Generic marketing is no longer an option in the digital age. Personalization and behavioral intent - thinking about consumers' mindsets, rather than their demographics - are crucial for success.

It isn’t enough to push a generic message to a broad audience and see who converts anymore. You need to look for the right way to interact with an individual customer at the right time. It’s imperative that we find new ways to do this, as acquisition costs are increasing, the huge number of digital channels is getting more expensive to manage and integrate, predictive analytics technology hasn’t really delivered on the promise of real-time, and marketers now have access to a tsunami of data without getting real, actionable insights. Meanwhile, customers still abandon websites in huge numbers without converting.

What’s been missing is the hard science and hard numbers that turn customer behavior into actionable responses. Online customer experience is much more than well-designed pages. What about how they interacted, their behavior? If you knew this in real-time you’d change page content for every visitor to convert more.

In e-commerce, for example, it’s incredibly common for someone to go to a site and add things to their basket with no intention of making a purchase. Knowing this is happening means you can intervene to change their whole shopping journey, all the way to the checkout.

You will want different responses for different customers, so if someone is clearly just adding random items, when they hit the checkout page to review you can give them more ideas. That way, you’re both developing engagement and introducing items they might not have found themselves.

But if you intervene as someone is about to enter their credit card details and say, “Are you sure?” – that’s the worst possible outcome.

Think Beyond the (Read more...) and Focus on the Mindset

You need to think beyond the segment a visitor might belong to and much more about the mindset of the customer. But that’s easier said than done. Traditionally, personalization wasn’t scalable: your local convenience store might have learnt your name and what you regularly shopped for, but a national fast food chain couldn’t learn the names of all of their customers. The problem exists in the reverse in a digital world: traditionally only the ecommerce giants like Amazon and eBay could afford the tech that would allow them to crunch the vast volumes of data needed to provide real-time personalisation.

Behavioral Intent Analytics Will Change the Way Every Digital Business Thinks

If you’re using conventional analytics you’ll get 15 bits of static information per visitor per page right now, while leading behavioral intent tools will capture 1,500 bits of dynamic information per visitor per page and make it meaningful - all in real-time.

Behavioral intent analytics is an exploding area of the tech industry. Soon all digital businesses will be able to benefit from this level of real-time dynamic data capture. But they have to think differently and address challenging questions:

  1. What are the states of mind that your visitors exist in?
  2. What do you want to be saying to them in those states?
  3. Have you got the brand flexibility and the content that allows you to do this?
  4. What tools do you have to help you to do this?

A Personalized Experience For All

Visitors welcome a customized and responsive website, personalized just for the moment when they are shopping. This type of technology is really no different from using body language, but it's built for websites and more anonymous. There’s no difference between using intent analytics to personalize an online experience and the shop assistant watching in a shop. A good shop assistant will spot you at exactly the moment you’re unsure and will help you.

Moving to an age of behavioral intent metrics will help digital marketers to adapt and anticipate customer needs, converting more – truly in real-time – as well as delivering a better overall customer experience.

So What Does This Mean For You?

For your next digital marketing campaign:

  1. Segment your prospects. The rise of data through the introduction of DSPs enable us to be hyper-targeted about whom we talk to and in what environment. Invest in this data - the benefit in the effectiveness of your campaign will outweigh the cost.
  2. Create distinct messaging, offers and journeys for each of your segments.
  3. Make sure your customer journeys are integrated. If you’re selling apples, don’t land your consumers on your oranges landing page! Make sure the creative, language, offer, etc is consistent.
  4. Invest in technology that enables you to track engagement across channels. This is vital to analysing the true attribution of your cross channel campaign.
  5. Test, analyze, learn, test, analyze, learn.

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