Intent: The Largest Marketing Variable

Good Day Performance Marketing World!

As we continue our strategic jaunt through 2015, I wanted to share perspectives on a topic that is at the heart of our Performics practice and this is the topic of intent. Consumer intent shapes queries, dictates paths-to-purchase and mediates meaningful interactions with brands regardless of channel, media or content type. Through Performics Lens’ view of the world, we believe that recognizing, classifying, capturing and converting intent is our most important mission, and if we can do this successfully we can drive outperformance for the brands we serve.

That said, the mission to do so has become increasingly challenging and complicated as media touch points have proliferated and owned/earned engagements have gained immeasurable power and scale as purchase decision making drivers.

Today, intent is as likely to be expressed on a Facebook Post or Pinterest Pin as it is via a Google Search Query. And while paid performance media still drives the highest direct conversions as consumers know the intended purpose of the ad, solving for ways to capture intent expressed in influencer and social settings is the biggest brand and digital opportunity going forward. To do so successfully requires a wider skill set and set of assets then we have traditionally employed and mastered.

In our view, optimal intent-based marketing requires:

  • A data infused understanding of your consumers’ online behavior including first party data application and DMP capability
  • The widest consumer journey and attributed understanding of actions that indicate initial interest, growing discovery, brand reviews, purchase fulfillment and post buying feedback/referral
  • Omni channel marketing mix management with capabilities to invest in and employ communications that will connect with consumer intent objectively and fluidly across display, mobile, search and social online and offline
  • Strategic content, app and UX creation, curation and optimization capabilities to fully activate owned and earned as well as paid content opportunities
  • Analytics talent and business intelligence technology that can empower real time reporting, analysis, optimization and test/learn roadmaps at scale

In short, these are all essential elements to effective marketing deployment in a digitally bridged world. But they now take on holy grail status in a dynamic where key decision making influences live outside direct brand control, and purchase intent is both obvious and obscure.

Consumer intent is the ultimate brand battleground and I propose that only with our best intentions will we have the opportunity to successfully engage.


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