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Mastering Customer Intent: Two Parts

Every great marketer wants to be able to provide answers and information to an ideal customer in the very moment that customer has a need. These marketers would use digital marketing so effectively, it would sometimes create a need for the customer. How do you, as a business owner or a chief marketing officer, ensure your company is going to be able to give the customer what they need when they need it? You first must understand the visitor's true intent.

Part One: Use Data to Understand Customer Intent

You may have created personas based on demographics rather than intent. For example, if I manufacture and sell boutique baby products, I might target women who are between the ages of 25-40, have at least one child in the house, and have a median household income of $80,000. This sounds fine and dandy, except for the fact that 40 percent of all baby product purchasers are people who don't even have a child in their household (think gift-buying grandparents, friends, etc.). By taking a narrow view approach and targeting by demographic you've effectively alienated 40 percent of your target market! Here are a few other stats that may have you rethinking your approach:

  • 56 percent of sporting goods searchers on mobile are female
  • 45 percent of home improvement searchers on mobile are female
  • 68 percent of skin and body acre influencers, in the last month, are men


How do you take a deep dive into the intent of your customers? How can your company be there for them in those moments of need? First, look at who is visiting your site as it stands and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What search terms are visitors using?
  • Do you have relevant content that is answering questions they are asking?
  • What actions are new visitors taking on your site?
  • What pages do they spend the time on? What pages do they bounce from?

Do more research on your market and who the buyers are. There very well could be more than one intent and it's important to have content that appeals to those different customers. In my baby products example, blog content for new moms would be great for those in our original demographic. A gift guide would be valuable for people who don't have a child in the home, but are buying for a friend or sister who is expecting.

Part Two: Consider the Buying Cycle

It is important to cater content to customers who are in different stages of the buying cycle. Create content for those who are just asking a question. Create a comparison page for those who are comparing your solution against others in your industry. And, create content that makes it easy for people to connect with you at the very moment they want to buy. Don’t ask your visitors to buy from your company if they are simply asking “what do I look for when switching providers?" Do write a blog post that outlines answers to their question. You may be thinking this sounds like Avinash Kaushik’s See, Think, Do Framework. It is.

The bottom line is to not alienate your audience. If you are seeing traffic to your site that indicates you have a different customer intent than you initially suspected, publish a small amount of content that appeals to them and see how it performs. Step back from your digital presence, look at the data, and form content strategies around customer intent—even if it is not what you initially expected.

Still not sure where to start? Contact us to talk to one of our team members about your business.