Target demographics can be limiting but focusing on consumer intent can be liberating. (Source)
Go Beyond Demographics with Consumer Intent
Whether you’re selling top-rated software or tickets to the symphony, you probably have a general idea of your target demographic. You might even rely heavily on data about the age, gender, ethnicity, job title, or location of a person to guide your approach to marketing and advertising.
Yet, when brands rely on their demographic data alone, they likely miss out on all the other buyers who didn’t check the right boxes. Therefore, consumer intent is critical to brands that want to reach beyond their typical audience.
What is Consumer Intent?
Consumer intent helps you understand what consumers are looking for in an exact moment and where they are looking to find it. Because you may not know the when and where for every consumer, it’s important that you show up in all those places.
For example, if you’re an auto dealer, you may assume your typical buyers are men. Yet, statistics show the majority of car buying decisions are made by women – and the majority of car buyers are women, too.
If you were to only target male consumers, you would miss out on most of your potential customers. But by focusing on consumer intent, as well as demographics, you can cover all your bases in terms of marketing and advertising.
How to Put the Focus on Intent
Now that you know why consumer intent is crucial to your brand, you need a plan to put it in place. Here’s what we recommend:
Show up in more places. As we mentioned earlier, consumers all come to you with different intent. Some may be merely researching, others are comparing products or services, and still another category of people are ready to buy. By showing up everywhere it matters – from search to social media to advertisements – you can meet every potential buyer in the moment they’re looking for you.
Make the most of it. Once you’re showing up in more places, make sure you are making the most of these opportunities. Offer helpful content, valuable assets, special offers, or any other irresistible nugget your audience can’t refuse. What consumers are looking for in that moment depends on the where. For example, people often turn to search engines for answers to questions, so you should create content that provides answers – like a how-to video or a helpful FAQ page.
Get Help with Getting Started
If you’re unsure where to begin, check out how you can map your customer journey with digital marketing. This gives a great overview of the steps a consumer may go through, and where you can insert your brand to meet them in the moment.