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What is Consumer Intent and How Can Utilities Leverage It?

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Paul Korzeniowski's picture
B2B Content producer Self-employed

Paul is a seasoned (basically old) freelance B2B content producer. Through the years, he has written more than 10,000 items (blogs, news stories, white papers, case studies, press releases and...

  • Member since 2011
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  • Mar 16, 2021
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Why is one marketing campaign successful and another a failure? Through the years, utilities have unsuccessfully tried to answer that question. Recently, they have made progress in understanding why customers act the way that they do. Intent marketing is an emerging data analytics solution designed to demystify the purchase process. 

Customers make decisions to purchase energy services after following a set process where certain types of information trigger set behaviors. The process has become clearer because utilities track customer interactions closer now than ever before. From the moment, they land on your Web site to the click where they purchase your service, you can see where they go, what they do, and how long they spend on each task.

That information paints a picture of their thinking and decision making.  A micro-moment is the point when consumers look for certain types of information, products, or services. Spotting micro-moments is an opportunity for brands to connect with potential consumers.  Three such moments are common in customer transactions.

Three Types of Micro Moments  

I-want-to-know moments are typical at the start of the process. Here, the consumer seeks knowledge about the service. Most marketers call this moment  informational type of intent, and in many cases, it does not have a tight connection to purchasing intent.

Companies can build a positive image and leverage this moment by offering a knowledge center, glossary, or blogs. In this case, they build trust in the readers by fulfilling their information needs but also creating awareness of the brand.

Customers eventually shift from an I-want-to-know to I want-to-compare. In some cases, they will go to comparison web sites ad continue to look for information about product features and pricing and dig deeper into service specifics. In this case, utilities need to present them with items, like feature sets and pricing for service selections. A link from this area to technical assistance, so they can dive more deeply into your solutions is also helpful.  

Last comes a I-want-to-buy moment. At that time, the energy company needs to provide them with an easy to follow way to sign up for their service. They need to make the process as intuitive and simple as possible. If customers become frustrated, they will start the decision making process all over again.

Intent based marketing does not treat content indiscriminately. Instead, it presents the right information to the customer at the right moment during the customer journey. By providing them with they need, you make the process more rewarding, both for them as well as yourself.

 

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