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What You Need to Know About Customer Intent Marketing

Customer intent marketing goes beyond demographic targeting. Give your customers a better experience by understanding not just what they want, but why they want it.

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Demographic data is the old standby for DTC brands that want to build campaigns for customers. But, demographic data is no longer good enough for most consumers who prefer personalized content and expect brands to deliver. Advances in analytics and user experience data make it easier than ever to segment with metrics that predict future purchases.

Buyers are becoming increasingly wary of brands that blast them with clumsy retargeting ads. In fact, half of the customers in a Gartner survey report they will unsubscribe from a company’s communications and 38% will stop doing business with a company if they find personalization efforts to be “creepy.”

Instead, using powerful user experience and intent data, brands can boost eCommerce sales targeted to customers’ actual behavior. Customers reward relevant content with sales. So the more you know about customers and their behavior, the better you can deliver what they want to see.

What Is Customer Intent Marketing?

Customer intent marketing is giving your customers what they want when they are ready for it. Today’s B2C customers expect personalization, but they want their interactions to feel authentic, not pushy. Intent marketing lets the customer take control of their process and move through the funnel smoothly.

Instead of treating every customer in a demographic the same, user experience and intent analytics give marketers the power to see what customers search for, buy, read and research. Brands can then use this data to generate and send similar content to guide them to their next step.

Customer intent data makes business decisions more intelligent, personalizes the buying experience and skyrockets ROI.

Discover the Clogs in Your Funnel

Event the best-planned products launches or sale events don’t always perform to forecast. In those cases, it can be hard to identify exactly is going wrong. Perhaps customers are coming to your website in droves, but once they hit the site, they are bouncing. With basic analytics platforms like Google Analytics, you can discover what is happening, but you will not know why.

Customer intent marketing and on-page analytics such as content read rate, hesitation time and other important metrics provide valuable insight. You can use this information to make data-driven hypotheses and test them. For example, you might refresh site copy or adjust product pricing. Once you have identified where to start, customer intent marketing lets you create unique experiences based on customer behavior.

Win Back Customers and Abandoned Carts the Smart Way

Close up image of an ecommerce checkout page on a mobile phone

Even when a customer has left your site, there is an opportunity to reach them again. Retargeting strategies and follow-up emails let you message customers who abandon their carts.

However, the danger in applying this method too liberally means your brand comes off as desperate rather than helpful. Understanding which customers are likely to buy versus just browsing your site will make your win-back campaigns infinitely more effective.

So, instead of sending an email or targeting every product page visitor, pair that action with another metric. For instance, abandoned cart campaigns should target customers who add something to their cart and spend a certain amount of time browsing. Or, the campaign can also target customers who have returned multiple times to look at the same item.

Recency, Frequency and Monetary

Your most valuable customer is not always the one that spends the most in a transaction. Frequent, loyal customers build more value than the customer who spends big one time.

Identifying your most valuable customer instead of chasing infrequent big spenders is key to maximizing your lifetime customer value. Engage these valuable customers by sending the right message at the right time to keep them coming back.

Additionally, loyalty programs and customer profiles give your customers a reason to return (more savings and perks). Loyalty programs also generate valuable first-party data you can use to send personalized communications that drive them to purchase.

New Customers and Returning Favorites

Segmenting by lifecycle stage separates your brand new customers from those who have known you for years. New customers behave differently from loyal customers. Knowing how each segment engages with your site lets you personalize the experience. Instead of sending the same messages to every customer, mapping lifecycle stages helps you nurture customers throughout the buying journey.

For instance, send a welcome email when a customer creates an account or makes an initial purchase. Welcome emails are an excellent way to further introduce your brand. On the other hand, customers who make a subsequent purchase will get a different message welcoming them back. And, if it has been months or longer since you have heard from a customer, launch a win-back campaign. Such a campaign can be based on their last purchase date and the order total.

Don’t forget your brand’s super-fans. Engage your brand’s evangelists with new offerings and exclusive sale events. Every DTC brand knows it is less expensive to keep a happy customer than to bring on a new one. However, many brands fail to nurture a customer from brand awareness all the way until they become loyal brand advocates. Consider building a store or specialty store site or sale events exclusive to your most loyal customers.

Customer intent and segmentation are quickly becoming table stakes for DTC brands. Demographics can give you a glimpse into what a customer might prefer, but intelligent intent targeting proves that you know who they are and have the information to help them make the right purchase.

Instead of creating creepy campaigns, use customer intent data to your advantage, give buyers the content they’re looking for and turn disgust into delight.

Ready to jumpstart your customer intent marketing efforts and convert those efforts into sales? Contact Scalefast today. 

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