Marketers Need Data To Determine Intent -- Not Just Demographics

Marketers that are using demographics as a proxy to find consumers interested in their products risk missing more than 70% of potential mobile shoppers, per recent Google data. The industry is waking up to the realization that demographics alone cannot help marketers understand consumers better. The campaign strategy needs to support intent through data signals.

Demographics no longer work in a world where mobile moments make up more than half the time that consumers are online. For instance, marketers may think video game shoppers are mostly young men, but the data shows that only 31% of mobile searchers for video games are men ages 18 to 34. Video game marketers that are looking to reach consumers in categories with video ads would miss out on 71% of the potential shoppers engaging with relevant YouTube or video content. 

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How-to videos are fast becoming the buyer's guide, with YouTube visitors looking for owner's manuals not only for games but cooking, dancing and other sports activities. More women play sports such as basketball, more men explore gourmet cooking, and more men are interested in lotions to keep their skin healthy. 

Consumers are watching videos to learn how to do things, take care of their health, and explore options before they turn into passions. These consumers are not they typical audiences of yesterday. As Google puts it, some want advice, others seek inspiration, and others want product reviews.

Forty percent of baby product purchasers live in a households without children. Some 56% of sporting goods searchers on mobile are female, 45% of home improvement searchers on mobile are women, and 68% of those influencing skin and body care in the past six months were men, per Lisa Gevelber, VP, Americas Marketing at Google, citing results from Millward Brown Digital and Ipsos.

Data to determine intent rather than relying on demographics is partly drawn from linking Web searches to mobile apps. In 2015, Flurry tracked 3.2 trillion sessions. Flurry Analytics estimates 40% of the 58% total growth in sessions that year came from existing users, compared with 20% in 2014 and 10% in 2013. Overall last year, app use grew by 58%, per data from the Yahoo company. 

1 comment about "Marketers Need Data To Determine Intent -- Not Just Demographics".
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  1. Kim Garretson from RealizingInnovation, January 15, 2016 at 8:54 a.m.

    This is very interesting data about intent, but in my opinion, what's missing in this data is the ultimate intent data: consumers who have opt-in with their consent to marketing on products based on criteria they set. Many of the top retailers, with their marketing restricted by ad blocking and email unsubscribe, have begun to simply ask non-buying shoppers before they leave a product page to provide their email address. The benefit is the consumer can select what they are giving their permission to for post-visit email alerts: price drops, back-in-stock, new product launches, new reviews posted, and other. 

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