Integrating intent into Demographic Marketing Channels

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Marketing Triggers & Signals

Welcome to our second installment in our Manchester Ink Link collaborative series. Our goal: To help you improve your marketing and lead generation programs to grow and thrive in a competitive economy.

You may recall in our first article we dove into a discussion about demographic versus intent based marketing and the importance of in-market-now. In case you missed it, start by reading the article here and then come back and read this follow up.

We ended that article by asking the question, aside from paid search marketing, can demographic marketing channels be intent based?

The answer to that question is … sometimes, depending on the channel. In order to get there, let’s visualize how traditional demographic marketing works.

You’ll see in the diagram below, demographics are usually the main target of demographic marketing (duh). With a hope that if we shotgun out enough messages that we will hit someone that looks like our ideal client that has both the proper intent and is in-market-now for our product or service.

When we overlay those three requirements necessary to get to the right prospect, we get a sense of what our universe of ideal looking prospects with the right intent that are in-market represented by the small yellow circle.


So, what happens when we overlay our shotgun approach normally used in demographic marketing?



In this view we can see that we got a partial hit. A very small return for what can be expensive marketing costs.

Let’s now revisit a main thread of our previous topic, the buyer’s journey. In case you don’t recall, it looks something like this.


Marketing to the Buyer's Journey


Intent based marketing is all about hitting the right prospects as they enter the consideration and decisions stages of the buyer’s journey. If we use intent as our base requirement instead of demographics, we can create a larger universe of prospects that fill those, plus our in-market-now requirements.


Now, even if we are using a shotgun approach for this segment, we can see what happens when we layer that over our new model.



This is just illustrative of course, but we can see that we hit 400 percent more targets than in our demographic based model.

This Sounds Great, So How Do We Get There?

Demographic marketing channels will offer more or less ability to get to intent, but you will need to dig deep to find triggers or signals to make this happen. These will certainly vary depending on your industry. Below are some examples to get you thinking.

  • Businesses leasing equipment used to have to file what they call a UCC with the main credit agencies. Some would allow financing companies to buy these lists.
  • When a user responds to an email marketing campaign that is great. But did you know there are programs you can integrate with email to get an alert the moment a recipient opens the email and you can use this to attempt live contact from your sales department, knowing they are at their phone or computer right then.
  • Website automation tools can let you know when someone in your contacts database visits your web site without contacting you. Alerts can be generating depending on what they look at, how long they stay, how many pages they visit, how frequent their last visit was and more.
  • For local businesses, changes of address and home purchases can be a great signal there is someone new to the neighborhood and is looking for local service providers.
  • Changing of an employment status in LinkedIn could signal a prospect entering the employment market.
  • Registering for weddings or special occasions.
  • Social media signals (depending on what the platform will let you get at). Did someone just change their status from married to divorced? Do they indicate they are an endurance athlete versus someone that just likes sports?
  • Downloading pieces of content or special offers.
  • Purchases of related products.
  • Real world or third-party events that open up opportunities for you to piggy back on.
  • Results of innocuous looking surveys that provide you with actionable intelligence.
  • Registering a new business with your local government.

These are just a few examples to get you thinking of resources you could potentially tap into to get to prospects with the right intent and the right demographics that are potentially coming into market. If you can tap into these triggers or signals you will be on your way to a better return on investment for your business.

That’s it for this installment. Next time we’ll be diving into my favorite channel, paid search marketing, to uncover all the ways this channel provides intent that you can cash in on for predictable, scalable growth every year.

Daryl Eames of New England Web StrategiesDaryl Eames is a marketing and lead generation specialist that has over a decade of experience crafting performance based, ROI positive programs for businesses in a variety of industries all over the U.S. His programs have created millions of dollars in revenue for his clients through intent-based marketing strategies. Learn more about how his strategies can help you scale your business. Visit his company web site at Contact Daryl via email at

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