Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Basics of Context Marketing

Author: YI mobility

Normally people would love to receive a free iPhone as promotional gift. If a person, however, had just spent the past several days crawling through the desert without supplies; he or she would want a glass of water, not an iPhone. This is a broad example that demonstrates a crucial rule of marketing: context is important.

What is context marketing?
Wouldn't it be great if you could send food coupons to customers as soon as they were hungry, or promote discounts on laptops the second shoppers begin searching for new computers. Context marketing is the process of delivering promotions and advertising materials to consumers based on their current needs and resources.

Some people view contextual marketing as a way for companies to form relationships with consumers as individuals. ZDnet described how better audience data allows any business to operate like a small town mom-and-pop shop where the owner knows each customer by name and can recognize his or her needs as soon as they walk through the door. Instead of talking with consumers one-on-one, though, contextual marketers hope to create campaigns that send messages through email communications, social media and mobile marketing that feels just as personal as an in-person greeting.

When businesses deploy context marketing effectively, marketers send promotions to the people who care about them the most at the exact time consumers have motivation to act on them.

Important metrics of contextualization
What does a business need to know about a customer to obtain proper context? As much as they can.

Direct Marketing said contextual metrics go way beyond what CRM software traditionally captures. Real-time data is most important. It's crucial marketers gain visibility of how consumers perform and when. If an organization just collects data from online platforms at the end of certain time periods, it misses out on a variety of relevant factors that led to buying decisions.

The first thing companies can do to achieve a better view of customer context is to integrate data from all business departments that interact with consumers. Forrester suggested businesses will combine customer service and marketing data over the next few years to gain visibility of a consumer's complete inbound journey.

The second way businesses will try to understand context is by investing in new technology solutions. Better business software can take a closer look at online interactions with social media postings or business websites. Physical stores will probably invest in solutions that collect data from real-world shopping interactions.

How to put context to use
Once an organization believes it has enough information to gain proper insight on certain audiences, it needs to deliver the target information when the consumer will most value it.

Online promotions can use past performance from previous consumers to find the best time to deliver promotions. It's a matter of finding the right call to action for the digital material. Should white papers provide phone numbers to contact sales agents, or should they link to further educational materials? Business must determine what their consumers look for in each stage of their marketing funnel.

Thanks to technology, physical stores recently received a very effective solution for contextual marketing. My Customer said beacon technology allows businesses to deliver promotions to consumers as soon as they visit a business location. The company can provide deals and discounts to customers in the perfect context, when they're in-store and ready to shop.
Beacon technology also helps businesses collect consumer data as it works with mobile devices. When customers redeem discounts or sign up for loyalty programs, the store can see what promotions or campaigns led to conversion and the exact context that facilitated success.