The difference between Context and Contextual Marketing

Context Marketing and Contextual Marketing are related to each other, however are two distinct concepts within marketing. While they share some similarities, they refer to different strategies and approaches.

Context Marketing

Context Marketing is a broad marketing strategy that focuses on delivering relevant and personalised content based on their specific context or situation. This context can include various factors such as their location, device, time of day, browsing history, demographics and other behavioural data.

The goal of context marketing is to provide a more tailored and meaningful experience for the user, enhancing engagement and increasing the likelihood of conversion and retention once converted.

For example, a context marketing campaign might involve sending targeted emails to customers with location specific offers, displaying personalised product recommendations based on past purchase behaviour, or adjusting the content and layout of a website based on the type of device being used or previous browser history.

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Contextual Marketing

Contextual Marketing on the other hand, is a specific advertising method that involves displaying ads or content that are directly related to the content of the web page or app being viewed by the user. It relies on algorithms and contextual targeting to analyse keywords, topics and themes present on the page and match them up with relevant ads.

For example, if a user is reading an article about travel destinations, contextual marketing would display ads relevant to travel agencies, luggage brands or hotel bookings. The idea is to present ads that align with the users immediate interests. making them more likely to click on the ad and potentially convert.

Benefits and Opportunities

Context Marketing offers a deeply personal experience, allowing your business to get to know your customers through lots of data touchpoints, and use that information to form deeper brand loyalty once your customers have converted.

Contextual Marketing is likely to drive higher conversions because they are more in ‘the moment’ with their audience. The ROI can be immediate and is ideal for short term requirements such as a campaign highlighting a sale or capitalising on a trend or a moment.

Negatives and Gaps

Context Marketing will require more time and investment into people, process and technology – it is hard to offer a truly personalised experience if your systems and processes don’t allow you to access the type of data you need to offer this type of experience. An organisation such as Amazon spends millions of pounds every year purely on optimising their platforms and their customer data – the financial input is high but the result is an exceptional product, exceptional service and a high lifetime value of your customer.

Contextual Marketing is all about acquisition – how many customer can you acquire to ‘sell’ something at any moment in time. This option is exceptional if you business model is based purely on selling, however you don’t learn enough about the customer to build up a long term retention strategy because you do not know much more than a customers immediate need.

In conclusion...

Context Marketing is a boarder marketing strategy that takes into account various user data points to deliver personalised experiences, while contextual marketing specifically focuses on displaying relevant ads based on content being viewed in the moment.

Both aim to improve the overall user experience and boost marketing effectiveness, and both require data and investment to make both approaches as effective as possible.

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