Why intent is more important than demographics

Maybe you offer day courses in kayak paddling instruction or Tai-chi on weekend retreats. Do you have the perfect demographic group that you put your advertising dollars into? If so you are likely missing large chunks of potential buyers that fall outside the boundaries you’ve set.

Lisa Gevelber, Google’s VP of marketing, shares more on how starting with intent can help you reach more of the right people than demographics alone.

“For years, we as marketers have been using demographics as a proxy for people who might be interested in our products. But our research shows that marketers who try to reach their audience solely on demographics risk missing more than 70% of potential mobile shoppers. Why? Because demographics don’t help us understand what we really need to know—what consumers are looking for in an exact moment or where they are looking to find it”

“Intent beats identity. Immediacy trumps loyalty. When someone has a want or need, they turn to their smartphone for help—whether it’s a karate newbie watching an expert do a move on YouTube or a mom looking for the best deal on a pair of sneakers. When a need arises, people turn to search and YouTube to look for answers, discover new things, and make decisions. We call these intent-filled moments, micro-moments. And they’re the best opportunity marketers have to connect with people at the exact moment they are looking for something.”

So what can you do?

By optimising a web page that talks about tips for beginners for example, and-even better- provides a you-tube video they can watch, you provide a shopper that has “intent” with the kind information they are seeking. This page has to be constructed with thought since you are trying to essentially answer a specific question in the mind of the searcher.screen shot of tai chi course webpage

The next step is to seamlessly connect the dots for these intenders and lead them to your booking portal. Apply the 80-20 rule. 80% may be learned online, but the most valuable 20% has to learned live. Invite them to join you. It is critical at this point to keep “friction” reduced to a minimum, and to do this you must to provide all the course details, the event dates, to show live availability and let them book with a minimum of information. Miss any of these and you increase friction – more friction, more shopping cart abandonment.

The rules for success with highly motivated shoppers are:

  1. Be there
  2. Be useful
  3. Be quick
  4. Connect the dots

There is a whole background of evidence to support the methods of targeting intenders instead of by demographics. To learn more, we’ve saved a copy of  “Micro-moments Guide” by Google. Read it by requesting a free download here.