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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

Algorithms that can make sense of unstructured data is the future. It's great to see experts in the field getting together in Melbourne t...

Sumit Takim

In pictures: Harnessing AI for customer engagement - CMO roundtable Melbourne

Read more

Are you sure they wont start a platform that the cheese is white, pretty sure that is racist

Hite

New brand name for Coon Cheese revealed

Read more

Real digital transformation requires reshaping the way the business create value for customers. Achieving this requires that organization...

ravi H

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

thanks

Lillian Juliet

How Winedirect has lifted customer recency, frequency and value with a digital overhaul

Read more

Having an effective Point of Sale system implemented in your retail store can streamline the transactions and data management activities....

Sheetal Kamble

​Jurlique’s move to mobile POS set to enhance customer experience

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in