This is a series of 8 articles that talk about the Future of Marketing. If you have not read the first article start here.
8) Contextual Marketing (8 of 8 articles)
In plain vanilla, contextual marketing is distributing content/ offers to users depending on their context. What will be more relevant in the future is that we can take into consideration a lot more variables than in the past. In the future, Contextual Marketing will be a kind of a dance mixer between physicist Albert Einstein, behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, strategist Michael Porter and Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci. This is not an attempt to get saucy or to start random name dropping; it's that modern contextual marketing tools offer possibilities to play with creativity, human behavior, strategy, time and space.
Today, we can make our marketed value proposition message dependent on Einstein's two favorite variables, time and space. At the same time, we can program different marketing initiatives or messages to be conditional to prior behaviors. To put a cherry on top, platforms like Facebook Ads, Adwords (Google) and others, have integrated machine learning in their advertising systems. This means that all the thinking on how to optimize conversion with audiences, within the best time and space, is done by these platforms. So what do I need to worry about if Facebook is doing all the heavy lifting?
This is where the skill set of Michael Porter comes in, you need to have a clear strategy and a decent initial hypothesis. You have to be very logical to set up the rules on which you want Facebook to optimize and understand which variables to adjust once you start to obtain results.
But why all the fuss with contextual marketing? To put it in numbers, "Leads who are nurtured with targeted content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities (Source). Consequently, calls-to-action targeted to the user have a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than calls-to-action that were the same for all visitors (Source: HubSpot).
What do I see in the future? Our ability to engineering serendipity! Yes, we can now whisper with a very mystical voice the words, "everything happens for a reason." The secret is to remove the creepy undertones. An example of this orchestrated coincidence is when Taco Bell and Waze sent coupons to drivers who were near a Taco Bell restaurants, but only when the drivers stopped at red lights, taking into consideration the driver's safety and message effectiveness. As mentioned before, the secret is to get people to opt-in to this type of service, not to sketch your way into their private lives. Trust and consent are essential in this engineered serendipity. In conclusion, each interaction with a user has a tradeoff; our goal is to add more value at each touching point with the client than the privacy and time they give up when interacting with you. Being an expert in Contextual Marketing is key, because modern tools will enable us to present solution to the right clients, at the right time and place.
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