Intent Marketing: How the Sales Funnel Has Changed — Serpstat Blog

Janet Peischel
Janet Peischel

Have you ever noticed how when you type a query on Google, it shows you the products that best match your interest?

Sometimes the ads shown by Google are so relevant that you might instantly buy that product. Google isn’t just relying on showing products that other users have searched/bought; instead, it tracks your past searches, collects analytics, website visits, online surveys, etc., to show the most relevant products. Moreover, Google keeps rechecking and retargeting the ads to ensure users get excellent results.

It is just one example of how a company (i.e., Google) has incorporated intent marketing strategies. Almost all small and large businesses have seen the impact of intent marketing on their sales and have started using this type of marketing.

We’ll explore the stages of the sales funnel.

Don’t worry. We have got you covered. In this blog post, we will delve into the concept of intent marketing and how it has changed the sales funnel. We will explore the various stages of the sales funnel, different strategies that you can use to tailor content to the customer’s needs, and the techniques that can help you win long-term and repeat clients.

By the time you have read this blog post, you will better understand intent marketing and how it can help you achieve your sales goals in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape. So make sure to check out the whole post.

What Is Intent Marketing?

Intent marketing is a strategy that enables businesses to produce individualized, relevant content that satisfies customers’ demands by using data and analytics to understand user intent.

With the help of intent marketing, companies can deliver relevant content to customers at every stage of the sales funnel, from awareness to assessment to decision-making, by determining their intent. Since the content matches the potential customers’ intent, it is more likely to result in conversions.

Intent marketing largely relies on technologies like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing to reach and engage with clients at various stages of the buying journey. The goal is to provide customers with relevant and helpful information that will guide them through the marketing funnel, from awareness to interest to purchase.

What Is User Intent?

User intent is also known as search intent. As the name implies, it refers to the reason or purpose behind a user’s search query on a search engine. User intent is the primary objective, answer, or goal the user wants to achieve when searching for a particular keyword or phrase.

User intent varies from person to person and may alter during the buyer journey. The search engine’s algorithms try to understand the user’s intent behind the query and return the most relevant and useful results to fulfill the user’s objective. This understanding helps businesses achieve higher conversion rates.

The main advantages of understanding search intent are that you can:

  • Improve your search engine ranking by showing search engines that your content is relevant to the readers.
  • Understand the search intent that will help you evaluate users’ needs and intent. It enables you to create content that fulfills those needs.
  • Build a more successful content strategy by choosing keywords matching your target audience’s intent.

What Are The Main Types Of User Intent?

1.Informational intent. Individuals with an informative intent have a specific query or wish to learn more about a particular topic. This intent has the highest search volumes out of all other intents. Examples of informational intent queries include “how to lose weight instantly,” etc. 

2.Transactional intent. People searching with transactional intent are looking to make a purchase right away. It means that the users have already decided what they want to buy and want to go to that product page straight away. Examples of transactional keywords include “buy Philips air fryer xl,” etc.

3.Navigational intent. People with navigational intent want to visit a particular website. These SERPs often include home pages or certain product or service pages. Examples of these keywords include “Twitter,” etc.

4.Commercial intent. Commercial intent is also known as commercial investigation intent. People with this intent want first to educate themselves about a product and then buy it. Commercial keywords often include listicles. Examples of commercial keywords might be “best washing machines.”

How To Leverage The Marketing Funnel?

To leverage intent marketing for your business, you need to take a strategic approach that incorporates the latest trends and technologies. We are going to explain this in a simple manner.

  • At the top of the funnel, you need to create awareness and interest in people through channels such as TV commercials, social media campaigns, print advertisements, and influencer marketing. These ads and campaigns should promote the unique features and benefits of the product/services and create an emotional bond with potential buyers.
  • In the middle of the funnel, you must focus on consideration and evaluation by highlighting the product specifications. You can also offer free trials, product demos, and testimonials to help customers evaluate how the product performs and whether it suits the users.
  • At the bottom of the funnel, you need to offer various payment options and after-sales services such as warranties, feedback, and customer support. This step creates customer loyalty and encourages repetitive purchases and referrals.

Samsung’s effective use of the marketing funnel has helped the company generate significant revenue from the premium phone ******, maintain customer loyalty, and enhance the brand’s reputation.

You can also leverage these and other intent marketing strategies to create a more personalized and engaging experience for your audience, which will help you increase conversions and brand loyalty.

Now There’s A New Sales Funnel

The new sales funnel includes several steps that focus on the customer’s needs and interests. The 5 stages of the marketing funnel are:

1.Awareness. The foremost step in the sales funnel is the awareness stage. In this stage, the goal is to create awareness about the brand or product you want to promote. You want to attract potential customers who might be interested in the types of services you offer.

