Scott King, Digital Optimisation Consultant, Adobe APAC – LinkedIn

23cf90cWe 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.

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 behaviors and variables to deliver even more specialized and targeted campaigns.

To this end I have been experimenting with 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.

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 let’s 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:

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Search keyword targeting is 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 strategy because it is not effectively scored or prioritized against less valuable campaign types.

Let’s examine 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 retailer’s home page and you’re presented with a 10% discount on men’s suits. You then browse to the Women’s category and browse around this category and view a several suits. You then return to home page only to receive the same promotional discount on men’s suits that you saw earlier. Due to your browsing habits you’ve actually told the digital marketer that you’re female and thus the promotion on men’s suit has no relevance for you, the website has failed to optimize the and personalize the experience for you and missed a value interaction opportunity.

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 Telecommunications company in need a new mobile phone. You arrive on the home page of your telco and receive a promotion for a new iPhone, however you are an avid HTC and Android advocate. You perform a search for “Android” and you are presented with options for the various Android based Samsung or 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 the home page is optimized with an Samsung promotion based upon the earlier search you performed. However the marketer has failed to take into account the category or product affinity of 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 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.

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