Why it's time to make customer engagement about context, not campaigns

New Forrester research paper sets out the argument for why marketers need to abandon campaign mentality and start adopting a more contextual marketing approach

Marketers today must identify and employ customer context if they’re to a repeatable cycle of interactions and drive deeper engagement with their customers, a new industry paper claims.

Forrester’s The Power of Customer Contextsets out the case for building a contextual marketing engine utilising customer data and technology, as well as why context, and not campaign-based activity, is needed to create valuable connections in the market today.

According to report author and senior, Carlton A. Doty, the context of customer interactions is what determines whether individuals will continue to engage and transact with brands. Marketing’s job is to tap into this and foster sustainable customer engagement.

“While that’s not what we typically think of as marketing, it ought to be,” Doty stated in the report. “For all the activity you try to catalyse through campaigns, individuals more commonly interact with your brand outside of those campaigns.

The Forrester paper was based on a range of recent industry and consumer surveys, along with interviews with 21 vendor and user companies actively adopting a context-based methodology towards their customers including McCormick and Company, Nike, and Mini USA.

As an example of interaction through context, Forrester highlighted McCormick and Company’s FlavorPrint site, which engages customers through everyday interactions. Users can tell the site what they like, what food ingredients they have and cooking equipment, and it recommends recipes.

Since the site launch, users have doubled repeat usage, increased time spent on the site ninefold, and McCormick has reported double-digit growth in spice purchases with this user group.

As further proof of the need to shift from ads to interactions, the Forrester report noted a recent North American Technologies Online Benchmark Survey of more than 60,000 online adults, which found only 13 per cent trust ads on websites. Just under one-third said they trusted ads in any channel.

Doty admitted the shift from campaign mentality to lifecycle engagement was a challenge for many marketers because of the need to meet short-term numbers and ROI. But he urged all to make the switch from “customer acquisition to interaction management, and from media schedules to customer moments”.

To do this, the report advocates adopting a circular interaction engine driven by big data and a brand’s customer database. Sitting on top of this, the contextual marketing engine should then spark interactions across the customer lifecycle from discovery through to buying, using and engaging.

Forrester outlines four steps to achieving this:

  1. Defining a marketing strategy to unleash useful interactions – this includes identifying a brand’s unique interaction cycle as well facilitating customer journeys, not just feeding the funnel;

  2. Reorganising marketing processes to spark the interaction cycle – to do this, marketers need to manage the ‘engine’ as a product, not a project, as well as tap into content, Forrester said;

  3. Adapting your enterprise marketing technology portfolio – adopting marketing automation platforms and providing personalised content and experiences are a must;

  4. Accelerating innovation with big data and analytics – marketers must excel at customer recognition, not just segmentation, Forrester said.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

If creative, media and technology were bedfellows

It’s become crystal clear that if you’re going to be successful in the ever-shifting marketing landscape, you need to be able to change direction, and fast. Fluidity and agility are key, and that’s why having technology, media and creative playing on the same team is going to be crucial for the successful marketer or agency.

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

Why 2017 will herald a resurgence of values-based marketing

It doesn’t take long for predictions to become predictable: The rise and rise of Facebook; advancements in analytics; the normalisation of chatbots; personalisation, programmatic, automation, authenticity… The prediction that’s missing from these lists is that in 2017 we will witness a resurgence of values-based marketing.

Jacqueline Burns

Founder, Market Expertise

Why customer experience driven growth is set to take off

Our overall brand perceptions are invariably shaped by our experiences. And loyal customer relationships can be severed in moments by a negative service interaction.

loved the Qantas airline and hyundai one

Furqan Bin Rizwan

10 examples of virtual reality marketing in action

Read more

Someone needs a swift kick up the bum for such an idiotic idea.

random

​Why a degree is no longer enough to get you hired as a skilled marketer

Read more

The frequent flyer programs are the new profit machines for airlines all over the world, as they have morphed to be mass marketing machin...

Steve@iFLYflat

Velocity frequent flyers program strong performer in mixed half-year for Virgin

Read more

Hi Jennifer, thanks for sharing these info regarding the digital marketing trends.I've created a related video to this topic, would you m...

Fabio Carry

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Great news. Marketing automation can be very useful for companies at various stages of development. With so many tools out there it's bet...

Ben

How HBF rolled out marketing automation in eight months

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in