How contextual marketing will help your brand

Brands today operate in the most dynamic and data-driven marketplace that has ever existed. The ubiquity of devices, coupled with a hyper-connected culture has changed the fundamental nature of consumer-brand relationships.

Technology proliferation and unprecedented choice has redefined consumer expectations and what brands can provide.

This new cohort of consumers have earned the label of “entitled” – they expect relevant communications that speak directly to their needs in any given moment, via the most appropriate channel.

These consumers reward the brands that succeed with a mass of personal data and information, as long as they feel like they gain value in return.

How the CMO sees it

At Selligent we recently canvassed the views of 108 senior marketing executives. The results showed that 67% of CMOs are not taking advantage of contextual data and the technologies available.

Delving deeper, the research revealed that some marketers are actively waiting for their competitors to make the first move – 81% admitted they’d only increase their use of situational data if their competitors did first.

some marketers are actively waiting for their competitors to make the first move

This is very surprising as it presents an opportunity for smaller disruptive brands to win marketshare from current leaders that are slow to adopt this new marketing reality.

Failure to move quickly puts marketing ROI and bottom-line revenue at risk.

Utilising data properly

Despite scepticism around data and privacy legislation, research has shown that consumers are willing to share personal data in exchange for personalised experiences and offers, creating a deeper brand relationship.

Context is key. It has the power to make or break communications.

context is key. It has the power to make or break communications

When context is lost, ignored or misinterpreted, it can have a lasting, damaging effect on a relationship. Digital innovation has redefined consumers’ expectations of what brands can and should provide.

Today’s consumers expect relevant communications that speak directly to their needs in real-time.

With access to the most up-to-date customer data, and the technology to deliver such personalised messages, marketers have no excuse for getting it wrong.

Consumers know this and some are actively refusing to interact with brands that can’t keep up.

Learn from history

Rewind just a few decades; and shopping looked very different. A small community of consumers with a personal relationship with their shopkeeper.

People enjoyed a personal experience, fast forward 50-100 years and that core principle has not changed.

marketers must still provide a personal experience

Now, marketers must still provide a personal experience and get to know their customers on an intimate 1:1 level.

Radical digitisation and automation means that technology providers can make this possible and scalable for brands, whatever the channel, even on a huge scale.

Put the consumer first

Most brands are collecting data on their consumers, but the key is in understanding and acting on the insight it provides. I call this approach ‘Consumer-First Marketing’.

Marketers must invert traditional methods of working that put the channel or marketer first, in order to create engaging and valuable relationships that meet the new needs of consumers.

it goes far beyond traditional CRM data

It goes far beyond traditional CRM data which is often limited to historic demographic and transactional data. Marketers need to build a 360-degree profile – in a continual process – that creates actionable insight that can be leveraged across all channels, in real-time.

By doing this, brands can create customer experiences that are seamless, relevant and unique.

Beat the competition

We live in an age where consumers are savvy and empowered; this, coupled with an increasing amount of choice, rightfully makes them hard to engage with using traditional methods.

Brands that disrupt now, will garner loyalty, generate exclusive customer insight, increase conversion and the bottom-line of their organisation – ahead of the competition.

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