This article is written by EDPR staff writer, Tarra Matthews.
Context is so important: it provides reasoning behind information or an event, while also allowing individuals to draw the correct conclusion about something. When it comes to marketing, context is all about being able to provide the right content, to the right people at the right time.1 By providing a more complete picture of what a product/service actually is and the many uses and benefits it can provide, it enables potential customers more information to make final purchase decisions.
Contextual marketing is at it’s best when the content is personalized and relevant to the people looking at it. The best ways to figure out what your potential consumers want is through market research and identifying where they land in the buying cycle. If they are just starting to research purchasing a product, the information they’re looking for is vastly different than what they would require in other areas of the buying cycle (see the image below).
When conducting contextual marketing, here’s are 3 tools that you can use:
- Dynamic Calls To Action: telling people what you want them to do; i.e. “contact us for more information,” “buy now,” or “tell us about your experience.”
- Organized E-mail Blasts: don’t bombard people with information they won’t need.
- Smart Forms: by gathering targeted data, you can personalize your interactions with past/present/future customers.
When it comes to online advertising, Todd Wasserman had this to say:
“…standard ad formats for TV, print and radio are pretty set, the Internet has viewed the social media and mobile revolution as a chance for a do-over in which the lines between advertising and editorial are blurred a bit…”
We’re all bombarded with examples of targeted online marketing. How many times have you googled a product, and been chased by a plethora of banner ads (advertising that very product) with each site you visit? That’s another form of contextual marketing that uses behavioral targeting. Many search engines employ the use of adware (software that picks out key words from our searches) and display ads that are meant to be of interest to us. This technique could still use some improvements though, behavioural targeting still can’t decipher whether or not a consumer has purchased a product – meaning the banner ads still appear, even after completing the online buying cycle.
Whatever form it comes in, contextual marketing has become an industry standard – helping to provide consumers with products and services they actually “want”.