Become Your Customer’s Concierge Using Contextual Marketing

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By definition, contextual marketing is an online marketing model that delivers personalized, relevant content to each of your customers. Typically based on identifiers and preferences. In other words, location, local weather, past purchases, recent browsing behavior, time of opening the email, etc. It’s no surprise that these personalized, timely and relevant emails create meaningful brand interactions with your customers.

In order to implement a contextual marketing strategy, it is important to be collecting and leveraging as much customer data as possible

Utilizing data is the only way you can accurately anticipate the future needs and desires of your client base.

If you are not implementing a strong data collection strategy, I highly recommend it. 

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In Fact

Generally speaking, brands that strategically utilize customer data insights to deploy structured contextual marketing see up to a 10% increase in engagement. You know what that can mean for your ROI and bottom line.

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But What Is a Good Contextual Marketing Strategy Really?

Ok so the definition of contextual marketing is pretty straight forward. That being said, what does a real world example of this strategy really look like? 

Let’s say you are in the market for a new car. For the last three weeks, you have searched the web endlessly. Checking out a variety of makes and models. Namely something that will be just right for your family road trips, sporting events, carpools etc.

You spend your early morning hours researching. You know before the day becomes filled with work deadlines and after school activities, researching. Explicitly scrolling through different SUVs and crossover vehicles while sipping your morning coffee. 

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Just for fun, you also just so happen to live in New England, where the winters can be long and the road conditions treacherous. 

Consequently, an automobile brand marketer with a great marketing strategy will already know all of this about you. After all, they have been collecting your data through your research process. Certainly, they will leverage these insights to target you specifically through their contextual marketing.  

What Does that Mean Exactly?

In this case, you would receive an email around 5 am showcasing their top selling line of family friendly vehicles.  All of which, will be top safety rated AWD vehicles with excellent performance on snowy and icy roads. Of course, if they want to really capture your attention they will include an offer. A special incentive, an exclusive invitation to test drive at your local dealership. 

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Chances are likely that many automotive brands are employing contextual email marketing in this exact way.  As a result, you will get this exact email featuring the SUV you have been eyeing for weeks. You know the one you have googled and reviewed over 15 times in the last 2 weeks? 
 
Keeping that in mind, there is a pretty good chance you are going to take advantage of the offer. Gather up the family and head to the dealership this weekend to give your dream SUV the old test drive.

And what does this mean for the marketing team at that ever so popular all terrain automobile company?

In short, they just served you up exactly what you wanted, precisely when you needed it.  

Which, has a really good chance of winning your business. Win for them! And, gets you behind the wheel of the vehicle of your dreams. Win for you!
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Who is Contextual Marketing Good For?

The reason why contextual email marketing is such a trending topic everywhere, is because it is applicable, and successful, anywhere.  Since it leverages customer data and insights, contextual marketing strategies can be tailored to any brand in any industry.

What that means for marketing teams, is that they can create tailored emails for their customers that are guaranteed to increase their engagement rates and ROI.

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Not Only That...

Contextual marketing is great for customers as well.  Implementing these types of personalized marketing strategies means customers receive emails that are actually relevant to them.

And we all know customers are more likely to respond to emails that have information that pertains to them. Especially regarding something they have been actively researching. So why not take advantage of that in a way that benefits your customers as well?

In addition, contextualized marketing can provide relevant information that a customer may have been looking for. It is these bits of information, micro-moments, that can greatly influence a purchasing decision.  Ultimately giving the customer what they want and need at precisely the right time. 

How Do I Implement Contextual Marketing Correctly?

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First Things First

The most crucial part of creating a contextual strategy is having a data strategy. Meaning you need to have a data collection, aggregation and visualization strategy in place. One that will allow you to compile, measure and leverage customer data accurately.  

In other words, the first step to creating an amazing contextualize marketing strategy is creating a well rounded data strategy. 

Below are some important tips to get you started on the road to contextual success:

Tip # 1: Provide Personalized Data-Driven Content
Now that you are collecting data, it’s time to put it to work. Once you have a visualization of the data points that make your customers unique, you can get to work on creating content.
 
