Today marks “May the 4th Be With You Day”, aka Star Wars Day, created to honor the Star Wars franchise.
To celebrate, we thought we’d have some fun reviewing some of the various ways in which the wise teachings of the great Jedi masters of the Star Wars mythology can be applied to the marketer’s use of consumer intent data.
“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view,” Obi-Wan Kenobi says to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.
You might think you understand why something is happening with your leads, but, in the absence of specific intent data illustrating the root cause, your “truth” is actually just your opinion based on your current perspective. Opinions can be refuted and everyone has them, including the entities that may be responsible for the issue at hand. Conversely, using data as empirical evidence to fuel productive discussions will be far more successful than basing your decisions on your gut feel.
“Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future,” Yoda says to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back.
Demographic data is very important for certain customer acquisition funnels. If you are an insurance provider, you look at information to understand underwriting risk. If you are a mortgage lender, you look at credit rating during the application process. This data is highly available, largely static, and important to the process. But, if you are looking solely at this data to segment your audience, you are missing the “motion of the future”.
You will undoubtedly get false positives—consumers that seem to be a good fit demographically, but are not actually in-market for the product you are selling. Time and money spent on these consumers is time and money wasted in the short term. With consumer intent data, you can detect the motion of the future and understand the dynamic behaviors that consumers are exhibiting to market most effectively to that audience.
“Who’s more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?” Obi-Wan Kenobi says to Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
Every company’s operations and services are different. What one consumer or lead is to one company may be completely different to another. Your focus should be on what data drives the outcomes you are looking for, specific to your organization. What is important to your company might be similar to another’s, but you need to focus on what drives conversions (a funded loan, a signed policy, an enrolled student, etc.) for you—pinpointing that turning point for your business alone.
“Your focus determines your reality,” Qui-Gon Jinn says to Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.
In this world of big data, marketers today are often overwhelmed by the different data available to them. Consumer data plays a critical role in the marketer’s toolkit. Being able to the focus in on the essence and separate it from the noise is the key to mastering consumer intent data.
“In my experience, there’s no such thing as luck,” Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
Marketers commonly have to deal with shrinking budgets, eroding conversion rates, and a lack of reasons for why this is occurring. But just like the force, when it’s not being properly channeled by someone who has trained and learned how to harness it, data itself is not inherently helpful. You need the right data, presented in the right way to focus on the important things that lead to the outcomes you are seeking.
At the end of the day, The Force really is akin to intent data, guiding the marketer toward their goal. Imagine a force at your fingertips that could help you understand the intent of your consumers and help you to influence and guide their actions. Imagine if you could harness that force to locate and influence people most likely to buy your products or service. If you are interested in learning more about intent data, read our research paper Jornaya 2016 Consumer Journey Analysis: Dissecting the Path to Conversion and in the meantime… May the Force be with you!