You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

September, 2021

Designing for Intent Data

It’s one thing to understand what your prospects and customers are reading, but being able to go a level deeper is even better.

One conversation I’ve found myself having a lot is how to build marketing, docs, and content pages to optimize for customer intelligence. It’s one thing to understand what your prospects and customers are reading, but being able to go a level deeper and know what specific parts of the content they’re most interested in is a substantial additional help. 

What do I mean? Let me start with a simple example. We have all our Docs on our site and consider this an important part of the customer journey (read our Docs as Marketing post for more on that). Understanding which doc a prospect or customer is consuming can help us understand critical information like which integrations or functionality they’re most interested in (just by knowing they visited the page). But naturally, any webpage is made up of more than just one piece of content. So going a level deeper and understanding which specific section of a doc they’re most focused on can help us get ahead of any future questions.

The question is, how do you do that? For the most part, all you get back from someone consuming a piece of content is that they visited the page. To help us learn more, we’ve spent time thinking about—and implementing—an approach to building pages that generate clicks and events that help us see what, specifically, someone is after. Now, instead of just knowing which integration they’re most interested in, for instance, we might also be able to ascertain how they’re hoping to configure that integration based on the buttons or links they clicked. It’s not about splitting up the content or making it any less user-friendly—on the contrary, for us, it’s about making it as easy as possible to jump to any section of a document. 

Here, for example, is our Zapier docs page. You’ll notice the links on the left, which are dynamically generated based on the H2 headings on the page.

As prospects or customers click those anchor links (which also appear at the top), we now have a whole other layer of understanding about what precisely they’re looking to accomplish. It’s not a complicated approach, but it works.

This is a new twist on the problem of designing marketing pages. Part of it fits into our general view that we should try to pull forward as much clearly-written product content as possible to help prospects better understand what we do. But part of it is also how we design that content to best allow us to collect additional intelligence as possible to aid in future conversations. It’s not about hiding information but rather exposing it so that an interaction can easily trigger an event.

From there, Variance makes it easy to pull all that data together and get a much more complete picture of every prospect and customer.

September 14, 2021
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