends on how well you manage reviews.
A few examples of third-party websites are Capterra/G2 for software reviews, Trustpilot which covers all niche markets, and Wirecutter who cover everything to do with hardware.
There are many third-party review sites to choose from. Some will specialize in specific niche markets while others cover a wide range of industries.
Make a list of sites that specialize in articles on the top performers in specific industries or about branded products or services.
You will have to motivate why your company should be placed on the top ten list in your industry and in most cases also pay a listing fee.
If you have won awards or exceeded revenue expectations, or maybe you have included a unique product or service that is a hot seller, you need to use these aspects of your company to make it onto the list.
Getting a mention on a “top list” is a very powerful marketing tool that attracts a lot of traffic.
The more lists you get on, the greater the number of leads you will generate from intent marketing.
Directories are often used by customers who know they want to purchase something but are not sure what’s the best company to meet their need.
Search directories related to your industry and list your company on as many directories as you can find. Every click on a directory will feed you data that can be used to establish intent.
Blogs are a very strong marketing tool that can be incorporated in your intent marking campaign.
Research your competitors and create a series of blogs where your company is featured in each blog, highlighting what you offer as an alternative to each individual competitor.
The goal is, on one hand, to have those blogs ranked high for keywords that contain your competitor name+ alternative and on the other hand, make sure that when your customers want to compare your solution to your competitors, they can do it on your website where you control the content and no on your competitor’s site.
Every blog you create must only focus on one competitor and the specific alternative that you offer.
You can link content to each blog that will qualify intent. Here again, every click on a blog post generates usable data for your intent marking strategy or campaign.
The Equinox case study on intent based marketing highlights their approach to increased sales revenue year on year. Here is a short video that covers a lot of great ideas.
Intent-based marketing is a very effective digital means of converting marketing efforts into actual sales.
Marketing in our digital world has opened up markets that would otherwise be an outreach for companies restricted to a small territory. The internet has opened up international markets that would require big marketing budgets to go the route of using conventional marketing strategies.
By refocusing marketing strategies to identify the intent of an individual through their online behaviour, a company can generate positive leads that will produce a high sales success rate.
Through intent marketing, a company is able to identify purchase intent. A consumer’s attitude to content will unveil their purchase intent.
It may be for information only or it could be the consumer wanting to make a purchase. Either way, purchase intent is a hot lead that if acted upon in the right manner and at the right time, will result in a sale.
Intent marking is generated through a positive online reputation that is supported by positive customer reviews. Managing your company’s online reputation is vitally important to maintain success through intent marketing.
This is a big win for consumers because at the end of the day only reputable companies will be able to establish an online presence and maintain it over the long term.
Intent-based marketing focuses on the buyer’s journey using big data to identify customers with purchase intent. For a more detailed answer, read this guide.
There are a number of benefits to intent-based marketing and we have discussed a few important ones that include trust, ROI, and marketing outcomes. You will find the details in this guide.
There are a lot of different avenues you can use to drive your campaign. We have mentioned a few in this guide like what type of research to do, who to reach out to, and what you can do to improve your online presence. Read the guide for details.
DemandZen: Intent-Based Marketing Basics
Instapage: Purchase Intent
Excelerate Digital: How to Create Purchase Intent