Why context is king when delivering the marketing message

oOh! Media's CMO, Michaela Chan, reports back from SXSW on the key themes influencing modern marketing strategy

There was a notable trend of convergence at SXSW this year, with the role of the future marketer, digital marketing technology and the customer journey dissected in a number of sessions throughout the week.

The revolution of the customer journey from the physical world into digital environments now requires a platform-agnostic approach to enable a frictionless customer experience to solve customer problems. ‘Easy to transact with’ equalling higher brand engagement was a common theme throughout the event.

Context was the connective solution. This means using data and insight to achieve a more relevant understanding of the customers’ problems or needs state. For brands, this means intersecting with them at the right time when their needs or ‘problem state’ is most acute.

As an example, consider the effectiveness and message saliency of advertising branded sports clothes during or after a workout. Look at when consumers are in their active wear versus advertising to them during their work commute as they are reading their daily news or social media feed in work attire.

The implication for marketers is we need to be more contextually solutions-focused and understand whether we are saving time or giving time. These are the ultimate proof points of being easy to deal with. For marketers in this digital era, time is the commodity we are trading in.

As Shiv Singh, Visa’s SVP global head of digital and marketing transformation, said, while Visa was founded in 1960 and had success in the physical world, the world is changing and it must change with it. Visa has had to extend its brand beyond the traditional bricks-and-mortar banking institution into crafting the future context of digital commerce for its customers.

Context was also noted in the session ‘Defining the Age of Smart Places’ panel, and as critical for global hotel group, Starwood, which created its Starwood Preferred Guest keyless smart app as a way of reducing customer experience friction.

By understanding the contextual pain points throughout customer journey of the check-in process, Starwood delivered an industry-first app which meant its Preferred Guests could seamlessly check into a property and enter their assigned room through an SPG keyless functionality within the application.

This experience should have broader digital implications for the Starwood marketing team. I would expect with the extension of this mobile technology, both a broader and deeper understanding of their customers’ behaviour will provide further opportunities to undertake more contextually relevant digital marketing programs.

And of course the side benefits include positive operational implications in the physical world through reduced labour costs and shorter wait times for those in the queue to ultimately deliver improved brand advocacy. It also means less harried frontline staff.

From a data perspective, this also means applying the human capital of common sense to the dashboards served up by digital platforms to understand the context or ‘why’.

Heineken USA marketing manager, Amberly Hilinksi, was another to reflect on context in a presentation on ‘Defining the Age of Smart Places panel’. While there may be low engagement with a digital coupon served up to a consumer on a digital marketing platform through NFC technology, within the context of the point-of-sale, there could be a higher incident of digital coupon redemption by the consumer at their point of purchase.

But for marketing organisations to have a contextual understanding of the customer problems they are solving, it’s not going to just come down to data, it requires a balanced bench of talented people.

As Tucker Kain from the LA Dodgers’ shared in the ‘Naked Innovation Brand Start-Ups’ panel, it was important for his team to have the right mix of the ‘box office’ guy, who has been with the LA Dodgers for 40 years, with new views. This provided the historical context to innovative thinking and problem solving.

While we’ve previously focused on ‘content as king’, what’s become more important now to marketers is the ability to have the deeper context to provide the right content to the right person at the right time.

Context is king.

- Michaela Chan is the CMO of oOh! Media. Check out our profile of her here.

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

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

The versatility of Live Chat is really what surprises me. I’ve seen it being used not only for customer support, but also as a tool to in...

Drishti Shah

Why Bupa tapped WhatsApp for new customer messaging channel

Read more

Hi This is George, Thanks for sharing this nice information about foodpanda blockchain. During this pandemic situation food delivery indu...

George David

foodpanda launches blockchain-based out-of-home advertising campaign

Read more

Did anyone proofread this document before it was published?

Beau Ushay

CMO Momentum 2020: How to embrace agile marketing

Read more

An honest and hardworking conveyancer doesn't need a marketing strategy. His past clients will spread the word for him. These days the ho...

Bagen Andrea

What this millennial marketer is doing to shake up conveyancing

Read more

Love the post. It is so insightful for companies getting stuck in their habits and missing out on the role innovation can have on revenue...

Alessia Del Genio

How Lego built its culture of innovation, brick by brick

Read more

Blog Posts

Innovate or die

It’s hard to know if famed management and marketing guru, Peter Drucker, coined this phrase for dramatic effect. My belief is he was emphasising the notion that few products and markets are static and few organisations can survive without innovation.

Michael Valos

Senior Lecturer, Department of Marketing, Deakin University

Commissioning personas that get used

How to avoid the bottom drawer, and how to get value from the work you’ve paid for

Melanie Wiese

Chief strategy officer, Wunderman Thompson

Why It’s Going To Be A Bumper Holiday Season Despite the Pandemic

Behavioural science expert Dan Monheit, co-founder and strategy director of creative agency, Hardhat, writes that marketing chiefs should hold their nerve, as they have reason to be optimistic

Dan Monheit

Co-founder, Hardhat

Sign in