Saturday, January 08, 2005

Contextual Marketing Definitions

By Dale Wolf

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. All consumption occurs within a context. The more you understand my context, the less information you have to give me while serving me more efficiently and effectively. All significant decisions occur within a context. Every action occurs within a context.

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.

  • Mass Customization – (Dell Computers, Levi Jeans, – contextual applications increasing the personalization of production based on individual end-user requirements. Increased customer satisfaction while lowering production inventory and manufacturing cost and eliminating need for clearance sales.
  • Personalized Services – (UPS, Delta Airlines, Charles Schwab) – contextual applications increasing the flexible delivery of logistics based on individual end-user requirements. Improved customer service at a lower cost.

What is the Contextual Internet?

Marketing where both content and functionality address the prospect’s individual context – who the user is, where the user is located, what environment surrounds the user, where the user is coming from, what the user is trying to do today. Understanding the context and developing campaigns that serve context is where the Internet is headed. Align information and functionality with the end user’s situation (the decision environment) and end user’s requirements (workflow, points of leverage, decision flow, decision triggers).

  1. Technology tracks content selected by each visitor
  2. Builds profile of each site visitor
  3. Uses this knowledge to present content that is in context with who the visitor is and what she wants and what our client wants to talk about
  4. Determines which products the customer is most interested in exploring
  5. Evaluates the customer’s “readiness to buy” level for each product
  6. Presents catalysts to move the customer step-by-step toward a purchase decision

What are Contextual Profiling Methodologies?

There are a variety of means to determine customer requirements that then help achieve relevance and improved marketing productivity:

  • Site Traversal History. Watch instead of ask. Present various contents and build customer profile based on implicit interests.
  • Registration. Complete a short enrollment form requiring some explicit information about the customer.
  • User Configuration. Customer accesses configuration tools to help simplify navigation, personalize screen layout, design product specifications.
  • Audience Segmentation. Navigation options that allow customers to self-allocate themselves into market clusters.
  • Collaborative Filtering. Group similar kinds of customers who are more likely to select the same kinds of content offerings; when someone selects a particular kind of content that person is sent additional content that other similar customers found useful.
  • Satisfaction Surveys. Complaints, compliments, questions and suggestions reveal individual needs, wants and expectations.


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