Ashu Kajekar

Entrepreneur and Internet Visionary

August 12, 2017

Smart companies know that to appeal to customers, their marketing efforts have to strike at the right time and in the right place. Contextual marketing is just that: it’s the practice of delivering marketing that is both timely and appropriate for a particular platform or user situation.

Take Zenimax, for instance, a company that makes and markets online video games for the PC and consoles. Zenimax uses contextual marketing to entice players to play its online games by sending out marketing emails on Friday nights, just in time for the weekend. The company knows that Friday nights are the perfect time to market to many of its players since this is when they will most likely have the time to play. The company also sends out different emails to different segments of the market, separating those players who regularly play from those who are inactive. This allows it to emphasize the aspects of its product that each segment will find the most interesting.

It all sounds simple in theory, but actually putting contextual marketing into practice can be a major challenge. So how do you do it?

  1. Keep Your Customer Data For A Long Time

Many companies quickly build a treasure trove of customer data during marketing campaigns, helping them to identify possible leads and conversion opportunities. And while all this data collection is good, it shouldn’t be a one-off event. Rather, data collection needs to be ongoing, allowing you to better track customers and personalize your ad campaigns.

In practice, this means building robust, durable customer profiles across devices, channels and time. You should be able to track each interaction on the customer level and integrate all your data to produce a unique profile of the client. This could include data from your CRM tools, POS systems, interaction with your email and digital adverts and activity on your website, including content they consume.

By better understanding a customer, you’re able to personalize content and adapt quickly to their changing tastes and preferences.

2. Keep Ownership Of Your Identity Graphs

While vendor identity graphs might seem like a cost-effective way to gather personalized user data, they’re not ideal, mainly because can’t be transferred across different digital platforms.

The solution is to keep control of your data and ID graphs. This allows you to use the same customer information across multiple campaigns and in different scenarios. Plus, if you keep your ID graph over the long term, you’ll continue to build useful user information. Going down the ownership route gives you the opportunity to use this valuable data across platforms and settings, streamlining the customer’s marketing experience.

3. Create Buyer Personas

Buyer personas represent a stereotypical customer. They’re stylized versions of real people out there in the world who come into contact with your company. If you want to provide the right contextual marketing to customers, it’s important to make your buyer personas as detailed and as realistic as possible. Accurately identifying a buyer persona maximizes your chances of making a sale.

Take a look at your personas and ask whether they reflect the true personalities of your customers. Not sure if they do? Use analytics tools to track the performance of your targeted campaigns to these different groups.