I believe an excellent way to interview a job candidate is to ask behavioral questions. If a potential employer knows how someone tackled a situation in the past, it can shed light on how the candidate may behave in the future.

To illustrate, if I were to ask you how you are going to train for a marathon next year, you’d probably tell me how you intend to train. But if I ask you how you actually trained for a marathon you ran last year, you’d tell me what you actually did. This tangible picture of previous behavior could be a good indicator of future behavior, versus what you are “earnest and eager” to do.

Is one approach better than the other? Or would it be best to have an understanding of previous behavior and stated intent? Maybe you did train hard for that marathon last year, but you hurt your knee during the race and couldn’t finish, and now you are more determined to finish the next one (so you’ll train harder or differently). Or, maybe you were more motivated last time because you were running for a charity, and this time your only motivation is to prove to yourself you can do it (without the extra accountability, you may not train as hard). In both situations, having a sense of previous behavior plus present intentions provides the most accurate picture of what to expect in the future.

The same philosophy is true in digital marketing. Using insights from a visitor’s browsing history – plus his or her personal attributes – is extremely important when selecting the right content or products to display. But his current in-session goals, interests and motivations are important as well. So what’s a marketer to do? How do we know each of the thousands or millions of visitors’ purposes for being on our site? How can we close the gap between behavior, interest and intent? And are the behaviors we track truly representative of intent, or are they just some mindless clicks?

It is with these intriguing questions that I invite you to download our latest eBook, The Secret to Intent-Based Marketing: Driving Conversions Through 1:1 Personalization,” which explores the how’s and why’s of creating personalized experiences driven by customer intent.