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Is Your Content The Right Fit For Your Audience? Learn About Context Marketing And How to Apply it

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Is Your Content The Right Fit For Your Audience? Learn About Context Marketing And How to Apply it

Successful businesses know ‌their consumers are constantly evolving. The modern consumer is selective when they consume media. They don’t appreciate top-down marketing strategies anymore. Rather, they want businesses to cater their content according to their needs and not the other way round.

Context marketing is an excellent solution for any brand that wants to up its advertising game. It’s a consumer-centric approach that involves pushing relevant content to your target audience based on what they’re doing at that moment. The ultimate goal is to ‘catch’ your consumers when they’re engaging in an activity that is related to your brand.

For example, a woman is searching for an easy recipe on YouTube to make lunch for her children. She clicks on the video she wants to watch and a pre-roll runs before she can access her content. The pre-roll is advertising a bento/lunchbox brand. The woman finds this to be useful and clicks on the provided link to purchase bento boxes for her children. This would be a context marketing win.

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Context Vs Content Marketing: The Guide

Brands that regularly advertise know all about content marketing but here’s a quick recap just in case.

Content marketing is all about content creation and sharing. You can create multiple forms of digital content pieces, including but not limited to short and long-form videos, static graphics, 2D/3D animations, blog posts, and 360 videos. This content is intended to generate interest in a brand but doesn’t specifically use consumer preferences as insights.

Context marketing is different because it uses data-driven insights to target your consumers at the most relevant times. Brands can select from a variety of options to create a contextual campaign that makes consumers pay attention because it promotes something they need at any given moment.

For example, if you were advertising a call masking app using a content marketing strategy, you would create a bunch of posts promoting the app. You’d post these on your social media and use media spends to advertise it to a general audience. This strategy might work, but it won’t get you the ROI you need.

Alternatively, you could use a context marketing strategy and place ads for the app in YouTube videos involving pranks. You could also use Google AdSense and have your ads pop up when people search for privacy concerns when making phone calls. This strategy would ensure you hit your marketing KPIs and would be much more efficient.

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Why Does Context Marketing Work?

It’s a good time to segue into the whys of context marketing. Why should your brand adopt a context marketing strategy? What’s in it for you? These are great questions to ask and the answers will reassure you.

Here’s why context marketing works for advertisers:

Context Converts 

The key to getting crazy conversions is to study your consumers’ journey. Traditional marketing focused on a funnel approach, where the brand would guide the consumer towards purchase. Context marketing asks you to consider the consumers’ needs before pushing content to them. Adopting this strategy leads to better content performance and an impressive conversion rate.

Context is Affordable 

Brands can get efficient results that are lighter on the pocket than a content-based approach. There’s no need to create endless campaigns to sell your product or services. You can use one or two key content pieces, target them to pop up at the right time, and enjoy successful results.

Context is Retained 

All brands want to break through clutter. In an over-saturated digital space, thumb-stopping power is king. Context marketing allows brands to increase both Top of Mind (TOM) and recall because it creates brand equity, i.e. provides consumers with branded yet impactful experiences. These make them less likely to forget about the brand.

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How to do Context Marketing the Right Way

Context marketing should be your go-to strategy across the various touchpoints in your marketing plan. The approach applies to ideation, comms, and even your brand’s digital eCommerce strategy. We will discuss implementation in greater detail below.

An efficient context marketing strategy simultaneously identifies and solves consumers’ problems or pain points. Brands shouldn’t be worried about getting eyes on their products. They should be more concerned about solving key issues that their consumers have, to increase their customer base and win loyalty over time.

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Keeping this in mind, these are some of the points to consider when formulating your brand’s context marketing strategy:

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1.   Use Popular Platforms to Craft Experiences

According to Statista, approximately 6.648 billion people own smartphones around the world. This is a staggering number because it accounts for almost 83.72% of the global population. Any successful brand knows they have to be where their consumers are, which is to say on smartphones.

Brands can utilize context marketing to create relevant experiences for consumers right on their cellphones. An efficient and uncomplicated way to do this is to follow PUBG’s example.

The mobile game collaborated with K-Pop girl group BLACKPINK last year to create a set of in-game billboards, electronic displays, and custom outfits for playable characters. With K-Pop on the rise, BLACKPINK placed themselves in a relevant space and targeted gaming consumers so they would create a positive association around both the brand and the band.

Context marketing through mobile phones is also possible through geotargeting. Dominos ran a successful campaign where they pushed offers and deals to consumers based on their exact location. This was all done in real-time; consumers got texts urging them to order Dominos with a unique discount for their area. The campaign was a major win and resulted in a high conversion rate for Dominos.

This model can be replicated: imagine efficiently reaching consumers through texts or voicemail at the time they need it most. Their brand love would increase exponentially.

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2.   Place CTAs in Effective Spaces

All branded content being pushed in online spaces should include a Call To Action (CTA). Context marketing works when a potential consumer sees your advert in a space where it’s hyper-relevant.

For example, if an employer is browsing online about “remote culture”, they would be open to seeing an advertising blog about remote work. A strong CTA like “Visit Here!” might give them the extra push they need to open your webpage.

3.   Create Spaces for Social Sharing

Virality can make or break brands in this digital age. Brands can amp up their shareability with a focused context marketing strategy. A good example to follow is to look at what Buzzfeed does.

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Buzzfeed is a content giant and it works solely on the principle of social sharing. If your friend enjoys an article or quiz made from Outgrow Quiz Maker, they will send you the link. You will engage with the content piece, earning Buzzfeed revenue, and you might share it forward, too. Buzzfeed engineers this process by customizing the sharing buttons on the bottom of its web pages.

