The average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad this year was a staggering $5 million. And for that dear price, brands are given access to one of the largest live audiences of any event globally.
From Audi and Amazon to Porsche and Pringles, there’s no end to the brands looking to use the pomp and circumstance to spark conversations about them – and their ads – before, during and often long after the game.
But these companies aren’t spending $5 million for just conversation; they’re hoping to score business directly with consumers.
It’s well known that second-screen use is on the rise and that when a potential customer sees a brand’s ad on air, there’s a good chance they will look them up online, and — if all goes well — buy their product. And with more than 73% of people who watched the Super Bowl had a mobile device in hand, the opportunity to drive those sales has never been greater.
In fact, second screen users are 30% more likely to discover brands via recommendations and comments on social networks and 50% of viewers use social media for product research. Far from being passive observers, second screen users are actively engaging with the content they see on TV through searches, conversations, and research on social.
But there’s a question marketers aren’t addressing: What happens once a consumer gets to the brand’s website?
While everyone has been talking about which brand had the most creative, engaging or revolutionary ad, what isn’t immediately clear is which brands scored and which fumbled when customers came looking with a simple question about the products being advertised.
However, even a cursory search of many of the brands running ads at this year’s Super Bowl revealed that they couldn’t directly answer some of the top – and often most basic – questions about their brands or products with their own website search.
And this can be incredibly damaging to sales; consumers who use site search are some of the most valuable customers – the 15% who use site search account for 45% of ecommerce revenue, and site search is 1.8x more effective at producing conversions.
Worse, research suggests that most users will abandon a website if they can’t find what they’re looking for within 15 seconds. That means that significant number of second screen watchers could easily lose interest or turn to a rival – either by navigating directly to their website or by selecting one of the dozens of brands advertised on a search engine.
So, if delivering direct answers on a brand’s website at the moment of intent is so important, how can they ensure they’re making the most of their $5 million audience?
Thankfully, there’s a solution to this: intent marketing. This is the practice of marketing a product or service based on a consumer’s intent to make a purchase decision, as demonstrated by their actions.
Put simply, it’s about marketing to individuals whose behavior dictates that they are more likely to take a certain action or make a certain purchase.
For example, brands know that when they’re running their Super Bowl adverts there will be a much higher number of people searching about their products and services.
There are two key steps for brands to begin using data to understand intention and successfully market towards it. Firstly, understanding high-intent keywords is a critical element of building an intent marketing strategy.
For example, a customer searching “Audi Super Bowl advert car” is likely looking for more information about the particular make, model and price of the car being advertised, while a user searching for “what kind of car should I buy?” probably needs to dig around a little more before buying. Terms such as ‘buy’, ‘visit’ and ‘purchase’ signify an intent to buy — as do searches that include the phrases ‘near me’ or ‘driving directions’.
On the other hand, keywords and phrases containing terms like ‘how to’, ‘tips’ and ‘guide’ imply the need for informational content, like a blog post or in-depth infographic on a topic relevant to a specific industry.
Finally, once a brand is sure that consumers are being reached with relevant answers, it needs to ensure it’s sharing useful content that spurs on the next stage of the customer journey. If a consumer with a clear intent to purchase isn’t directed to a store page after their question has been answered, they will simply move on to another brand. At this crucial stage in the customer journey, brands cannot afford to lose out in the final quarter.
Ultimately, if brands can use data to better anticipate and understand consumer intent, and then align this with marketing and advertising activities such as the Super Bowl, they can reach customers in the moments that matter — and score a sales touchdown.
Jon Buss serves as Yext’s Managing Director for the UK & Northern Europe. With more than 20 years’ experience within digital start-ups and market leading international organisations, Jon’s mission is to grow Yext’s international footprint and customer base throughout EMEA.
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