Keep in mind, that each content piece should be specifically tailored to the audience member(s) you are targeting. Doing so will ensure that each of your potential customers receives messaging that directly related to the products and services they have shown interest in. 
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Tip # 2: Find Ways to Broaden Customer Engagement

The goal of every marketer is to create ways in which the customer can engage with their content. Specifically when that content is relevant to their anticipated need.

Developing new engagement strategies and points for customers provides more opportunities to collect data.  Specifically more detailed information pertaining to customers interest, want and needs. Not only that, it creates an opportunity to showcase the brand and products. Ultimately the main purpose of which is nurturing a deeper connection between customer and brand. 

For example, the SUV shopper may be asked about their auto budget via a brief survey.   

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Tip # 3: Enhance Customer Satisfaction
Marketing is all about giving your customers what they need exactly when they need it. Contextual Marketing allows you to do exactly this. 
 
Proactively anticipating and delivering on consumers needs simplifies research and minimizes efforts. This creates an easy and pleasant buyer journey for end users. Resulting in increased engagement and ideally long term brand loyalty. 
For instance, the automobile marketer would provide suitable links based on the prospective customer’s browsing history. 
Tip # 4: Target Audience Based on Specific Demography

A precise customer profile must be created based on customer behavior and insights. Specifically utilizing relevant data points like geographic locations, particular needs and interests.

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Essentially, data driven customer profiles facilitate tailored messaging unique to the wants and needs of customers. 

Remember a well planned data acquisition and visualization strategy will make this process fairly simple.  

Tip # 5: Boost Confidence in Your Brand
Overall, contextual marketing allows for hyper targeted, personalized messaging to relevant consumers. Which is especially crucial during their discovery and buying process.  Implementing this practice into your marketing strategy will nearly eliminate the chances of customers receiving irrelevant messaging. 
 
Interacting with consumers through contextualized marketing gives your brand a personalized touch. Which in turn, creates a sense of trust and confidence between your customers and your brand. 
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Additionally

It is important to limit the number of marketing efforts you deploy to customers. Too many messages can be intrusive and off-putting   And ALWAYS provide an opt-in / opt-out on all of your marketing efforts.  

This provides customer a sense of control in terms of their interactions with you.  You are trusting them to be loyal and they are trusting to you give provide them what they need in the way they need it. 

Tip # 6: Ensure Instant Customer Gratification

As we have discussed before, the need for instant gratification is more prevalent than ever before. This is especially true in terms of customer interest and research.  Tracking your potential customer’s page views and interactions on your site will allow you to predict and send information to customers at the moment they need it most.  

Be sure to serve up the appropriate content within a relevant time frame. 

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This can be achieved by leveraging data to estimate what and when a customer will need information you can provide.  

In other words, provide compelling messaging to the shopper that solves a problem with it arises. There is no better way to make a lasting impression and pleasantly surprises them!   

Tip # 7: Make Use Of Available Robust Capabilities
Tools such as image swap, weather widget, countdown clock video-in-email, image personalization and social widget enable marketers to do amazing things. 
 
Utilizing these elements in contextualized emails provides an opportunity for multiple interactions throughout one message.  
Creating an multifaceted interactive email interface will capture and retain the customers attention. 
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If you want to really go wild dive into the world of kinetic email marketing. Go Ahead! Take your contextual emails to the next level. I promise you won’t be sorry. 

In a Nutshell

Contextual marketing has become the best way to attract customers and win their business.  A multifaceted strategy, contextual email marketing creates brand awareness and loyalty. Achieved by providing customers relevant information, about your brand and products that they actually want. All while increasing customer engagement and ROI for your business. 
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Integrating a contextual strategy into your marketing efforts seems like a no brainer, right? But it can be a bit more daunting than it seems. 
If you have a strategy in place or you are in the process, I hope our tips come in handy.  But, if you’re not sure where to star, don’t have the bandwidth or in-house expertise, don’t worry. There are a number of contextual email and kinetic marketing experts just waiting to partner with you
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