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:



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.