Context marketing is the latest buzzword. It seems to be the trend, formulating a new buzzword every so often that recaptures the intentions and targets of marketing. Context evolved from relevance which stemmed from personalisation. As marketing progresses and becomes tweaked to optimise material to the consumer, its terminology changes as well. However, the fundamentals of marketing has not altered much from its roots; it’s the art of creating promotional messages that are tailored to your customers.
Context marketing seems to want to go one step beyond relevance and personalisation marketing as it is largely focusing on the individual. For instance, as Uber allows its customer’s to track and request vehicles on the road, viewing their journey and estimated cost, it is very much tailored to the individual. This allows Uber to effectively own and manage the customer experience. This marketing method establishes a real-time connection with the customer and emphasises the connection between Uber and the individual by both parties being highly involved in each interaction.
However, before you view this marketing method as revolutionary, let us not forget that the importance of personalisation throughout the customer journey dates back to 1993 in Peppers and Rogers The One to One*. Peppers and Rogers exclaim, "One-to-one marketing advocates [the] tailoring of one or more aspects of the firm’s marketing mix to the individual customer". Marketers have already been analysing data and creating content within its context to better market to the customer throughout their user journey. This method is evidently not new, it has just been utilised more effectively with enhanced UI and UX. As our access to data increases, our ability to personalise content becomes easier. Moreover, the importance of creating effective buyer personas is crucial and has been a practice of the marketing discipline for quite some time.
Context marketing methodology is arguably focused largely in a B2C setting. It focuses on the individual as evident in the Uber example. In addition, Netflix, Amazon and iTunes follow the same criteria for targeting the right person with the right information. However, in a B2B environment this method can become distorted. The importance of personas in B2B marketing is not designed to only industries and/or sectors, but the unique experience encountered by individual customers. Clear calls-to-action are designed for lead generation but are met with very real and very personal encounters. For instance, online chat features and consultants are ready at the phone during your journey and can offer that human interaction which is so often missing in today’s marketing agenda.
Offering the right content to the right person at the right time requires a deep understanding of your user journey. B2B marketing uses personas to target industries and sectors, but other methods of marketing are displayed simultaneously. Through several variants of inbound marketing, you are offering your customer a path, the path is defined by their interests and the journey is established through personalisation and relevancy. The customer journey is to be intuitive, informative and explorative (to offer more of their interests). By taking your customer’s journey into consideration, your marketing material will nearly always be more effective. Context marketing is a useful buzzword but is nothing new, it just serves as another detail to consider in your marketing mix and agenda.
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*Source: The One to One Future: Building Relationships One Customer at a Time (1993). Peppers D., & Rogers M. (England: Currency).