So, based on a consumer’s online habits, the article they see will have specific buttons for the social media sites they visit most. Frequent Instagrammers will see the Gram button first in order, whereas Twitter users will see the blue bird. This is a smart way to contextualize your content since it places the audience in the top spot.

Brands can also incentivize social sharing and/or engagement. For example, everyone knows how to rate an app but not everyone wants to do it. Your brand can offer a small incentive such as a discount coupon or a BOGO offer to get consumers to rate your app. It seems like a small gesture but this kind of context marketing can increase retention and build a positive association around the brand for the audience.

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Bonus: Contextualize your Marketing with Facebook

It’s worthwhile to note that Facebook is an important platform for brands looking to deploy context marketing. Numerous Facebook groups cater to almost every niche you can think of. Some of these groups also allow brands to covertly advertise their products or services cleverly.

For example, an FMCG brand can offer a month’s or year’s worth of goods to users that engage with its digital campaign in the group. Consumers love when brands engage with them in a personal space as long as they’re not obnoxious about it and Facebook groups are a good way to do that.

Facebook also makes it possible to target ads based on what users have liked or engaged with. If you like a page about rock climbing, for example, you’re likely to start seeing adverts from brands selling safety gear or sports apparel. This makes it possible for brands to pull in new customers from a specific pool, meaning they increase their TOM for their audience.

Whether you leverage Facebook or Google to contextualize your adverts, the point of note is that context marketing works. It delivers results backed by data, allows for reduction in marketing spends and content budgets, and enables businesses to build brand equity through relevant and impactful consumer experiences.


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MARKETING

6 martech contract gotchas you need to be aware of

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6 martech contract gotchas you need to be aware of

Having worked at several organizations and dealt with many more vendors, I’ve seen my share of client-vendor relationships and their associated “gotchas.” 

Contracts are complex for a reason. That’s why martech practitioners are wise to lean on lawyers and buyers during the procurement process. They typically notice terms that could undoubtedly catch business stakeholders off guard.

Remember, all relationships end. It is important to look for thorny issues that can wreak havoc on future plans.

I’ve seen and heard of my share of contract gotchas. Here are some generalizations to look out for.

1. Data

So, you have a great data vendor. You use them to buy contacts and information as well as to enrich what data you’ve already got. 

When you decide to churn from the vendor, does your contract allow you to keep and use the data you’ve pulled into your CRM or other systems after the relationship ends? 

You had better check.

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2. Funds

There are many reasons why you would want to give funds in advance to a vendor. Perhaps it pays for search ads or allows your representatives to send gifts to prospective and current customers. 

When you change vendors, will they return unused funds? That may not be a big deal for small sums of money. 

Further, while annoying, processing fees aren’t unheard of. But what happens when a lot of cash is left in the system? 

You had better make sure that you can get that back.

3. Service-level agreements (SLAs)

Your business is important, and your projects are a big deal. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get a prompt response to a question or action when something wrong happens. 

That’s where SLAs come in. 

It’s how your vendor tells you they will respond to questions and issues. A higher price point typically will get a client a better SLA that requires the vendor to respond and act more quickly — and more of the time to boot (i.e., 24/7 service vs. standard business hours). 

Make sure that an SLA meets your expectations. 

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Further, remember that most of the time, you get what you pay for. So, if you want a better SLA, you may have to pay for it.


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4. Poaching

Clients and vendors alike are always looking for quality people to employ. Sometimes they find them on the other side of the client-vendor relationship. 

Are you OK with them poaching one of your team members? 

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If not, this should be discussed and put into writing during the contract negotiation phase, a renewal, or at any time if it is that important.

 I have dealt with organizations that are against anti-poaching clauses to the point that a requirement to have one is a dealbreaker. Sometimes senior leadership or board members are adamant about an individual’s freedom to work where they please — even if one of their organization’s employees departs to work for a customer or vendor. 

5. Freebies

It is not unheard of for vendors to offer their customers freebies. Perhaps they offer a smaller line item to help justify a price increase during a renewal. 

Maybe the company is developing a new product and offers it in its nascent/immature/young stage to customers as a deal sweetener or a way to collect feedback and develop champions for it. 

Will that freemium offer carry over during the next renewal? Your account executive or customer success manager may say it will and even spell that out in an email. 

Then, time goes by. People on both sides of the relationship change or forget details. Company policies change. That said, the wording in a contract or master service agreement won’t change. 

Make sure the terms of freebies or other good deals are put into legally sound writing.

Read next: 24 questions to ask ABM vendors before signing the contract

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6. Pricing factors

There are many ways vendors can price out their offerings. For instance, a data broker could charge by the contact engaged by a customer. But what exactly does that mean? 

If a customer buys a contact’s information, that makes sense as counting as one contact. 

What happens if the customer, later on, wants to enrich that contact with updated information? Does that count as a second contact credit used? 

Reasonable minds could justify the affirmative and negative to this question. So, evaluating a pricing factor or how it is measured upfront is vital to determine if that makes sense to your organization. 

Don’t let contract gotchas catch you off-guard 

The above are just a few examples of martech contract gotchas martech practitioners encounter. There is no universal way to address them. Each organization will want to address them differently. The key is to watch for them and work with your colleagues to determine what’s best in that specific situation. Just don’t get caught off-guard.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


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About The Author

Steve Petersen is a marketing technology manager at Zuora. He spent nearly 8.5 years at Western Governors University, holding many martech related roles with the last being marketing technology manager. Prior to WGU, he worked as a strategist at the Washington, DC digital shop The Brick Factory, where he worked closely with trade associations, non-profits, major brands, and advocacy campaigns. Petersen holds a Master of Information Management from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Brigham Young University. He’s also a Certified ScrumMaster. Petersen lives in the Salt Lake City, UT area.

Petersen represents his own views, not those of his current or former employers.

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