Let me paint a picture. I’m a consumer living in NYC who likes to order in using one of those multi-restaurant delivery websites – let’s call it “FoodNow” for this example. It’s likely that FoodNow has a fair amount of information about me based on my previous transactions. They likely know my home address, the cuisine (sushi) and menu items I only order (salmon and yellowtail rolls), how much I spend per order (an average of $20), etc. If they were really advanced they might even be able to chart my ordering based on the weather and notice that I only order in when it rains or snows. That’s a lot of contextual data at their fingertips.
As a loyal and mobile customer I’ve also downloaded their app. I leave rainy NYC on a trip to sunny California. When I arrive, I open the app to check out what kind of restaurants are near my hotel. A bit later I open my email and…
- Scenario A: There’s a message from FoodNow promoting a few new Italian restaurants in NYC that have signed up to their service.
- Scenario B: There’s a message from FoodNow promoting the top 3 sushi places near my current location. And even though it’s sunny in California, the email offers me a “rainy day” discount: 20% off for any order of $25 or more.
In Scenario A, the message is relevant to my home location and most likely is a typical segmented “push” campaign. Ultimately I will return home and may order Italian sometime on their website, but the message does nothing to engage me in the moment.
In Scenario B, FoodNow is playing their A-game. They deliver a highly contextual message based on my current location, past ordering history and weather. To top it off, they’ve provided a special offer which might entice me to increase my average spend.
Contextual marketing isn’t just a catch phrase — it’s the result of living in the era of Big Data and increased customer expectations. It is the culmination of marketing sophistication — the stage at which brands make the ultimate, all-important leap from campaign-centric marketing to customer-centric marketing, providing a true value exchange.
However, given the scope and complexities involved, marketers must be prepared to embrace the sophisticated tools, principles and practices necessary to process all of this data and deliver the real-time customer insights required of any contextual marketing program.
The brands that embrace the contextual marketing mindset will not only meet the unique needs of each customer, but over time, generate proprietary customer intelligence that will give those brands unparalleled advantages over their competition.
Want to know more and how to get started? Download our newest eBook From campaigns to context: Embracing the contextual marketing mindset.