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What is Contextual Marketing?

Sonja Dyess Posted by Sonja Dyess on November 6, 2017

contextual marketing

I am often asked about many various types of marketing and one of them happens to be Contextual Marketing. So of course my thoughts were, “Why not write a blog about it?”

Contextual Marketing in simple terms is a marketing strategy that takes into account the user’s needs, habits and goals to create a personalized website experience. Now this of course is the digital marketers answer. For me, it means more than that, it means showing the end user:

  • what they need
  • where they need it
  • when they need it

Of course I believe this is used more digitally than anywhere else today depending on the depth of your marketing and your marketing toolbox. Regardless, it should be part of your marketing plan.

So what might be some examples of contextual marketing that you have created yourself or have experienced?

  • Email Marketing-Don’t you love it when you get those emails that say “Hi Fred, How are things going at Northrup Grumman, since you got back from your vacation?” And you wonder how did they know that? Most of us figure it out after a few minutes. Depending on how the rest of the email message goes and depends on how the rest of the contextual strategy is designed.
  • Websites- Number one example is Amazon!!! I personally spend too much money there, but hey, they always seem to know what I want or pretty close to it. That is a form of contextual marketing. Plus, I love it when I login and it says, “Welcome back Sonja!” It kind of feels like my online Cheers. If you don’t know what that means, go ask Google to search Cheers theme song. Those of us that are 80’s and 90’s kids get it. Now of course this type of contextual marketing depends on your toolbox and the skill level of either your marketing or your team's’ marketing sills.
  • Downloadable Guides- You tend to get what we call a Landing Page after you fill out a form requesting some information, like your name and email address. On that Landing Page, it tends to say something like, “Fred, Enjoy your Guide to Florida Winters.” Again, you are getting a little personalization at the right time.

Those are some examples that most people can relate to; however, in my opinion there are a few non digital examples as well.

  • Radio Ads- Ever noticed how on certain radio stations you will hear only particular ads. For instance, you wouldn’t hear an ad on your local country station about Lady Gaga coming to town would you? But you would on your local pop station. Again, giving you what you want, where you want and when you want it.
  • TV Ads- Ads talking about golf shoes, being shown while the PGA Tour is being aired. Or here’s my favorite, watching the Disney channel and all the different toy commercials. Those are the best!

So as you can see Contextual Marketing comes in many forms and any company can apply them. Just depends on what’s in your toolbox and your skill level for using those tools. One tip I would give you is: Develop a plan!!!! Make sure you know your end goal and who you are presenting your content to, if not, it could spell disaster.

Topics: Inbound Marketing

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