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5 easy steps to understanding context marketing

The importance of content in your marketing campaigns is a subject that’s been extensively written about, analyzed and proven to be the major differentiator when it comes to digital. There’s a reason the expression “Content is king” never gets old. But content on its own has no value. The only real measure of value when it comes to content is from the person that is consuming it – its relevance and its impact. When we think of content, we shouldn’t ask ourselves only how to do it better, but how to do it differently. How do we improve the customer experience and communicate with our audience on their preferred channels and within the right context of each interaction?

Enter context marketing

When content meets or exceeds customer expectations, when it solves an issue or teaches the audience something new, when it’s adapted to what the consumer is looking for – we can speak of context marketing.

Context marketing is the ability to deliver the right content or experience to the right person, in the right place, and at the right time based on the sum total of that person’s past brand interactions and current needs.

So how do we succeed in implementing context marketing to our own digital campaigns? Let’s look at 5 easy steps on how to start.

“Context marketing is the ability to deliver the right content or experience to the right person, in the right place, and at the right time based on the sum total of that person’s past brand interactions and current needs”

This isn’t a magic formula and you probably know all this in theory, but it’s very important to keep it in mind and apply it:

1. Know your audience

As previously mentioned, writing and distributing content just for the sake of it won’t cut it. Even a broken watch is right twice a day, meaning that eventually your “one size fits all” content will strike a chord with someone. 

However, in order to successfully create meaningful content, you need to know exactly who it is you’re talking to, what their intentions are and how you can help them move forward.

2. Content isn’t just words

When we think of content, we tend to think mostly of text on a website, in an email or in brochures. But content is much more than that – and it can be in the right context as well, no matter its shape or form.

Customers don’t like to read only text – think of infographics, videos, short stories, pictures, animations and much more. A good content and context strategy manages to serve the right media as well as the right content to the audience.

3. Data, data and more data

Think about it – if you know nothing about your audience, it’s extremely complicated if not downright impossible to market anything within context. That’s why the importance of data can’t be overstated.

Big data is a term that’s been thrown around a lot in the past few years and while AI and Machine Learning are opening up even more avenues for data gather, you need to understand that the value of data can only be measured around its usefulness. That’s why “intelligent data” is a better way of looking at it.

Collect and gather only what you need, when you need it and if you can use it to actually provide content with an added value to your audience. Remember to keep your data in one place and make sure it’s clean and reliable.

4. Personalize more than on a first name basis

You guessed it – you couldn’t be reading point 3 without thinking point 4 is going to come up. That’s because personalization without data is impossible – but this data can come from many places. There’s implicit and explicit data you can use to convey your message in the right context.

Implicit data looks at customer behavior online (such as pages visited, mobile device used, location etc) while explicit data is customer data that was provided by the audience itself (such as name, email, a form filled in etc).

By gathering and combining these two different types of data, you can personalize each customer experience in part by understanding intent from the first page visit to the last interaction on any channel.

5. Test and optimize

No matter how well you gather data, personalize the customer experience and deliver different types of content for each audience member in part, customer behavior will be unpredictable at times. And that’s ok, you can’t be 100% accurate at all times.

It’s important to learn what works and what doesn’t though for the most part and the only way to do that is by testing and optimizing. The beauty of digital marketing is the speed with which you can launch campaigns, content and offers, all the while adapting on the fly by constantly testing everything to increase conversions and keep customers happy.

Don’t be afraid to fail – be afraid to not learn.

Context marketing day on November 23rd

If you’d like to learn more about context marketing, you’re invited to our event, co-hosted with partner The Reference on November 23rd. During this short but no-nonsense event, we will look at:

  • How to master the building blocks of digital to lay the foundations for contextual marketing
  • How to get started with context and personalization for your digital channels

You can join this event free of charge by registering on this page: https://www.sitecore.net/contextmarketing2017

Don't miss out

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