In this episode of Actionable Marketing In Minutes we discuss ways to gauge and understand user intent.

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As we’ve discussed in previous Actionable Marketing in Minutes podcasts, the significance of strong content development has advanced into something that is of colossal value to you. But, have you noticed a weak response to some of your best efforts?

One of our team members read an article on that had a simple, yet effective, analogy of the importance of understanding buyer’s intent. I’d like share this analogy with you.

Imagine you’re meandering through an area of town with many shops and you decide to enter one just to look around. You have nothing in mind to buy – you’re just looking. All of a sudden a vultureous salesperson swoops down and starts hounding you to buy something. His tactics are aggressive and you really don’t appreciate this intrusion into your time.

Now, on another day you are under great pressure to buy a dress (or tie) for an event that night. You don’t have time to wander around aimlessly. You need the salesperson’s help and you need it NOW! But, no one approaches you to assist. Again, most irritating.

The purpose of this analogy is to illustrate how the intent of the customer should drive the amount and type of attention we give to them. And, intention is another way of identifying where they are in their buying cycle.

The person in the first example represents a large segment of people who encounter your brand. They have no need for you, nor are they aware of you; they’re just passing by on their way to something else. The second example represents your highly desired target segment, which are those who have a need and who are seeking a solution that you can provide. For these prospective customers, it’s imperative that options are readily available so the best choice can be made – which is, of course, your product or service.


I’d like to pause for a minute to mention an ebook we’ve developed called: PERSONA-BASED MARKETING. This resource might help you develop a good approach to understanding your audience. Defining target markets is one of the most important parts of developing your marketing strategy. But contrary to the general perception, defining target markets is not a one-time exercise. Download our Persona Based Marketing ebook for more insights into how to build and effectively use personas.

Ok, back to user intent. Let’s discuss solutions that will meet your audience according to their intentions, by using both social media and search engines.

1. To reach the general audience– those who don’t know you and who don’t have an immediate need for your offering – tailor your message for social media. At this point in the sales funnel, you simply want to make the audience aware of you. Do this by entertaining or informing them. Position your product or service against the

problems it solves, and make sure to elaborate on your differentiating factors. Right now, you are simply building a relationship with them and positioning your brand in their minds.

2. To reach your audience that is in the buying process – those who have a need and who are likely to be on the hunt for your brand or product – tailor your message to search engines. For search content, always write to inform and educate. Use the content to propel them toward some sort of conversion – hopefully a sale. Because this audience may not know of your company, make sure your content includes key words or phrases that they may be typing into their browsers so that your site will rank high on organic search results and they will find you. Of course, pay per click is usually an option to reach this audience.


The benefit of understanding your audiences’ unique needs and intent makes it easy to create content to meet them where they are. By meeting them where they are, you will create an enjoyable experience for them, meet their current needs, position your brand favorably in their minds, and increase your conversion rate. All good stuff.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Please connect with us on Twitter @DirectiveGroup or on LinkedIn. Let us know what you think and what you’d like to hear about next. And if you like our podcasts, please share with your networks using hashtag #actionablemarketing. Join us next time as we discuss Social Engagement for SEO.