SiriusDecisions, a global research and advisory firm, surveyed both B2B buyers and salespeople regarding the importance of content in determining their purchasing. We know the importance of content, but even we were amazed to hear the statistic:
If content is king, where does context fit in?
Context is content’s right-hand man. One without the other is like Laurel without Hardy, and the analytics of today makes context marketing achievable. Context, in essence, ensures that your customer or potential customer is receiving the content they need at the moment they need it and on the correct channel. Content without context is a beautiful boat drifting in an open sea. The right captain just might come along, but the chances are pretty slim.
In order to apply context marketing you need to know your personas—who you’re marketing to. This information allows you to provide personalised and relevant marketing content. Useful information might include:
- What is their occupation, education, income and gender? More relevant: What company do they work for and what do they do in their spare time?
- Was their last purchase from their mobile phone, computer or brick and mortar location?
- Where were they when they bought it?
- Are they active on social media? Where do they spend most of their time?
- What are their pain points? What product or service do you provide that can fill this need?
- What page have they recently visited on your website?
- Where are they in the purchasing process? If just considering a product or service, they will likely require general information. Once they’ve decided on a type of product or service, they’ll want the specifics: comparisons and features. This will enable you to offer the correct CTA at the correct time.
Engaging with Customers
In addition to predictive and web analytics, you can garner information from engaging with customers and potential clients in the following ways:
- Surveys. These can either be information-gathering tools that reveal your customer’s deepest thoughts, feelings and desires—or not. Surveys are all about asking the right questions.
- Social Media. Use social media to engage, inform and get to know your prospective customer.
- Think like a journalist. Know not only what services or products customers have bought in the past, but why, where, when and how. Know their preferred platform of choice and engage with them where they live.
Once you have the information, create customer profiles that define who they are and what is important to them.
More is not Better
We’ve all experienced content that may have been interesting to us if we’d only seen it at another time and on a different platform and maybe tweaked a little to match our needs just a bit more. Had that occurred, a sale and a new customer may very well have been born.
According to an article in CBS News, consumers, who were exposed to about 500 ads a day during the 1970s, are now exposed to more than 5,000 in that same time frame. That may explain one’s proclivity to click the magic ‘x’ and close the pop-up we’ve just received before we even look at it. On the other hand, if what pops-up is the van we were just searching for on the world-wide-web and considering purchasing, maybe we will linger a bit longer. And that is the art of context.