Intent Lab: Search as a Behavioral Insights Machine

In partnership with the Bing Search Network, the study finds that searchers with high purchase intent are 180% more likely to click on results with concrete words like “shop,” while searchers with browsing intent are 20% more likely to click on results with abstract words, like “best.”

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In order for brands to engage consumers—and drive revenue—they must provide highly relevant experiences that stand out in the crowd. Brands have access to more data than ever before to create these experiences, but are they using the right data, and using it correctly?

This study discusses a novel approach—developed in partnership by Performics, Microsoft and Northwestern University—to understand consumer intent, and the psychological distance to action (e.g. how far a consumer is from buying something) by analyzing the words that people type into search engines, in a scientific study. These search queries are actually intent signals that can be used to transform media and content experiences, through personalization, well beyond the search engine results page.

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