Dynamic content, delivering highly personalized experiences, has taken center stage and has become increasingly more important as companies fight to develop awareness and win customer mind share in today's competitive marketplace.
A decade ago, this personal connection was no more than a pipe dream. The technology simply wasn't available. Today, marketing stands on the threshold of a revolution – the day we can truly deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.
What does personalization look like?
Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot has made this prediction, "The way I think about the next six years of inbound marketing is: if we use content to pull people in, pull people into our website, pull people into our front door, the next phase of inbound marketing is how do you use context to pull people through the funnel?" In other words, context marketing is the realization of more one-on-one, human marketing.
When we say "context marketing," we mean the practice of personalizing your business to your audience based on who they are and what they want, need, or do. Rather than one-size-fits-all, your various touch points with an audience, from email to landing pages to lead-gen forms and more, change based on the individual interacting with you at that moment in time. People do this offline quite naturally, adapting what you say and how you say it based on the individual or group with which you're speaking. Today, technology has enabled us to move that same, friendly, personalized interaction online.
Here's what a first-time visitor sees on HubSpot's homepage.
Here's what a HubSpot customer or repeat visitor sees.
Great content turbocharges content's value
Great content is the cornerstone of all great inbound marketing. But you can write the world's best ebook or blog post and never see any ROI if it's not surfaced to the right audience, at the exact right time in their buyer journey, and with the appropriate promotional messaging. In short, you need to market your content, and context allows you to gain insight to pinpoint why each group you're reaching would want that specific piece.
78% of CMOs think that custom content is the future of marketing.
Using context to promote your content used to be about writing the right hook or creating a brilliant blog post headline because those were the only distribution channels that marketing owned. New technology, however, enables marketers to control not just their content's position but also its distribution, since many new platforms place the control of lead-gen forms and landing page build-outs and copywriting with marketing, not IT.
37% of marketers today are adopting personalization and audience targeting into their overall strategy
For instance, e-tailer Fab used to run daily flash sales to all visitors, but in an approach that improves the relevancy of their sales to every individual customer, they now allow you to follow what you love. Visitors now control their relationship with Fab and can choose their own interaction, including selecting what they want to hear about and how they want to get that information (via mobile, email, the website, etc.).
In a way, Fab and other brands, who rely on context marketing, increase the likelihood that their content will be seen – and consumed by – their target markets. Rather than blasting twenty pieces of collateral in the hopes that one gets through, context marketing asks: How do I get one great thing in front of one person, once, and then build a relationship with them from there?