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The Discovery of Intent

Silverlight Digital’s CEO Lori Goldberg writes for PM360.

Roaming the aisles of a drug store, a woman ponders the products lining the shelves and moves from one aisle to the next, searching for something specific. There is nothing unusual about her manner of dress; she is professional and it’s evening so perhaps she has come to the store after work. She roams to an aisle where sick people hold tissues to their noses and study labels on cold medications. It’s winter; flu season.

The location of the drug store is unclear—perhaps it’s near her home or office or maybe she’s here often. Is she searching for a medication for herself or a family member? It’s hard to tell. To get her the medication she wants, we need to know more. What is her intent? It’s this furtherance that we need to better understand what this person is planning to buy and how to help in her decision. Intent explains what she is planning to do. Furtherance is action taken to carry out his plan. Does she leave the store empty-handed, or does she find a solution to her illness?

So often consumers are inundated with advertisements that lack understanding of intent. In some cases, such as radio and television, advertisers reach a generic audience and so much is thrown at consumers that there is a hope some small piece of it will stick, persuading the purchase of a new product. Advertisers are increasingly sensitive to the number of ads consumers see, and the backlash is a sort of snow blindness that occurs where advertisements cease to matter or resonate in the consumers’ memory, even through repetition.

The More You Know…

With the abundance of consumer data available today, the more advertisers know about their audience, the more likely they are to target them with ads that cut through the blindness and present a meaningful offer. And timing is everything. With furtherance indicating the micro-seconds prior to a purchase, consumers whereabouts tell advertisers how an intent to purchase will play out.

Through location-based marketing, advertisers can draw meaningful assertions about a consumers’ intent to make a purchase. By doing this, they can reduce advertising clutter and better respect the consumers’ time and attention by giving them a targeting advertisement, promotion, or coupon when it matters most. Instead of being frustrated and snowblinded by unnecessary ads, consumers may be predictably optimistic about an ad that serves their interests.

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