Ask a researcher: How do needs drive intent?
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Ask a researcher: How do needs drive intent?February 2020
Needs spark consumer journeys. But how can marketers identify those consumer needs and address them? Google’s Head of Research and Insights Justin De Graaf talks about the emotions behind need states and what marketers can do to put this information to use.
People don’t wake up in the morning and say, “I have intent.”
It’s not a thing, people don’t talk like that.
They do say, “I need something.”
or “I want something.”
My name is Justin De Graaf, I am the head of research and insights at Google.
When people come to Google.com, there are six need states they are actually looking
to solve for.
The first is thrill me.
The next is impress me, educate me, reassure me, help me, and surprise me.
When a person realizes that they need something, so they might need to find things to do for
their kids this weekend.
They might turn to Google and search for “jumpy houses near me.”
The thing is, behind that, the need beneath that is, they actually want to be helped and
help their family connect and have a moment together.
Those are the pieces that are actually motivating their behaviors.
What they search is trying to solve that.
But people don’t say that.
They type “things to do near me.”
The ways it can show up, and how marketers can use it best, things like creative development.
Educate me is a great example.
It’s a big need state.
People are coming to us to get information, and then move on.
If you’re looking for “safest automobile” or “safest small SUV,” you want information.
You don’t want a sales pitch.
You don’t want a big scene of creative.
You want to know rank order.
Give me the facts of what’s safest.
Marketers in that moment can be more efficient, more direct.
What’s interesting is that the needs are what spark a journey, as people move, and
they expand and contract a consideration set.
All along that, their needs are trying to be met.
And they’re going to keep going in their journey until they feel like their needs are
That’s when you make the purchase.
That’s when you book your trip.
That’s when you know it’s done.
And there’s a lot of delight that comes from being done.
And so solving for those needs is such a paramount element of humanity, really.
It’s a way to be there and have a relationship with the people who are buying your things.