Just for you!
Anyone who has ever been surprised by a rain shower while visiting the Piazza del Colosseo in Rome will know that context marketing was not invented by the internet. As soon as the first larger drops start to fall, traders who were still selling ice creams or souvenirs just a few moments earlier suddenly hold up umbrellas, which are virtually snatched out of their hands. The brand is irrelevant. And the price? Well, it is raining after all! Anything that was important before is forgotten in that moment. The only thing that matters is to stay dry.
Expanding on personalization
This example gives a general, but not specific, answer to the question of what relevance is. It is that it depends. This may initially seem trivial, because everyone knows that the specific circumstances have a major impact on the way in which messages or sales offers are interpreted or perceived.
Nonetheless, this is a good answer because it tells us that there is no relevance per se that is independent of time, place, and people with their different interests and motives. It is also good because it gives rise to more questions: which circumstances define whether and when something is relevant or irrelevant for one and the same person? And, once these questions have been answered, how can we use this knowledge to improve our own relevance and thus our business success?
These questions are all about context marketing, which goes beyond pure personalization in an attempt to recognize, understand, and respond to the situational motivation and interests of target groups.
It is carried out in conjunction with self-learning tracking tools, which communicate very precisely with the customer by suggesting appropriate content, services, and products almost in real time using previous browsing and interaction behavior as well as predictive algorithms. And, according to numerous studies, they do this amazingly well. With relatively little expense, the customer experience on your own website can be significantly improved and the conversion rate increased by 25 percent or more. The following factors play a major role in this process.
Geolocalization: success through local relevance
Studies have shown that localized content binds customers six times more strongly than content in a foreign language or with inappropriate or missing location data. This is provided by glocalization, which uses the IP address of the visitor, for example, to quickly identify the location of the user and respond by adapting the content accordingly. Local or regional news can be placed in a prominent position, for instance, as can information about trade fairs or corporate events, the nearest business subsidiary, or the sales office in the immediate vicinity of the website visitor.
Mobile or desktop: different devices, different motivations
It generally makes a big difference whether a user is accessing a website via a smartphone or a desktop PC. As a rule, B2B buyers still prefer to use a PC to carry out time-consuming product comparisons and complex research, often opening several browser tabs.
However, the use of mobile devices for this purpose is also gaining ground. However, the context in B2B is generally different to that in B2C. Mobile access is often needed in order to search for a specific product or if a maintenance technician requires help to solve a problem, for example. In both cases, it is essential that the required information be found quickly and easily, using intelligent search options or by prioritizing offers that are tailored to the mobile usage context and offer rapid access to the most important scenarios, which can be researched using Google Analytics, for example.
Welcome to new visitors and familiar faces
Real-time targeting makes it possible to find out whether or not users are visiting a website for the first time. New visitors accessing the website directly from the address bar or by googling the company name can generally expect overview or site guidance information. In contrast, if they have searched for specific services or products, visitors should not only be able to find the required information as accurately as possible, but also any other content that exactly matches their search criteria. In specific terms, this means that every user sees a different website, i.e., the one that is the most relevant for him.
Regular users, however, are already familiar with the basic structures and are more interested in news from the company and the latest changes. Context variables are also crucial here: for instance, the date, if the access is before an important event, but above all the browsing behavior of the visitor. Conclusions can thus be drawn on his current interests and predictions made about any additional content that he may also find interesting at this point in time.
The call-to-action elements that a visitor sees are determined by whether or not this is the first time he is accessing a website. Initially, a newsletter subscription may be sufficient for first-time visitors. Repeat visitors, however, might be ready to receive a specific offer. In both cases, it is essential to use the browsing behavior to determine thematically fitting calls to action.
Emotions make the difference
Each time a website is called up or a click or download performed, valuable information is supplied for new measures in context-based marketing automation. A good personalization solution then trawls the texts, videos, audio files, and other formats that are available in order to select the relevant information for the user and his position in the customer lifecycle and then displays this information on the website or sends it via e-mail. All this and more can drive forward lead generation and revenue development considerably because the customer gets the impression that the website is offering him precisely what he is looking for. But what happens if he has exactly the same experience on another website or platform?
Once competitors are technically equal and contextual personalization is more or less standard, the soft factors will become the hard currency that makes the crucial difference—essentially playing with emotions. This includes the provision of good advice, tools, and tips that give the customer an edge in terms of knowledge or help them to solve problems. It is also beneficial to have well-written articles offering a look behind the scenes and of course exclusive special offers—to put it briefly, it is all about attentiveness and appreciation. However much we value technology and algorithms, we should not forget that the most logic can do is take us from A to B, whereas imagination can take us anywhere.