We all know that digital marketing campaigns add new, incredibly powerful capabilities to traditional marketing methods due to their ability to offer a two way interaction between the marketer and consumer.
The one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing is dead; users now expect completely dynamic, reactive and intelligent web site experiences.
However this creates an incredible challenge for marketers responsible to develop and deploy and managing campaigns in such a fluid environment.
Traditional campaign strategy methodologies are developed for one-way communication mediums such as TV, radio and print. To truly take advantage of the new capabilities afforded by two-way digital experiences new methodologies must be developed and applied.
To this end I have been trailing a new methodology I call User Intent Scoring. It is designed specifically to address the challenges digital marketers face when developing tactical campaigns and provides a structured approach to developing campaign strategy and road-maps.
Every marketer is familiar with the traditional methods developed and perfected for traditional communication mediums such as TV, radio and print. To maximize the value of this one way interaction marketers develop specialized campaigns that are of relevance to a particular group or marketing segment and target the delivery of those campaigns to that segment.
This same approach is just as powerful in the digital marketing world. But smart digital marketers know that they can augment the traditional method of segmentation strategy with a new age understanding of user behaviours and variables to deliver even more specialized and targeted campaigns.
User intent scoring is the measure of a digital marketing campaigns effectiveness based upon the level of insight into a user’s intent strength as it relates to the campaign delivery and additionally accounts for the factors frequency and recency of the intent.
To best understand user intent scoring lets look at some practical examples.
Let’s say you’re a customer of a financial institution and you perform a search for a specific product, let’s say “high interest credit card” you’re telling the digital marketer at a very granular level what type of product you are looking for. You are giving them a strong intent. Conversely if you simply searched for “credit card” the, now the insight you’re providing isn’t as strong and the marketer needs to apply a greater level of presumption.
This can be illustrated like so:
Search keyword targeting is one of the most powerful digital campaign in the world. It is the reason that Google is the most powerful advertising business in the world. However this simple digital marketing campaign is often overlooked in our own campaign strategization because it is not effectively scored or prioritized against less valuable campaign types.
Let’s look at another digital marketing campaign type, category or product affinity. Perhaps you’re a business women looking for a new suit, you visit your favorite on-line fashion retailers home page and you’re presented with an 10% discount on men’s suits. You then browse to the Women’s category and look at few suits. You then browse back to home page only to receive the same discount on men’s suits. You’ve told the digital marketer that you’re female by your browsing behavior yet the website has failed to optimize the experience.
Category affinity is another powerful digital marketing campaign but again it is often looked over as it is not scored or quantified as a powerful campaign type. By prioritizing campaigns using User Intent Scoring not only can digital marketers ensure they are launching and sustaining the most effective campaigns they can also ensure that the most effective and relevant campaign is delivered to the user.
Let’s look at a final example. In this scenario you are a customer of a large telco in need a new mobile phone. You arrive on the home page and receive a promotion for an iPhone however you are a Android advocate. You perform a search for “Android” and you are presented with options for Samsung or a HTC handsets. You click on the HTC offerings and review a few options. You decide to come back to the site after pay day and buy the latest HTC. When you return a few days later, this time the home page is optimized with an Android promotion based upon the earlier search you performed. However the marketer has failed to take into account the category or product affinity if the HTC handsets you looked at.
The Factors of User Intent Frequency scoring
The first factor of User Intent Frequency scoring is Presumption. The greater the level of presumption applied to the campaign the less the strength of user intent.
The second factor is the frequency of the behavior, how many times has a user exhibited the particular behavior. For example has a user on a banking web site visited the high interest credit card section five times but only visited the reward point card once we can determine a greater affinity toward the high interest card.
Finally, we factor in recency, that is how recently did the user exhibited the behavior. If a user looked at a credit card five times a month ago but today they are looking at a reward point card then they are more likely to have an interest in the more recent item, but don’t discount the previous behavior, instead it should be weighted with a lower priority.
In summary, User intent is a key component for consideration when developing digital campaign strategy. Different campaigns leverage different levels of user intent and it’s important to quantify the level of user intent available during your optimization campaign development process.