Contextual Marketing: Using the Personal for Lifetime Conversions

A little personalisation goes a long way in the world of marketing.

Don’t believe me?

According to Adobe’s Real-Time Marketing Insights study, personalised emails have over six times the transaction rate as other emails.

Impressive. But how can you use this fact to your benefit?

Web users leave trails of information about themselves every time they visit your website. With this information, you can find out essential demographics, including:

  • Geographic location
  • Device used
  • Site pages visited

And after this information is collected, it can be used to lead the buyer further down the sales funnel. This is accomplished by offering personalisation in something we call real-time contextual marketing.

What Is Real Time Contextual Marketing?

Contextual marketing uses real-time analytics to determine who you are and what you’re looking for. Sophisticated marketing practices mine this information by reviewing the mass of data that follows a user on every website they visit. They also request this data through sign-up or checkout forms.

A basic example of contextual marketing is when you get an email from a business like Microsoft informing you of a sale on its Office software.

In the subject line, they use your name. Because it’s addressed to you, it appeals on a human level as the email doesn’t seem like it’s from a giant corporation because it’s addressed to you.

Now after you open the email, the sales offer talks about solving a pain point at your organisation and actually uses the name of your business.

Automatically, you start to visualise how creating pivot tables on Excel is going to make your work more efficient.

This works because now you see the product as the solution you need. It also shows that Microsoft understands organisations like yours, and that its tools have been designed to assist you. That understanding breeds trust and loyalty, which becomes advocacy.

But what if you were a student instead?

Based on the information Microsoft collected, if they know you’re a student, their email automation system will send you a message that relates to the struggles of a college student.

Another example is when you’re looking for flights to a city like Boston.

After you book your flight, you start seeing ads for events at the TD Garden or restaurants in the downtown area. Because of the recency effect, you remember the names of these suggestions after you touch down at the airport and your stomach is growling.

And now one of those restaurants gets your dollar because their algorithms knew exactly when you were going to be in Boston.

Why Is Contextual Marketing Important?

Real time contextual marketing keeps your emails fresh.

For online retailers, this is useful for retargeting customers who never finished their purchase – whether because what they wanted wasn’t at the right price, or they needed to do more research.

Real-time marketing can also create a price alert for the customer. Instead of sending out the same old “Ready to Check Out?” email, organisations using real-time marketing can automate their systems to look up the latest price on products left in shopping carts.

Retailers like Amazon and JB Hi-Fi use this practice.

Once they see the price has come down, the hesitant customer will hit the ‘Submit Order’ button in the blink of an eye.

We’re transforming static marketing campaigns and making them dynamic, giving audiences a reason to engage with them every day.

How Can I Add Contextual Marketing to My Strategy?

Implementing this type of marketing is no easy task, especially since it requires a large amount of data.

So, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure your event-based and segment marketing (separating your audience into specific subgroups) practices are optimised.

When you’re ready to implement contextual marketing to your website, we suggest using your customer relationship manager’s (CRM) personalisation tools.

These tools use your contact database to make your marketing dynamic. It works like this: when someone fills out one of your forms, these tools store information about the parts of your site they’ve looked at, their location, their work title, and their names.

Now you can segment the visitor into one of your buyer personas.

After you’ve developed a set of personas, a returning visitor will see targeted content on your site. Instead of a generic call-to-action, you can have the system tailored to tell the person by name to download your content offer!

Calls-to-action peppered with personalisation do 42% better than broad CTAs.

Through contextual marketing, you’re painting your brand’s story and personality so that your audience sees you as more than a faceless organisation.

To really make a connection with them and take your creative content marketing to the next level, you have to interact with your audience by treating them like people. And contextual marketing does just that.

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