Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Power of Purchase Intent

I came across a study this week. I will attempt in "laymans terms", to describe the importance, as well as value of this data.

The study was about how US consumers are using the internet, and specifically, search engines, (Google, Yahoo) when purchasing, "considered products" or high ticket items.

"Considered products" can be defined, as a item, like Real Estate, buying a car,, Plasma TV, or even a vacation.......

Purchases which are high tickets items, can be expensive....but, most of all REQUIRE INSIGHT, and THOUGHT.....not what we term, staple items, or necessities...clearly not inexpensive purchases.

The study disclosed that, 80 percent of all, "considered purchases" - begin with a search, using the internet as a resource for INFORMATION.

What does this mean?

Simply put, I would call this data extremely valuable, and astounding.

Car Makers know it.

Real Estate Companies Know it.

US Consumers are using Google/Yahoo, in record numbers, when at the beginning of their purchase cycle, for "considered" items.

I call these consumers, and their behavior, "purchase INTENT profiles."


Because, generally a consumer WILL NOT purchase these considered, high ticket items online, but will GO TO A STORE, or dealer, to make the purchase.........BUT.

The INTENT to purchase started online.....

The INTENT to purchase is CRITICAL DATA to any company who is in the, "considered purchase" business.

Once again, car companies, real estate firms, cruise/vacation companies, places of advanced, or higher education...(Getting a MBA).....

All of these decisions, by a buyer, require spending THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. 80 percent of these purchases are starting online.

The purchase intent profile is critical data.

Imagine, if you searched for a Lexus Auto.....on Google. You typed in, "Lexus Sedan" - in the Google searchbox.

You surfed the Lexus site, TOOK NO ACTION......but, just passively browsed.

If Lexus could show ADVERTISING, and offers, SPECIFICALLY TO YOU, over the next 24-72 hours, based on the fact, that you were on their site....but most importantly, TYPED THEIR BRAND NAME INTO A SEARCH that valuable to Lexus?

You bet.

What if the "purchase intent" data, could be used to target TV commercials?

The LEXUS search by the consumer, resulted in specific TV spots, during, your favorite program?

If Lexus could offer......
Special prices? Special a example of this....

" Set up a test drive appt, and if you purchase receive a free satellite radio., installed..."

Using the "purchase intent profile", which began with the search on Google, to target advertising in potentially, THE MOST TARGETED segment for a advertiser to date.


1 - timing, using the "purchase intent profile" in a timely fashion, (24-72 hours) to show the correct frequency in short period of time.

2 - across mediums, using the "purchase intent profile" to show ads, and offers both while the consumer is ONLINE, as well as watching TV.

Timing and Addressbility.

This data, and using "purchase intent profiles" in a manner, described above, would be a, NEARLY PERFECT MEDIA PLAN....for Lexus, or any seller of, considered purchase products.

Lexus would still need to promote their brand to their audience, and demographic.

But, one could argue....their "sweet spot" in advertising, is QUICKLY REACHING -- WITH THE RIGHT message....the critical, "purchase intent profile", described above.

One company, one organization, owns this vision...they have the, "edge in targeting...with the efficent use of purchase intent profiles."

Both, from a patent perspective, as well as a execution angle, this company has the focus, to BE GREAT.

Stay tuned, "purchase intent profiles" --and their efficient use, while respecting privacy....are coming to a media company near you.

Simply put, this will be the next stage, in the advancement of internet advertising.

Consumers will ultimately win because companies will have the ability to create specific and relevant offers and advertising, for this "sweet spot" segment....

Similiar in a way to the use of, "grocery store cards..." -- the tradeoff of your purchase information to advertisers, for discounts, and direct mail coupons to your house.....all tailored to your purchases at the grocery store....

The consumer acceptance of, "cookies", will be the "opt in", or validation for this type of efficent advertising online.

The coming months will see a subtle shift in the online advertising arena.

The combination of behavioral advertising, combined with more efficient use of "purchase intent profiles", will begin to plant seeds for the beginning of a oncoming internet advertising revolution, Part 2.

Stay tuned.........Andy
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.


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