Intent to Buy

This is the first in Baynote’s ten-part series of cartoons by award-winning cartoonist Tom Fishburne, titled Intent to Buy”. Please let us know what you think of this cartoon. To say thanks for your input, we’ll send you a print signed by Tom if you post a comment within one week (U.S. addresses only).

We’re really excited to debut the first illustration commissioned by Baynote from Tom Fishburne, “The Marketoonist.” The cartoon series, called “Intent to Buy”, will humorously shed light on the top challenges faced by marketers and e-commerce professionals as they try to personalize and improve the online experience in the wake of heightened consumer expectations. We’ll be introducing a new cartoon every other Wednesday for the next 20 weeks so please check back in regularly and we encourage you to share ideas about additional e-commerce personalization pain points you’d like to see lampooned in future installments.

In keeping with the theme of the series title, we’ll be examining the important and often overlooked element of understanding consumer intent…and what goes wrong when e-commerce and marketing teams fail to personalize based on intent.

Our first cartoon parodies a quintessential personalization mistake that many retailers still make and one that has affected our experience as consumers at one point or another: living and dying by profiles. Past purchase history and shopper profile data needs to be factored into the overall picture, but more often than not this information doesn’t represent what a buyer is actually looking for in the moment. This is because individual interests and shopping objectives are simply far too dynamic for retailers to predict using historical information.

The future of personalization is about understanding intent, not profiles. Think about the clues your web visitors are sending out as they engage with your touchpoints – things like search terms they use both to get to your site through Google and in onsite search engines such as Endeca, what they click on, how long they dwell on a product, what products they compare and more. We call these intent clues because they tell you what the visitor is trying to do – and they’re available to you whether or not you know the name, address and shoe size of the visitor. Once you’re tuned in to intent clues, adding in profile data can be quite valuable. But without any insight about intent, profile data alone has limited personalization power.

Are you personalizing based on intent?