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Marketers Need to Focus on Prospects' Behaviors, Not Demographics

Jeff Cohen
Director, Content Strategy

Marketing is often about treating the largest groups of prospects and customers the same. This is how we scale. We aggregate data.  We use demographic data, but we don't always look at our prospects' behaviors that indicate their intent. According to Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, who spoke at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum, behavior is the most important thing to focus on.

He presented his business framework that provides an approach that aligns your audience behavior with appropriate marketing channels and tactics to provide a relevant message. This is one of the ways to become a modern marketer. Paying attention to prospect intent is key to that transformation. Below is a very high level summary of the different stages of intent with suggested platforms/tactics and metrics.

As you review the suggested metrics, take Avinash's advice about reporting and highlight the insights, actions and business impacts rather than the numbers. That is an analyst's job. To analyze!

1. See

This is the top of the process, but not the funnel. That is a term which Avinash is firmly against because it implies that businesses are trying to force prospects through a path that they just don't want to go. This is the largest quantifiable audience for your business. You can reach them because you can identify them, but they have no commercial intent. If you are just looking for the largest audience, you can advertise on TV. This audience is smaller than that.

Suggested Platforms/Tactics:

- Display, Facebook, YouTube, Mobile

Suggested Metrics:

  • - Number or Percent of Interactions
  • - Conversation, Amplification, Applause
  • - Indexed Increase in Brand Awareness
  • - Percent of New Visits


2. Think

Once you know who your audience is, you can start to look at their intent. The Think category has weak commercial intent. This is a smaller number of people than the See category, but they have done something that indicates a bit of interest. The better you understand this group, the better you can address them with marketing, or content, to determine if there is a stronger interest or intent to purchase. Don't lose track of this group, but don't hit them too hard with the wrong marketing. They have not shown that they are interested today, but they might be someday.

Suggested Platforms/Tactics:

- Display, SEO, PPC, YouTube, Mobile

Suggested Metrics:

  • - Click-Through Rate
  • - Page Depth
  • - Per Visit Goal Value
  • - Percent Assisted


3. Do

The Do category is the sweet spot of your marketing because they have shown a strong commercial intent through their behavior. They are shopping, not browsing. Can you market to them without scaring them off, because they are your most likely customers? Email works well in this category, but again, pay attention to their behavior as the best indicators of what action you can take to get them to buy.

Suggested Platforms/Tactics:

- Display, SEO, PPC, Email

Suggested Metrics:

  • - Visitor Loyalty
  • - Checkout Abandonment Rate
  • - Conversion Rate
  • - Profit


4. Care

And the last category is Care. Marketing doesn't stop once someone becomes a customer. Start by defining what a customer is. A single purchase does not make a customer. It might be two large purchases or it might be someone who has done business with you for two years. Once you define the scope, address them appropriately. Marketing to your customers is about keeping them loyal and happy, with the ultimate goal of turning them into advocates. Advocates are not zombies who repeat a corporate message, but they are customers who truly value your products and share their feelings with others.

Suggested Platforms/Tactics:

- Display, SEO, PPC, YouTube, Social, Email, Mobile Apps

Suggested Metrics:

  • - Repeat Purchases
  • - Likelihood to Recommend
  • - Customer Lifetime Value


To make sure you have the right content for the right channels, download our Modern Marketing Essentials Guide to Content Marketing.


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