Ever Since the dawn of digital marketing, practitioners have hailed personalization as the ultimate in sophistication.
Creating a profile of customer by asking them questions like — their ages, genders, birthdates, interests, purchase histories enables marketers to deliver more relevant, meaningful content that helps win new conversions and engender their long-time loyalty.
Personalisation is now being overtaken by technologies that allow for the establishment of even more profound relevance and connection both in marketing and in the overall customer experience.
These technologies provide marketers with insight into context a largely untapped element that can provide such an in-depth understanding of customers that marketers may then begin to anticipate people’s needs, wants affinities and expectations. These insights which may take into account the device in use, the channel, the location and the particular brand can then be put to work to power improved marketing in every situation.
Context, in other words, takes into account not only the Who but also the When, Where, Why and How. Simply put, it’s deeper targeting and more on-point messaging.
It’s about so much more than just who Maille Dijon mustard used beacons to target customers who had food-related apps installed on their phones in supermarkets. Waze teamed with Taco Bell to send a coupon to drivers who were near a restaurant, but only when drivers were stopped at a red light (safety first!)
Contextual marketing raises questions around contextual content. What type of coupon should a customer receive? When, and for what offer? MGM Resorts makes these determinations contextually sending offers to guests’ smartphones based on where they are on the resort property (which restaurant, shop, show or casino), as well as in the context of their individual loyalty member status, past purchase history, and stated interests.
The Context in marketing can only be employed with the use of powerful integrated technologies. Its components range from semantic technologies to machine learning and predictive analytics, customer data, product/service data, flexible, dynamic content and journey-mapping.
Without a doubt, context is complex. Moreover, it is growing in importance, not only because it’s increasingly technologically feasible and effective, but also because newer technologies will enable additional layers of context to meet consumers’ growing expectations for contextually relevant experiences and messaging from the brands they interact with an increasingly digital world.
Also Read: What makes Digital Marketing popular in 2016
How best to get started in contextual marketing? Think small, say the overwhelming number of executives I’ve interviewed for my research. Begin with small pilot projects. Think about the data you have and how to leverage it. Often, brands find partners to team up with: retail outlets, cinemas, dealerships or other physical locations.
The time to consider contextual campaigns is now. Already, brands like Disney, Nestlé, GE and Unilever are developing programs. Consumers will soon expect brands to be there when they’re needed, not just in cyberspace, but increasingly in the “physical” world we now inhabit.