Everything You Should Know About Intent Marketing

Would you like to be able to read buyers’ minds? Modern data analytics software allows you to do that by collecting intent data. What is that?

Intent data reflects at what stage of the buyer journey a person is and whether they are ready to buy. With this information, you can evaluate their previous activity to offer the most relevant content and personalize the experience. The techniques used to reach consumers based on their actions are called intent marketing. It is basically anything from targeted ads to tailored website content or emails.

Discover more intent marketing examples in our guide, learn why this kind of marketing matters, how to collect data and use it in ecommerce.

What is Intent Marketing?

Intent marketing is a campaign focused on meeting the buying intent of every individual at a specific moment. In layman’s terms, the intent is something a person wants. For example, they may need information on how to educate kids about staying safe at home. Then, a blog post on the topic can meet the intent indicators and become effective intent-based marketing. Everything is about matching your offer with customers’ aspirations and adapting it as they change.

Since the success of intent marketing depends on updated data sources, you must integrate buyer intent software for such campaigns. Software platforms automatically track user activity across channels to generate helpful findings on your leads’ secret desires. With advanced software, you can even automate your offerings to nurture leads with the right content in real-time.

Intent-based marketing is particularly effective in search marketing since content is usually targeted at keywords that reflect user intent. Still, you may use it on many other occasions we discuss below.

How Does It Work?

As mentioned, intent marketing relies on intent data, which is the digital footprint of leads. When users make recurring search engine queries, visit an online store, or like your social media post, they leave a trace. This trace you can use to peek into people’s minds and nudge them into conversion with more relevant offers.

Here’s a step-by-step scheme of how intent-based marketing works:

  • You decide what goals your company wants to achieve. For example, you may encourage customers to make a purchase decision, start a subscription, join a rewards program, etc.

  • Depending on the set goals, you figure out what user intent you want to monitor (informational, investigational, navigational, or transactional) and what software can collect the necessary data.

  • You connect your online channels with the software that can gather customer data and personalize their experiences accordingly. Be sure to choose automated software that doesn’t compromise user data privacy while providing sufficient details.

Besides the listed steps, your sales team must regularly access intent data and test the adopted strategy to ensure the best results. This way, you will maximize the benefits of intent marketing and achieve the highest return on investment.

Why is It Important?

Modern customers no longer follow a linear sales funnel. They check your digital marketing resources from time to time and may jump from one conversion stage to another. Moreover, they usually return to your website expecting to get the necessary content right away and cannot stand waiting. It undermines the efficiency of standard marketing approaches and calls for more flexibility, only intent marketing data can give.

Despite being more time-consuming to implement, this kind of marketing is worth the effort due to the following benefits:

Better Understanding of Your Target Audience

Many marketers and sales reps leverage demographic-based targeting to personalize their offerings. Even though information about age, family, religion, gender, ethnicity, education, and income is helpful, it doesn’t show what the person is up to at the moment. Contrarily, buyer intent information is not static and changes together with user behavior. It allows your company to monitor how the tastes and preferences of your target audience evolve. Such details are more valuable to getting to know your consumers, since there are no two identical leads, even if their demographic characteristics are the same.

Power Up Your SEO Content Strategy

When you do keyword research and develop a content marketing strategy, knowing the buyer intent helps a lot. The person about to buy would type different intent keywords in a search engine than someone searching for information only. 

You can create SEO content for each customer category by segmenting your target audience by their intent. While people with an information intent will visit your blog or landing page, those ready to buy will go directly to product pages. As a result, your SEO marketing efforts will be much more fruitful with intent keywords.

Competitive Edge

Intent marketing is a must-have technique among modern marketers. Yet some companies still haven’t implemented it due to the missing skills, limited budget, or ignorance. Don’t be one of them. The fact that your competitions don’t run intent marketing campaigns only means that you can outperform them by being the first. 80% of consumers admit they more willingly make a purchase when the company offers personalized experiences. So be sure to use intent data for tailored offers.

Advanced Automation Capabilities

Purchase intent information allows you to automatically nurture people with the most relevant content. You can connect marketing automation software that automatically sends emails, shows products, runs ads, and completes other actions based on customers’ behavior. Without tracking intent, the efficiency of such software would be much lower because of missing real-time data on users.

