Contextual Marketing Pays Off Far More

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There’s an old saying in presentation and professional speaking, “Know your audience before opening your mouth.” And it applies ever so well in the world of marketing and brand development, especially today with the hyper-speed of electronic communication.

contextual marketing

photo credit: kennymatic via photopin cc

Companies are trying their darnedest to connect to people and audiences left and right, pumping out sites, social media accounts and content in gigantic, corporate brain dump. Unfortunately, a lot of it becomes scatter-shot because the material and effort has no focus. As a result, it tends to get unheard.

The above said, the advancement into mobile communications has made marketing extremely personal. Decades before, a company would put up a billboard and hope to connect with a minority of viewers driving by. A five percent reaction was considered extremely good by traditional standards. Today, the “billboard” is held in the hand, kept in the pocket, and manages information on a broadband connection.

So how do companies then identify their audience before sending a message? Fortunately, many in the mobile world make it easy to identify themselves. Smartphone, tablet and mobile devices users seem to be generally comfortable to handing their information, likes and dislikes over to third-party platform operators, whether it be social media or app makers. Once a company connects with one of these platforms then, and obtains the operator’s information gained from users, the audience involved becomes easily identifiable. The universe also becomes easily categorized by age, likes, gender, location and even income in some cases. All of these factors become critical identifiers in providing the context of an audience.

There are other ways to identify an audience context as well:

Technical – define the audience by the device used for receiving information. The quality, level , and model of the device says a lot about the income and position of the person in society.
Content Received – users define their tastes by the material they most often read, download and consume. This provides critical triggers on the formats they are interested in and which are ignored.
Context Triggers – depending where a consumer is, he is more receptive to certain messaging than others. If a person is already in a restaurant district, messaging for new menu offerings can trigger a reaction in a receptive consumer.
Locational Positioning – the geographical location of a person can be very useful for providing messaging of businesses and opportunities in the immediate area. This sort of immediate area marketing tends to be very effective when people are already looking for something.

Whichever the case, a business that pays attention to what its audience says and tends to be far more successful in the long run connecting with these consumers. Those who ignore easily collected information and research just make it harder for themselves relying on scatter-shot marketing that goes nowhere.

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Randy Bowden

Randy Bowden

Principal Partner at bowden2bowden llc
Randy is a Principal Partner of bowden2bowden llc, a marketing and branding consultancy firm. Specializing in developing targeted marketing solutions, exceptional creative executions and solid branding strategies that give clients a real competitive advantage. Randy writes two posts weekly here, bowden2bowden blog and is the producer and host of the interview series marketer2marketer "a conversation."
Randy Bowden

@bowden2bowden

a marketing and branding guy | native floridian - georgia transplant ☞ southern enthusiast | bourbon or single malt | @Shalahb2b | http://t.co/d0oQxZ1Cbr | 
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Randy Bowden
Randy Bowden
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Comments

  1. Nice…I think there is going to be a big push to smart geo location marketing. We will be using our smart phones more and more, and that information is going to know what and where we buy on a regular basis and offer discounts etc accordingly. Example, you buy a starbucks every day, next time you are near a starbucks with a special, your phone will automatically notify you of the special, you can probably order right from the phone and just go pick it up…the world is going to change dramatically in the very near future…we need to be flexible to adapting to the changes…nice job Randy..thanks

  2. RichMcElaney says:

    Really interesting post Randy. I don't know about you, but I don't see a lot of marketers taking advantage of audience context information – and this feedback is from the consumer side of my brain. The extra challenge here is that marketers don't get much of a ramp to get it right – consumers' tolerance levels for off-target mobile messages is minimal at best.

    • I have the same vision of most marketers and many working the SM space. Spray content to everyone like a freeway full of cars and hopefully they will notice the red corvette. Today we need to dial it in a bit more than ever and with the tools at hand we can!

  3. Totally agree Randy… you have to make it relevant to your audience.

  4. Randy Bowden says:

    Thanks for the support David, very true and so many (small and large) just pump out and spray!

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