More context on Context Marketing

Sandra Nangeroni
Sandra Nangeroni

Senior Director, Marketing & Sales Enablement

Recently I noticed a lot buzz around context marketing so I started poking around the usual marketing hubs to get more “context” around this topic. It got me wondering what the relationship is between content marketing and context marketing is. Do they work together or separate? And is context marketing the next generation of content marketing, or does it completely change our approach to marketing? In my searches I came across a great resource –  Seven Elements of Context Marketing – and it helped demystify some of these questions starting with what Context Marketing is not. (I quote)

  • Context marketing is not a channel like email or social media.
  • Context marketing is not a technology like marketing automation or content management.
  • Context marketing is not content marketing.

When you think about Content Marketing, it is about producing educational, informative and engaging content to attract visitors and to keep them coming back. Content is created relevant to specific audiences depending on what stage they are at and nurtures them along until they’re ready to buy. This requires a good content plan and for content to be optimized and leveraged to its fullest extent – a challenge for even the most savvy marketers. For a good example of how to get the most from your content check out this post – Getting content from content. It outlines an example on how to maximize your content investment and re-purpose it to drive more leads.

With Context Marketing, as described in the Seven Elements paper, it amplifies content based on habits and preferences you know about your prospects and then using that intelligence to present it in a frame of reference so it appears in a timely, natural way that pulls those prospects further down the funnel.  So while having a good blueprint for specific audiences is a really good thing, it can sometimes be fruitless if the right content doesn’t reach the right people at the right time, or on the right device.

Context marketing is all about making your marketing more personalized and relevant to an individual by understanding and anticipating their habits as they are happening.

“Its not what you know – it’s what you know about who you know”

A good way to think about all this is how we interact with individuals or groups of people.  You don’t talk to everyone the same way, but instead adapt how you interact based on what you know about who you are communicating with and in the context of what is happening at that point in time. This concept is embodied in context marketing. It is about personalizing the interaction to the individual online. It means developing prospect personas that assemble a more complete picture of them that enables you to tailor your message, content, and approach in reaching them.  Today, there is unlimited access to information and more interactions going on than ever before. It will require marketers to focus far more on the individual than page views, impressions or clicks.

So, what I’ve surmised so far is that Content Marketing and Context Marketing are not the same, can and should co-exist, and while one pulls “in”, the other pulls “down” and through the funnel.

The easiest way to think about Context Marketing in action? Next time you have the urge to buy some Christmas presents, go to Amazon and see the concept of Context Marketing at its finest.

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B2B marketing, content, content marketing, context, context marketing, contextual, Customer Engagement, demand generation, engagement, lead generation, new school marketing, personalize, personalized marketing, ROI, technology marketing, TechTarget

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