Marketing as we know it has died a while ago. Marketing should now be fully contextual and in the moment. Forget segmentation, think nano audience. Think nano moments. Nano marketing if you will. Private individuals, not brands, not businesses or traditional media outlets are now the largest producers of media in the world. It means a radically different media environment in which the possibilities are quite literally infinite. With a fundamental impact on marketing.
Context versus attention
Getting the attention of your client is no longer what it once was. Motivating consumers today has nothing to do with getting their attention and everything to do with their understanding their context, that is, their current position in time and space and whatever their task may be in that moment.
Context is king
Brian Solis wrote about it in “The end of business as usual” Context is king. It is in-the-moment-marketing. Nano audiences. Segmentation by context. Understanding how to help consumers achieve their goals in the moment. Where the perceived risk of the purchase is the most significant factor, the riskier the purchase, the greater the consideration consumers will give it and the longer the sales cycle will be. Where companies that will enjoy consistent growth are those that stayed focused on crafting experiences across the customer journey. Your business as theatre.
When AI starts shopping
I have asked this question to a few marketers. What will happen to brand loyalty when your AI assistant is doing your shopping? Already consumers see only what AI selects for them to see on social media. With online ratings and reviews added to the mix. Everything will be Tripadvisored (new word?). Your AI already selects a media experience only when the channel determines that the experience offers enough context to drive an individual’s engagement. Which is why you need to read “Likewar” and “The four”
Which means that today, marketers cannot just broadcast static messages; instead, they need to create and provide dynamic experiences at the right moment, at the right time. Making each moment of engagement with your company deeply personal. Here is a statistic. B2B marketers with a managed lead flow converted only 1.15% of every one hundred leads they generated into a sale. Which means those marketers’ idea of marketing fails 98.85% of the time to generate revenue. It is the Google rat race Seth Godin talks about in “This is marketing”.
- Google’s ads drove consumer action 1.98% of the time.
- 96% of the people who visit a website are not ready to buy the product; they are merely conducting research.
- Six hundred million devices today use ad-blocking software.
- Lawyers are now more trusted than advertising professionals.
- People are more likely to survive an aeroplane crash than to click on a banner ad.
In a world with infinite media context replaces attention as marketing’s modus operandi. Buyers now have infinite alternatives to help them make their decisions. To succeed as marketers in this modern era, you must focus on providing experiences that are desired and permissioned wherever possible. Experiences that are personal, authentic and with a higher meaning. With trust as a deciding factor. Forget top of what mind. Consumers don’t remember anything in today’s world. Google is the memory. Forget messaging. That is one way. You need to create contextual experiences that are supported, seamless, and dynamic.
Connected event management
Contextual consumer experiences are not singular. They are a seamless series of highly connected events, audience experience, shopping experience, buying experience, user experience, support experience, the sum of which is much greater than the parts. The customer experiences must take place in the context of the individual and are therefore dynamic. Where the medium is the message.
The average number of consumer page views per session on a website has dropped below two pages. And if they don’t instantly arrive at what they’re seeking, they simply bounce back to their search. Experiences like websites are often designed for “flow”. The brand expects a consumer to move from page to page because the individual likes the site’s button location or size, its offers, copy, or colour. But the data is clear: there is no flow. That is why marketers in 2019 increased their use of AI on websites by 275%, leveraging the AI to create a personal web experience for each person in real-time.
Today, every interaction a consumer has with the infinite media is first filtered through a layer of AI, which surfaces the most contextual experience to the moment. That new reality is the heuristics of modern consumer behaviour. Experts project that by 2025, 95% of all interactions between a brand and a consumer will happen via AI. Combined with intelligent chatbots and augmented and virtual reality. All of this allows the AI to create the most engaging experience at any moment. That’s why marketing must become the owners and sustainers of all experiences.
For consumers today, however, the decision-making process begins long before they have an awareness of any particular brand. In the infinite era, marketers need to understand that the customer’s decision-making process or customer journey begins with a trigger: a moment when the individual comes up with an idea to change something. Think of the trigger as an umbrella-like starting point. From which the consumer then can move to any point along the customer journey.
Depending on how much information the individual already has about the decision to be made. In other words, triggers jump-start a customer journey, or they can restart or continue a journey somewhere along a path already taken. The entire journey might have taken just a few minutes or could have been stopped and restarted over an entire year or more. What will drive the final demand emerges from within the batches of information the consumer gathers by taking an extremely intricate and personal path to finding answers. Consumers do this not only because they can but also because they trust their own research and experiences over the messaging of a brand.
The customer journey
Once the demand decision is made, it is followed by ideation, awareness, consideration, purchase, customer, and advocacy. McKinsey research concludes that brands encountered in the initial stages of a buyer’s journey have up to a three times greater chance of generating a purchase than brands that aren’t part of those stages. The earlier you can establish trust, the greater the effect downstream.
Tasks and human connection
Context marketing ultimate goal is to help people accomplish their task at hand at every stage of the process. And rather than reach masses, context marketing aims to make a single, human-to-human connection at the most opportune moment. Where the power of social media isn’t free publicity. Where social media should be a personal connection. 50% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly This most contextual level on the personal continuum involves direct contact, where the experience is not only unique but also delivered by one human to another—usually brand employees, brand advocates, or members of social or other communities, all working on a brand’s behalf.
Ultimately, all brands need to move toward a more distributed community model. With brand Advocates at its core. The ultimate moment of truth. You will have achieved social selling. Crack it, and you have won, and you will have increased the lifetime customer value (LCV).
Tesla’s business model of market-sell-build-market is what the author considers the consummate context marketing model (CMM). Marketing is intrinsic to every aspect of the business, from the location of showrooms to the booking of test drives, to the purchase of vehicles, to the amassing of thousands of advocates who help fund the next Tesla vehicle design in progress.
As a result, Musk’s audience on Twitter is seven times that of Tesla’s closest competitor, Mercedes-Benz, and the company spends a minuscule amount on advertising (1/150th the amount that Mercedes-Benz spends). Yet, it sells three times as many cars.