Intent marketing is the practice of marketing a product or service based on a consumer's intent to make a purchase decision, as demonstrated by their actions. Put simply, it's about marketing to individuals whose behavior dictates that they are more likely to take a certain action or make a certain purchase.
So how do you determine consumer intent? With data. By analyzing your customers' behavior over time, you can identify trends — like recurring search engine queries, or certain types of content driving engagement on your website — that lead to conversion (be it a purchase, appointment, newsletter sign-up, job application, or in-store visit) and then target prospects who take those actions.
Consumers express intent in their search behavior billions of times each day. In addition to studying their own customer intent data, marketers should also track broader trends like intent indicators in search. For example, a customer searching "buy car insurance in Maryland" is likely looking to purchase insurance in the near term, while a user searching for "what kind of car insurance do I need?" will probably need to do a bit more research before making a purchase. Terms like "buy," "visit," and "purchase" express a clear intent to transact. It's a simple concept with a high payoff.