2.Interest. After the customer is aware of your brand, next you need to generate interest. You can do this with the use of email marketing and by exposing them to personalized content.

3.Consideration. The third stage is the consideration stage. The consumer is thinking about buying at this point, but they are comparing your product to the other options in the market. So, at this stage, you need to include more details about your goods or services, such as testimonials and reviews.

4.Intent. The consumer is certain that he wants to buy at this point. Here, the customer might add something to the cart, go to the checkout page or try to find coupons before checkout.

5.Purchase. The last stage of the sales funnel is the purchase stage. However, this is not the end of the sales funnel. Now that the customer has made a purchase, you need to follow up (ask for reviews, send newsletters and discount codes, etc.) to convert them into repeat customers.

Intent Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Completely Different Approaches 

The traditional sales funnel was formerly a straightforward procedure that started directly from consumer awareness and ended on purchase.

Intent marketing aims to attract and convert high-intent customers by generating customized content that aligns with the users’ needs and intent. It involves tracking the buyer’s online behavior, preferences, and actions to determine their wants and provide tailored solutions.

Traditional marketing, on the other hand, involves creating marketing campaigns designed to reach a vast audience. This type of marketing includes printed ads, television commercials, newspaper ads, billboards, etc. The goal of traditional marketing was to create brand awareness and generate leads.

After the purchase was final, there were no follow-ups whatsoever. Purely transactional 

However, the modern sales funnel has grown more intricate and dynamic as the need for tailored content is higher than ever. Moreover, the new marketing funnel uses intent marketing to focus on bonding with the customers, interacting with them across multiple platforms, and delivering personalized content at each level. If you’re doing this well, you’re also following up with those customers to continue the relationship.

What Strategies Can You Use To Determine Marketing Intent?

You can use several strategies to determine the marketing intent of your target audience. Some of the most important ones are:

  • Determining your target audience. First, you need to define and understand your target audience — understanding your audience’s behaviors, demographics, and preferences is vital for creating personalized experiences that resonate with them. You can use customer data and analytics to identify your target audience.
  • Take a deep dive into website analytics. Website analytics include the scroll-through rate, number of visitors on your website, time on page, etc. These analytics help you understand the user intent and optimize your website to better serve the users’ needs.
  • Identifying and using keywords. SEO keywords help determine the marketing intent by providing knowledge about user search queries. By analyzing the keywords that potential customers use in their search queries, you can understand the customers’ needs, pain points, and desires. This knowledge can help you tailor the marketing strategies to match the search intent of your target audience.
  • Conducting surveys. You can gather feedback from existing customers and understand how the products worked out for them. This information helps you maintain or improve the current services. Moreover, doing surveys and collecting feedback also builds a positive image in the eyes of the people.
  • Creating personalized content. Creating personalized content can help determine the marketing intent by analyzing how users engage with it. By tracking how individuals interact with different types of content, you can get a better idea of a user’s interests. Moreover, personalized content promotes trust, as the users feel like you value their opinion. It can enhance user engagement and conversion rates.
  • Using targeted advertising. You can use targeted advertising to reach your ideal audience. Targeted advertising aims to understand the users’ intent and behavior patterns by tracking their past searches. Use platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads to target your audience with relevant ads.
  • Using social media platforms. Social media is a powerful tool for intent marketing. Various information and insights on user activity, demographics, and hobbies are available on social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Businesses can better identify their target market and adjust their communications to suit user intentions by utilizing the data from social media sites.


In conclusion, by putting the client at the core of the process, intent marketing has completely transformed the traditional sales funnel. Businesses can create tailored, hyper-relevant experiences that resonate with their target audience by knowing their requirements, preferences, and intent.

Digital technologies have given consumers more influence over the purchasing process, making the old concept of broadcasting messages to a large audience obsolete. Instead, companies need to engage in a two-way dialogue with their clients, using data and insights to inform choices.

We have discussed in detail how the marketing funnel has changed with the passage of time and what strategies help you top the new marketing funnel. We also have shared with you the different stages of the marketing funnel and where the user stands in all these stages.

By correctly embracing and following intent marketing, you can improve customer satisfaction, increase engagement, and drive conversions, resulting in long-term success.

You well may need to change your practices as technology continues to evolve. Stay agile and opt for improved marketing strategies to meet the changing demands of your customers. Those who prioritize the customer experience and understand the importance of intent marketing will be the ones who thrive in the years to come.

The opinion of the guest post authors may not coincide with the opinion of the Serpstat editorial staff and specialists.

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