Sales Teams and Marketers Can Join Efforts More Easily

Intent-based targeting can supercharge both sales teams and marketers. When you share access to intent data sources between teams, they can always stay on the same page. They know whether a specific person is ready to buy and can align efforts to move them through the sales funnel and generate more conversions.

Summing up, modern marketers are so competitive that you have no choice but to make your marketing personalized (learn more about it here). Without it, nobody will notice your offerings.

Intent Marketing Examples

If you lack ideas on implementing intent targeting in your company, these marketing examples should bring some inspiration. They have proven to be effective for online businesses across industries.

1. Custom product selection

Imagine your business sells air purifiers and wants to grow sales with intent marketing. Here’s what you do: You gather information about customer behavior to detect people with transactional intent. Then, you set triggers to nurture these buyers with custom product selections. You may send them to their emails or offer right on the site pages.

The selections can depend on the search queries entered by visitors, previous purchases, products added to favorites, average spending, etc.

2. Retargeting ads across digital channels

New leads with navigational intent already know something about your business but may still bounce. They have checked several products and maybe even added some to their carts without finalizing the purchase.

When you detect the leads with these intent indicators, consider digital retargeting ads. Show them the ads of the products they have interacted with on other channels such as social media or mobile apps. It would remind the leads about what they’ve seen and may influence their purchase decision.

3. Personalized emails

Most personalized emails are intent-based. When a new lead arrives and wants to learn how to use your services, send them an introductory email. When a loyal customer returns to your store and checks new arrivals, reach them with a message and a 10% discount code on the new collection. The options are limitless. The key point is to detect the current consumer’s intent while using your services and tailor the content of the email based on it.

How to Collect Intent Data

There are two main ways to obtain intent data: audience and software-based.

Audience-based approach

Well-defined audiences already reveal some clear intent. Let’s take new mothers. Most likely, they are aged between 20 and 30, look for reliable information about babies, and are interested in products for newborns. Hence, if you know whom you sell to, you can make assumptions about their tastes and needs. Still, these findings are somewhat vague, so the second, software-based approach is preferable.

Software-based approach

Collecting intent data with specialized software lets your company get granular information about every lead and their current goals. When connected to your website, these tools track different kinds of visitor activity to detect the indicators of intent. The core intent data sources are:

  • Search engines

  • Websites

  • Off-site web activity

  • CRM data

  • Point-of-sale details

  • Social media interactions

  • Content consumption data

Once the software obtains the necessary details, it merges the data to generate results. The platforms like Verfacto can directly show you where the lead is and what they want to do next. Since everything happens automatically, your only task is to set up the tool and monitor the big picture.

How to Use It for Ecommerce

Although any online business would benefit from intent-based marketing, ecommerce companies need it most. Ecommerce businesses serve hundreds or even thousands of buyers and need a personalized approach for each of them. Only advanced intent marketing can offer the personalization necessity to meet buyers’ expectations.

Here are a few ways to use intent marketing in ecommerce:

Sales Prospecting

Prospecting is about identifying potential customers. When you have data about buyer intent, you can use it to sieve out leads that are unlikely to convert. These people usually interact with your brand, but show no transactional intent.

Account-Based Marketing

By tracking the intent of potential buyers, ecommerce businesses can make their sales efforts more fruitful. They identify leads who are the closest to purchasing and focus on them instead of reaching everyone. Account-based marketing saves financial resources and time, enabling merchants to prioritize.

Personalized Content Recommendations

Use the information on where your customer is in the sales funnel and their current intent to offer them suitable content. If they are only researching your brand, invite them to read your blog. If they have previously purchased and want more, nurture them with personalized direct mail catalogs sent directly to their doorstep.

Budget Distribution

When ecommerce businesses have tools to detect buyer intent, they become more conscious of their expenses. Merchants can make data-driven decisions about their marketing budget and pour more money into leads that generate more conversions.


Intent targeting is when marketers and sales teams personalize their offerings based on what customers want at this moment (their intent). It is done with the help of advanced marketing software like Verfactro that automatically detects the intent of each customer from their activity.

You can either assume what your customers want based on demographic data you have about them or use user intent tracking software. Software solutions provide more detailed real-time information about leads and allow you to achieve a higher level of personalization.

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