Blog > Intent Testing: Why Is It important?
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Intent Testing: Why Is It important?

Matt Alcock Matt Alcock
Apr 07
4 min read

Facebook, Airbnb, Amazon, Google — there are a lot of inspiring successful businesses around the world that seemed to land on a multi-million idea. They had the right idea at the right time. But even large and successful companies make mistakes when making new products. You must’ve noticed Google discontinuing many of its products like Google Plus or Facebook quietly pulling the plug of its poke feature.

You may not be able to completely prevent the falling out of products in the future for various reasons. But there are things you can do to ensure that whatever new business idea or proposition you bring to the market will be well-received by customers. 😊

In this article, we’ll look at intent testing and why performing one is important for your business ventures.

What is intent testing?

It’s vital that you understand first what intent testing is so you’ll be able to appreciate the advantages of performing one.  As you’ve realised by now, the definition of intent testing isn’t easy to come by online. 😉

But here’s how Faraday defines intent testing or intent test:

"Put your ideas, creatives or propositions in front of thousands of real customers and quickly see what peeks interest."

To put it simply, intent testing is a method where the viability of your new business idea or proposition is tested by placing it in front of real potential customers and see if there’s a positive response the same way if your business would if it was up and running.

Intent testing is a type of concept testing that should ideally be conducted at the pre-launch stage. It helps see how well a new offering will be received in the marketplace and its target consumers.

There are different ways to conduct intent testing like surveys, ads, phone or in-person interviews, research, or a combination of these. There are also platforms like Faraday’s Intent Test tool which helps you build your own intent test in the form of an Instagram ad paired to a lead form to capture sign-ups — a strong signal of intent.

Why is intent testing important?

Although intent testing is ideally done at a pre-launch stage, it could actually be applied in different ways and at various stages of product development.

For example, intent testing could also be done before rolling out new product features. It’s a good way to measure how your customers would feel about your new updates — will they like it or not? 🤔

In addition, intent testing helps reveal important facts and insights like the following:

  • Product features most liked by customers
  • Problem and barrier awareness
  • Customer preferences
  • Potential new buyers
  • Level of buyer intent
  • And many more

What are the benefits of intent testing?

There are many advantages in performing an intent test on your new product idea or business proposition. When done right, it helps ensure the success of your new projects. Here are three benefits of intent testing:

1️⃣ Eliminate bad product ideas and business propositions

Your idea may seem earth-shattering to you, but it doesn’t mean your customers will see it the same way you do. In fact, there’s a chance they might totally hate it or ignore it. Depending on how you designed your intent test, gauging your customers’ responses may seem tricky. On Faraday, this is simply tracked by the sign-ups your product idea gets. The more sign-ups, the better. 

At the end of the testing period, Faraday will let you know your cost per sign-up score:

Performing an intent test is a good way to separate those ideas that are good — a.k.a. ideas your customers love — from the bad ones — or those that your customers don’t like.

These unprofitable ideas could cost you a lot. A survey from Gartner revealed that bad financial decisions — like investing in a bad product idea — cost firms more than 3% of profits. Steering clear of bad ideas prevents you from losing time and money.

2️⃣ Helps define your audience

Intent testing isn’t like a blind date. It would be a bad move to place your business idea in front of everyone’s eyes and see how they’d react. You would need to pick your audience wisely.

To see how effective your concept would be, you would need to test your idea on an audience that could relate to your proposition. For example, if you’re working on a new concept about eco-conscious dog food, you'd probably be targeting a younger generation of dog lovers or pet owners.

Aside from helping you determine your audience, performing an intent test could also reveal interesting facts about your customers. Plus, you might be able to identify new potential buyer personas.

Tools like Faraday help simplify this data. Here’s an example of a demographic breakdown of an intent test done on Faraday:

Not only will this ensure that your intent test reaches your specified target audience, but it also reveals who may be interested in your new product idea that you didn’t necessarily expect.

3️⃣ Make better choices going forward

Intent testing isn’t just about avoiding bad ideas and business propositions, it also helps you make better decisions and choices in the future.

For example, if you have different variations of your eco-conscious dog food, performing an intent test on all of them would help you see which one is the best option. You could also cross-compare the results to gather potential insights into your audience's preferences.

Interestingly, how you design your intent test also matters. As mentioned earlier, one of the components of an intent test using Faraday is a lead form where your customers show their intent to buy by signing up with their email.

Once you have captured customer emails, these leads will have shown real intent for your idea and could be great user-testers, discounted trials or even customers. Use them wisely – ask specific questions like what additional features would they like to see or why they liked a certain variant.

Bottom line

If you want your new business product launch to be successful, you need to do an intent test. This brings your new product idea to your customers in the form of an ad, survey, interview, etc. and measures how receptive they will be.

Sadly, there are often more bad ideas than good. Intent testing helps you gather early signals, from your would-be customers, whether you’re onto a winner or not - saving you time and money. At the same time, it would help you define your audience, identify new ones, and make better choices going forward.

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