Why Contextual Marketing Should Still be Your Top Concern

We get flattered when we walk into our building and the concierge knows our name, or when the local supermarket attendant asks how you have been as you haven’t visited for a while. Why should it be different when we target people using digital channels?

Every marketer should be able to answer this question, as Contextual Marketing aims to value clients by offering them the most relevant message at the most significant time and place. In order to know how Contextual Marketing will help create more beneficial marketing programmes; firstly, one needs to define it. In its most simple form, Contextual Marketing is all about relevancy. Marketers have to deeply understand this concept and take advantage of the ability to be able to send messages at the most critical moments, predict certain behaviours and communicate with customers in the most appropriate way.

It used to be considered clever when we personalised emails by addressing someone by their first name in an automated email. Times have changed and a well-structured Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool allows a comprehensive customer overview to be generated. With the incorporation of all touch points, to collect customer data, the CRM can provide an accurate understanding of the leads origin and behaviour. This can then be the jumping block for a brand to accurately monitor how a relationship starts and how communication should continue with that client.

Have you ever thought about how caught up you are in your industry and its jargon that you forget what it sounds like to everyone else? As marketers we live and breathe our industries terminology every single day but so often underestimate what it sounds like to a potential new customer on the street. By creating and sending targeted messages it’s possible to increase the loyalty and lifetime value of a client. Using geo-targeting we can locate a prospect’s city. If, for example, someone in Germany is interested in opening a trading account to buy and sell the DAX, we could serve a messaging layer that will awaken his interest and whenever he or she revisits the website the message is modified based on his or her previous actions. When a user has come back to our site we can serve them relevant messaging based on their last search “Welcome back John! Did you know the price of DAX has jumped 30% since the last time you visited?”.

Marketers have to know the customers most basic information and understand how to perfectly use it, in order for their marketing campaigns to deliver the appropriate messages to their clients. One of the most important points in this context is to know the sources of the available data, and what to do with it. Obviously for an active client existing rich data should be pulled from the CRM system to gain detailed insights and to demonstrate you are listening. The CRM should quickly display the top performing customers in terms of predicted lifetime value. We should also be able to see their age, how many years they have been a customer and their purchase behaviour. Based on this, we can design targeted communication, rather than serving the same message to all.

In any campaign, marketers should track their messages (promotional or triggered messages). The problem is we are often more focused on only reaching our clients’ inboxes and don’t think to track their IPs or domains. It’s important to track these by monitoring all touch points within our campaigns.

The most interesting aspect about Contextual Marketing is the opportunities it offers marketers. Clients are demanding more relevance. The Economist Intelligence Unit Survey stated that Personalisation technologies will have the second highest impact on marketing organisations by 2020. As programmes advance, we need to be open to the possibilities they provide. Marketers should think about the customers’ needs, in order to understand where to focus. Keeping in mind the speed at which people expect a company to respond to their questions and also the ability to quickly switch to a competitor, should drive brokers to spend time working on how they can provide customised automated communication every step of the way.