What Are Customer Intent Signals?
Solutions For A Cookieless Future
January 24th 2024 | Author: George Miron (Cyder)
TLDR: Customer Intent Signals Are The Answer To The Impending Cookieless Future
Understanding your audience is integral to launching effective marketing campaigns. As marketers face increased competition, consumer data provides opportunities to improve customer experiences, reduce expenses, and increase conversions. Data is the foundation of modern marketing, fueling the strides brands take in providing their customers with personalized experiences.
However, the data ecosystem is undergoing massive shifts. With third-party cookies disappearing, consumer demands evolving, and new privacy legislation being introduced, marketers need to adapt to the evolving data landscape. Leveraging new technologies and processes that activate campaigns based on real-time customer behavior is the key to staying ahead.
Customer intent signals are emerging as a promising solution to the big data shift, as they hold massive potential in boosting customer experience and activating targeted campaigns – All while remaining compliant with privacy regulations.
What Are Customer Intent Signals?
Customer intent signals are real-time indicators that a customer is interested in a specific product.
Intent Signals are used to inform marketers when individual customers are actively in the market for relevant products. This is done by analyzing a customer’s purchasing journey and assessing what product they are actively seeking or would want next. Successful intent signals require tracking the entire end-to-end customer journey and highlighting key moments for marketers to send targeted offers to individual customers. Detecting what products a customer is looking for in real-time enables:
Timely and Effective Marketing
Journey Automation Triggers
Personalized Customer Experiences
While marketers have demonstrated some success in capturing customer intent through their brand’s website, it only accounts for a short window of the customer journey. Intent signals can be captured across the entire web, and forward-thinking brands leverage AI platforms like Cyder to acquire powerful real-time triggers that accelerate growth.
Imagine if you could instantly know what your customers want the moment they want it. That’s every marketer's dream, and intent signals make it come true. Nowadays, the more recent your data, the better. Technology and consumer demands are growing fast, speeding up the shelf-life of data. Data from three months ago tells you what your customer wanted three months ago. Real-time intent tells you what your customer wants now.
Advantage 1: Improved Customer Experience Through Personalization
The world is approaching an era of hyperpersonalization, where marketing efforts must be tailored to individual customers rather than segments. In fact, consumers worldwide already expect to be catered to individually. According to Adobe’s CMO report, 67% of consumers value brands that adapt their content in real-time for personalized experiences.
Anticipating what product your customers want and when they are in the market is a top priority for brands looking to accelerate their growth.
Intent signals are vital to meeting these new demands. Brands can use customer intent data to know the right product, moment, and channel for targeting customers. That way, brands can maintain their competitive edge and provide tailored, individualized offers that improve customer experience.
Advantage 2: Enable Effective Marketing With Real-Time Automation
Marketing automation allows brands to trigger campaigns based on consumer behavior. Instead of manually deciding what email to send next, marketing automation tools leverage intent-based signals to engage customers. These journeys provide more timely experiences and enable brands to take the next best action on a granular scale.
However, while companies often have the tools they need to automate their marketing, they do not have enough data to trigger campaigns. Customer intent signals solve this issue by providing the insights needed to reach customers at key moments in their journey.
Intent signals enable marketers to leverage more always-on campaigns, have better timing, and provide unique journeys based on customer behavior. These intent signals help brands get the full value from their marketing technology (martech stack).
Advantage 3: Perfectly Timed Marketing That Increases Conversions
The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the customer. Marketers need to act time-sensitively or risk losing customers to competitors. This is especially true when it comes to brands interacting with customers early in the purchasing journey.
Targeting customers too early may lead to them forgetting your offer while reaching customers too late risks them already having made their purchasing decision. Effectively timing your marketing means you are targeting customers precisely when they are most receptive to your marketing efforts.
Intent signals provide real-time insights into consumer behavior, allowing marketers to be the first to know customer preferences and seize the opportunity to send out offers promptly. Effective activation of customer intent signals can help brands significantly reduce costs while increasing conversion rates on existing campaigns.
How To Gather Intent Signals
To gather intent signals, tap into the channels that your customers interact with.
1. Website Interactions: Whenever a customer interacts with a brand’s website, certain behaviors indicate their intent to purchase a product or service. Specific actions like abandoning a cart or visiting a product page multiple times can highlight the customer's intent to purchase.
These signals are powerful when paired with predictive analytic techniques like propensity modeling. For instance, integrating intent signals into propensity modeling software can not only predict a customer's next move but also identify other customers who are most likely to convert from the same action.
2. Loyalty Programs: Intent signals aren’t just limited to a brand’s website. Loyalty programs are a powerful tool for gathering intent data. By allowing customers to redeem rewards for engaging with your brand, you acquire a holistic view of the products they have purchased. This data helps brands predict what products customers need next through next-best offer modeling.
Some loyalty programs also show how customers engage across multiple brands. For example, PC Optimum is a loyalty program that involves a coalition of companies. Through this, businesses can gather real-time indent data on their customers' cross-brand interactions.
3. Specialized Tools: Tools like Cyder capture customer intent across the web that you can use to activate your existing customer data platforms (CDPs). Intent signals are sourced using zero-party data, providing an end-to-end view of the customer journey. These signals eliminate the guesswork from marketing, providing brands with intent-based triggers that accelerate growth.
Using Intent Signals
Activate Your Customer Journeys: Each stage in the customer journey has touchpoints that eventually lead to a purchase. These touchpoints are key moments where marketers can engage with a potential customer. Intent signals notify you what stage of the journey your customer is in so you can send them the right message and guide them towards making a purchase.
AI-Powered Recommendation Engines: Using intent data to power recommendation engines can instantly connect your customers to what they want. A great example is Starbucks's Deep Brew, which leverages real-time triggers to provide highly personalized food and drink recommendations to its customers. Starbucks understands consumer intent through previous behavior to provide a highly targeted offer to each unique customer.
Paid Media: Integrating intent signals in your paid media efforts boosts conversions and reduces costs. This way, you create a highly personalized omnichannel experience for your customers. Facebook’s custom audience lists are a great example of this in action. They allow marketers to create tailored audiences based on the details they upload and target their ideal customers in real-time.
Prepping For A 'Cookieless Future'
We won't start with the "No! Not the cookies you eat!" joke; it's a little too overused. We’ll just get straight to the point.
Yes, third-party cookies are going away.
Third-party cookies gather information on a user’s behavior by placing a tracker on their browser. These have historically been the dominant method by which marketers and data companies have gained an understanding of the websites customers visit.
Marketers rely on third-party cookies to deliver personalized ads to their customers across websites and channels. Without third-party cookies, brands will need alternative methods to identify a customer to provide targeted offers that convert.
As of late 2023, Google has announced they will be officially phasing out third-party cookies on Chrome. The impending cookieless future has left marketers scrambling for alternative solutions. Intent signals present an opportunity for marketers looking to stay ahead in a competitive market while continuously meeting customer demands for personalized experiences.
Get Real-Time Customer Intent With Cyder
If you're looking to thrive amidst a cookieless future, Cyder's data and AI strategy can help. We encourage you to book a one-on-one demo today with Cyder’s Customer Intent Solution Experts.