According to Think with Google, marketers who rely solely on demographics may be missing out on as much as 70% of potential mobile shoppers. While demographics are certainly useful, they do not tell the entire customer story. More powerful than demographics is customer intent. When brands understand customer intent, they stand to reach more customers than if they relied only on demographics.
The way you devise your marketing plan and your website should take into account your consumers intent.
What is Consumer Intent?
Consumer intent refers to what a consumer is looking for at a particular moment, including where they’re looking to find what they need. When a consumer has a need, they often use their smartphone to get help. Consumers will search for an answer, learn something new and make a decision. These moments are filled with intent and referred to as micro-moments. This is the best chance a marketer has to connect with consumers at the moment when they’re looking for something. When a brand can understand consumer intent and meet the consumer’s needs, there’s a better chance of gaining their loyalty and patronage.
Demographics vs. Customer Intent
Demographics definitely has a place in marketing and likely always will. Customer intent, however, puts the brand in a position to be there for customers when they need it most. It goes beyond reaching customers based on an audience profile. For example, brands may assume that the main audience for videos games is men between the ages of 18 and 34.
Demographics show that people who fall into that category only make up 31% of video game searchers on mobile devices. When you just target demographically, you miss out on a big chunk of your true audience. Plus, consumers have varying goals when searching online. For example, people who are searching YouTube to learn about video games may want advice or inspiration, or they could be looking for product reviews.
Being Present and Offering Help
Now that you know customer intent is important, how do you make sure your marketing strategy and website line up with your new goal?
1. Be Present
When consumers turn to Google or Yahoo to find out about a specific product, service or topic, make sure you’re there waiting for them. Tools like Google Trends will help you figure out current search queries and trends within your niche. You’ll be able to understand what consumers are searching for. This will help you determine where your consumers are going and, therefore, where you need to be. You may want to improve SEO on your website or run a targeted Google Ads so that people searching for something specific are directed to your site. Once they get to your site, though, what can you do for them?
2. Be Helpful
Now that you know where and when to meet your potential customers, make sure that you’re useful when you connect with them. If you’re not, they’ll turn to a brand that is being helpful. According to research, 51% of smartphone users have decided to purchase from a brand other than the one they assumed they would purchase from because the “winning” brand offered useful information. In order to be helpful, figure out the unique ways in which you can solve a problem or make life easier for the consumer in the micro-moment.
For example, on your website you can provide inventory information, show a how-to video or offer easy checkout with an instant purchase button. How you direct them to the website should be thought out, too. For example, if your Google Ad says you have a how-to video that will help the with the topic they’re searching about, but the link goes to your homepage instead of the video, you’re going to lose that potential customer.
There are Four Primary Types of Micro-moments
Micro-moments are moments when the consumer has an intent that can be satisfied with specific online content.
1. I Want to Know
Examples of this type of micro-moment are when a customer Googles something like “How can I lose weight?” or “Where can I find my credit score?” Consumers want to learn something right away and it’s possible that an actual purchase may follow. This type of micro-moment can be a step in a longer buying journey. Consumers like brands that offer small bites of information that can be easily digested. They don’t want to listen to a brand that’s obviously trying to make a sale. If your website helps the customer find an answer to their question, they’ll be 69% more likely to buy from you.
2. I Want to Go
In this type of micro-moment, a consumer is trying to connect with the real world. They want to connect with a company that has a website that’s customizing information to a specific location. They may be looking for a nearby restaurant or trying to find out if a certain item is in stock near them. As many as 61% of smartphone users are more likely to make a purchase from a mobile site that customizes content for their location. When it comes to restaurant, apparel, electronics and beauty brands, 71% of smartphone users have said that they’ve used a store locator to find a shop nearby. Your website should highlight nearby locations, inventory in those locations and driving directions.
3. I Want to Do
This micro-moment is about how to do something, like taking on a DIY at home project or trying out a new hairstyle. Consumers need help right now with doing something or learning something. For this type of micro-moment, video content is hugely helpful. Post a how-to video on your website with step-by-step instructions.
4. I Want to Buy
This type of micro-moment is monumental. Thanks to mobile sites and devices, “I Want to Buy” moments can happen at any time and from anywhere. The shopper is going to make the purchase from the brand that makes it the easiest for them. Speed is especially important for this micro-moment. Give consumers the information and tools they need to make a purchase right at this moment.
What Happens if My Website and Content isn’t Helpful?
There are several drawbacks of not creating a website that’s helpful to potential customers:
Sixty-six percent of consumers will take an action that somehow negatively impacts your brand.
Only nine percent of visitors will stay on your website if it’s not satisfying your needs. That means you’re losing 91% of potential customers.
Not only will customers move on to another website, but they may never return to yours, even if you do eventually offer useful information. As much as 40% will be less likely to return to your website and 28% will be less likely to buy something from your brand in the future.
When you know the intent of your consumers, you’re able to meet them in the moments when they’re actively discovering information. You can deliver content that will help them, earn their trust and gain a customer. Meeting a customer is just the start of responding to customer intent. You also have to deliver a useful, relevant message that’s useful.
Content that Satisfies Consumer Intent
Start by asking these questions:
What do consumers want to learn about your category, products, or services? Do you have snackable
content on mobile that answers their questions?
Do consumers want to visit your business? Are you helping them find nearby locations and highlighting in-stock inventory on your mobile site/app and in mobile search results?
What are consumers doing with your product or service (for example, baking cookies, buying a home, recovering from an injury)? Do you have how-to video content to support their efforts?
Where are consumers buying your product? How can you support consumers who are buying from you in-store or while on the go? Are you empowering consumers to check out in whatever way suits their need?
Start growing your business today by understanding your customers needs!