Nothing is More Important to Marketing than Customer Context
Posted on April 15, 2012 by Dale Wolf
By Dale Wolf
Context is the connector to the customer. It establishes relevance to what the customer needs or is interested in. If we deliver a marvelous experience at every touchpoint, our chances of being listened to go up rapidly. The customer experience is often both emotional and realistic. It takes research about customer needs to make sure you are capable of delivering a better experience than any other competitor.
Companies that have mastered the ability to deliver contextually relevant messaging based on individual end-user requirements can then offer contextual services as Apple’s Genius Bar or Nike’s “build your own shoe” or the ability to keep track of an important package being delivered by UPS or personalized financial advice from “Chuck” – all to increase customer satisfaction.
What is Context?
Context is the interrelated conditions in which information or activity exists with other situational events that impact decision making and the final outcome. What do we aspire out of our lives? What are the barriers? What defines our world view? Are we willing to look at alternatives to turn barriers into positives? Are we control freaks? Are we trapped into situations or conditions that we fail to see a way for improving our condition. Is family the most important attribute that defines how we act? Or is it success or respect? Or protecting our silo at work—even if better ideas come along that could threaten the silo? What is it that we want our of our careers?
All significant decisions occur within a context. Every action occurs within a context. All consumption occurs within a context so not addressing it leaves you with a less efficient marketing program. The more you understand my context or that of people similar to me, the less information you have to give me while serving me more efficiently and effectively.
What is Contextual Marketing?
Marketing is contextual when it is made relevant to each individual prospect’s situation (the prospect’s fine-grained profile of demographics and informational interests, location, timing, needs and decision process) while also addressing the needs of the sponsoring enterprise (awareness, positioning, qualification, barrier identification, trust, closure). Contextual marketing brings customer and seller together so that customers can make better decisions, faster and easier.
- Location context—a prospect is in on a business trip or is in the mall where you sell medical devices or at a convention hall where you have a booth
- Job Role/Department–a prospect’s point of view shifts dramatically with different responsibilities
- Life-cycle context—a prospect has just been promoted or bought a house or had a baby or made the 100% Sales Club
- Behavioral—a prospect is browsing your website and clicked your demo video, has complained on Google + that his CRM system just lost valuable data and he is madder than hell, or joined an online group
- Event related—the stock market just took a plunge, or the prospect tweeted about reading a book with relevance to your business or is evaluating new business systems or attending a relevant business conference
With context, it is often fairly easy to identify when, where and what the prospect is doing. The more important question is why. If your telemarketing team is armed with such contextual information, they can dig for the why to shape a contextually relevant message that can move a prospect into a buying cycle.