Sunday, January 8, 2012

Intent Separates Social and Search

Purchase intent drives digital rainmaker marketing efforts This weekend I found myself suddenly in the market for a pre-owned vehicle due to unforseen and sudden mechanical issues with my car. I socialized with trusted influencers via the more "old school" method of phone calls, because my trusted car mechanics and enthusiasts either don't have a Facebook account or do not receive updated news streams and messages on their smartphones. Once my perceptions on make and models were validated by people I trust to know a lot about cars, I became an immediately motivated buyer. I looked at a few discussion forums and automotive social networks and learned a few things about recall years, vehicle performance and accessories, but nobody was selling the car I was interested in. I was socially engaged, yet no closer to a purchase resolution.
Digital and social media marketers often get caught up in the concept of participation rates and usage, but the drawback to social engagement as a metric is that it doesn't consider intent. Intent is what separates social and search marketing. We spend about 25 minutes a day on Facebook and other social networks, but it's the 13 minutes a day on Google or other search engines where we illustrate an identified intent, that makes it easier for digital rainmakers to intercept us as motivated buyers. With a specific local search query for the make, model and year of the car I was interested in, I was served up multiple listings to review and learned about car search engines on the Internet that do all the heavy lifting for you, returning perfectly-matched results for you to review. In less than 10 minutes after completing a three line contact form on a handful of cars, I had several calls from Internet business development specialists interested in setting up appointments to show me the cars. I suppose those specialists could have been engaging in discussions on automotive social forums and brand pages to develop client leads, but it's safe to say that they were able to more efficiently gauge my purchase interest and quickly provide a product match to move me along the conversion funnel because of my clearly demonstrated intent.  

1 comment:

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