Does Intent Matter As Much as Demographics? Google Thinks So

Does Intent Matter As Much as Demographics Google Thinks SoThere’s an interesting think piece by Google that should be read by every mobile marketer.

In brief, the essay points out that intent can be as much or more powerful than simple demographics when it comes to understanding consumers.

“Marketers who rely only on demographics to reach consumers risk missing more than 70 percent of potential mobile shoppers,” notes the article. “Why? Because demographics rarely tell the whole story. Understanding consumer intent is much more powerful.”

Google cites an example that crushes a common perception: only 31 percent of mobile searchers for video games are men ages 18 to 34 (and most of us think the percentage must be close to 90 percent or better).

“For years, we as marketers have been using demographics as a proxy for people who might be interested in our products,” notes Google. “(But) intent beats identity. Immediacy trumps loyalty. When someone has a want or need, they turn to their smartphone for help — whether it’s a karate newbie watching an expert do a move on YouTube or a mom looking for the best deal on a pair of sneakers. When a need arises, people turn to search and YouTube to look for answers, discover new things, and make decisions. We call these intent-filled moments, micro-moments. And they’re the best opportunity marketers have to connect with people at the exact moment they are looking for something.”

Simple demographics are dangerous. To wit: 56 percent of sporting goods searchers on mobile are women; 45 percent of home improvement searchers on mobile are female; and 68 percent of skin and body care influencers in the past six months have been men.

How does Google know? Searches, YouTube video watches, and more.

It’s a great wake-up call for marketers who might be tempted to think all video game prospects are young men and that few home improvement searches are conducted by women.

Check it out here.