4 Ways Contextual Marketing Is Helping Brands

The brands that choose to jump on the contextual marketing bandwagon will innovate and thrive, and others will merely survive

The intersection of marketing, technology, data, and content is constantly evolving. The way we talk to our prospects and customers and the amount of information we have about them has never been at the level at which it is today. So why should we limit the way we market to them? Marketing and advertising were once all about the brand. Not any more. Marketing is becoming more about the customer and the problems you can solve for them, than about the products you’re selling. Content is changing too. It is no longer about selling. It is about informing, educating, and entertaining your customers and contextual marketing is a step in that direction. It involves setting a context for your users’ needs before marketing to them. Think of it as “reading the room” before you make your big speech.

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

– Peter Drucker

Data As The Lifeblood Of Marketing

There are certain key elements to contextual marketing. The most important is data. Luckily, marketing in this digital era is becoming more and more data-driven. You can almost clearly define your buyer or target persona to the tee. As marketers, you now have access to information around what apps they use to order food, to when their birthdays and anniversary dates are, and when they are most likely to scroll through social media. Data can allow us to go deeper into their lives and behaviours, making it an indispensable tool in the hands of marketers. Marketers today know a prospect’s context better than ever before. And this enables them to personalize their campaigns, content, and ads to their audiences. The result? More targeted ad spend, better conversion rates, high retention, and brand loyalty.

1. Context Makes Content Stand Out

When it comes to content, setting context has become more important than ever. Marketers have the power to deliver highly relevant messages. No longer do brands have to spray and pray for reach and relevance, they can manufacture it by delivering the right content at the right time to the right audience. Contextual signals are changing the mobile-content space as now marketers have information like location, time, app targeting. They understand their user’s daily routine and can deliver the right message accordingly.

Another way to look at this is by considering the marketing funnel. Can the prospect who is casually browsing your website be shown the same content as someone in their final stages of decision-making? Not really, right? Now imagine hyper-personalizing this content as per that particular individual's digital behaviour. Not only can you show them the content they should be seeing, but you can also show it in a manner that is most relatable and accessible to them.

2. Contextual Targeting = Higher Conversion Rates

Imagine seeing an ad for a chemical-free cleaner next to an article about sustainability. Or the ad for the same product, this time talking about how it is pet-friendly, next to an article about grooming your pet. This, in gist, is contextual targeting. Marketers can monitor and target broad categories to specific keywords and even types of content platforms. The coming together of contextual tech providers and natural language processing means that this targeting is becoming more and more granular and personalized.

3. Niche Industries Thrive

Industry-specific targeting, via ads or through organic outreach, when paired with contextual marketing can give great results. Instead of going in for large-scale, traditional advertising methods that target a mass-market, industries like finance, pharma, real estate can be where their customers are at the right time with the right message.

4. A superior customer experience

Brands are always fighting for customer mind space and loyalty. At the heart of that is customer experience. Luckily for us, we are sitting on so much data about our customers that we need only to leverage it effectively to craft experiences that are tailored to each customer. We’re talking real-time, highly personalized interactions based on the individual customer’s preferences and past interactions.

What’s the next chapter for contextual marketing? The year 2021 will see a coming together of a data-driven approach to marketing, contextual advertising and content marketing. We will see an even more hyper-personalized world powered by emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and in a world where there is an information and content overload, the brands who choose to jump on the contextual marketing bandwagon will innovate and thrive, and others will merely survive.

The author is Anirudh Singla, Founder and CEO, Pepper Content

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