One of the game-changing benefits the Internet handed to marketers is targeted marketing. The benefits of getting your content in front of someone looking for a product or service in your vertical, as opposed to throwing marketing dollars against the wall and seeing what sticks, are clear.
The logical extension of “targeted marketing is better than non-targeted marketing,” is “targeted buyer-ready marketing is better than targeted researcher marketing.” That is, optimizing or advertising for queries where the searcher is in buyer-ready mode (“buy white leather couch”) is better than doing so for queries when the searcher is still in research mode (“white leather couch”).
At first glance, these assumptions seem to stand up to scrutiny. Conductor research shows that long-tail queries do in fact convert at a rate greater than head terms.