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How CMOs Can Prepare for Contextual Marketing

By Dan RomanskiApr 2, 2015

contextual-marketing-2With better and more advanced technology emerging, marketers will soon be able to more easily create custom and even personalized experiences for their audiences. In fact, Contextual Marketing, digital marketing that provides targeted advertising based on user information, is rapidly becoming the standard for marketing. 

Companies like Amazon and Netflix have mastered the personalized experiences based on items bought or viewed and shows watched. But there are ways you, too, can utilize this growing style of marketing to better connect with prospective and current customers.

Read on for a few ways CMOs can prepare for contextual marketing. 

Organize Owned Data

Owned Data, or the data you have collected through forms on your site and assets, is the building blocks of contextual marketing, but only if it is well-kept. Disorganized data can wreak havoc when attempting to analyze or learn about your customers and leads. I have witnessed having data in more than one area, such as different Excel files, different CRMs and even different CMSs; it certainly caused headaches when trying to determine the most accurate and correct data.

One simple way to avoid this issue, and get on the right path for easier contextual marketing, is storing your data in one system. By doing this, your marketing and sales teams can see the most up-to-date information about your leads and customers. If you have to use multiple systems, such as a CMS and a CRM, as most companies do, I highly recommend using two systems that natively integrate with one another, allowing for a free flow of information.

By cleaning up your data and keeping it up to date, it will be easier to identify those individuals who might be closer to being ready for a conversation than others.

Define Marketing Lifecycle Stages

It is one thing to have lists of contacts you think are ready for a one-on-one conversation; it’s another to truly know what lifecycle stage your contacts are in. Being able to correctly identify which of your contacts fits within each lifecycle stage can help you create personalized offers. Just as you wouldn’t want to immediately sell to a first-time visitor, you would want to provide initiative material to a contact who has converted multiple times on your site and is close to buying. To help create the custom offers, you need to define your lifecycle stages.

A great way to get started on this is to score your leads. Lead Scoring is a method of assigning point values to your leads for criteria you value in your customers. Some of these criteria may include:

  • Company Size
  • Location
  • Annual Revenue
  • Visiting Certain Pages (e.g. About, Pricing, etc.)

With this information, you can better create content and calls to action that target these contacts, making your site update itself with a fresh face every time a contact returns. Once you have these lists set up, you need to figure out how to deliver the new, more relevant content.

Invest in Marketing Technology

It is inevitable that technology will be the driving force behind Contextual Marketing, and this is a rapidly growing sector. The marketing technology landscape is constantly changing, and there are always new companies that can help you connect with and analyze your contacts.

According to the Chief Marketing Technologist Blog written by Scott Brinker, the number of companies that can be considered a marketing technology company has nearly doubled in the past year to 1,876. With so many different companies and categories, I have created a quick list of some of my favorites:

HubSpot: HubSpot is an all-in-one Content Optimization System that allows you to host your digital assets and ties together your marketing efforts in one simple to use platform.

Zapier: Zapier is a great service used to connect your web apps or platforms together for easy data transfer and completion of repetitive tasks. One example is having event registrations from Eventbrite instantly sync with your CMS contact records.

Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a wonderful free tool that allows you to track audience, behavior and real-time statistics about your website or mobile app.

Wistia: Wistia is a premier video hosting software that allows you to not only host and embed your videos, but track engagement, add CTAs to your videos, use its Turnstyle feature to gather visitors’ email addresses and integrate with your CMS to store viewers’ data.

By defining and organizing your contact information, as well as investing in the right technologies, you are able to create some astounding and personalized  experiences.

How are you using, or preparing to use, contextual marketing? Share in the comment section below!

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The Author

Dan Romanski

Dan Romanski helps companies connect with their contacts through marketing automation and lead nurturing campaigns. When not at work, you can find Dan exploring the outdoors or at a hockey rink.
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