McClatchy Mar 31, 2023 12:35:00 PM

How Customer Intent Data Improves Your Online Customer Journey


Unsure how to get started with intent data to reach and resonate with your customers in a way that's aligned with their online customer journey? Using intent data to bolster your customer journey helps you understand how consumers interact with your brand online so you can provide more relevant content. 

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There are four types of intent data: 

  • Search intent 
  • Firmographic 
  • Technographic  
  • Engagement  

You can extract these from web pages, searches, and other online behaviors to gauge a prospect's level of interest in your product or service.  

According to Insights for Professionals, collecting and understanding intent data has become increasingly critical to understanding your customers and their customer journey. That is why about 40% of businesses spend more than half their marketing budget on it, and 70% plan on increasing their spending on intent data within the next year.  

Let's back up and start from the beginning: how exactly does intent data improve the online customer journey? Keep reading to find out! 

How Intent Data Improves the Customer Journey

How Intent Data Improves the Customer JourneyIntent data is a type of sales intelligence that collects information on a customer's digital activity to inform you who is actively researching solutions and what solutions they're most interested in purchasing. The data collected helps inform your team of:  

  • Where they are in their online customer journey 
  • The best ways to interact and communicate with them 
  • When they're ready to buy 
  • Helps predict future behavior (after digital activity is collected over time—revealing patterns in behavior) 

Knowing these types of information about your customers allows you to create content relevant to their decision stage to find and reach the 15% of buyers in market. For instance, if they're becoming aware of their problem, you can present them with content that educates them on the pain point and possible solutions (tips on what to look for, comparisons, etc.). However, in the Conversion stage, consumers require more specific content like details on features and pricing.  

Understanding the Customer Journey  

Understanding the customer journeyKeep in mind that the customer journey is an illustration of online buyer behavior. At each stage, consumers require different types of information to help them move to the next stage of their journey.  

Although the stages can vary from company to company, the following are the most helpful customer journey stages to map out:  

  1. Awareness: when your customers are just becoming aware of their pain point and searching for 'what it is' and 'how to solve it.'  
  2. Research: as they become more familiar with their problem, consumers will begin to research it more, looking for keywords like tips, guides, etc.  
  3. Consideration: now prospects are considering their options—making comparisons and leaning towards the brand they're most familiar with and trust (82% of online searchers purchase from brands they're most familiar with).  
  4. Conversion: prospects have officially converted to customers! Congratulations! But the journey is not over. You want them to continue buying from you to reach the final stage. 
  5. Re-purchase: the customers that continue to make repeat purchases are your loyal customers! Send them exclusive deals, discounts, and promotions to keep them coming back for more. 

Improving Your Customer Journey  

Improving Your Customer Journey  with Intent DataKnowing your customer's intent lets you adjust messaging accordingly, which directly impacts your customer journey. Whether you deliver ads or build a trustworthy blog to reach and resonate with consumers, people expect your content to be relevant to their needs when they need the information most.  

Tailoring content at the earlier stages compared to later will look different. As we've mentioned, the earlier stages are about getting to know their problem, who your brand is, and why your solutions are superior to the competition. The later stages, especially Re-purchase, focus more on the current customer base who knows who you are but are more susceptible to upsells, cross-selling, and other opportunities.  

Understand the Length of Your Customer Journey  

Understand the Length of Your Customer Journey  You must know that different products have different lengths of buyer's journeys. For instance, more expensive products require more considerable decision-making, so a customer may spend up to months longer deciding. An extreme example would be a car versus cereal. Buying a box of cereal is a quick decision because it won't elicit buyer remorse or regret. A car, however, comes with a hefty price, so it requires more time and research before deciding.  

Promoting value and ROI during consideration stages to counter their pain points and concerns can speed up the process because that's often the most significant problem: is my investment worth it? When you can reach them in this moment of indecisiveness, you help them resolve their concerns and position yourself as a trustworthy source. 

Partner with McClatchy to Grow Your Business 

Gathering the information necessary to learn about your customers and interpret their behavior can be a lot to handle on your own. Fortunately, you don’t need to handle it by yourself. An experienced media partner can help you make informed decisions and grow your marketing. 

Contact McClatchy for more insight into increasing your online customer journey efficiency with intent data. Our experts can help you turn your data into actionable insights! 

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