No, that isn’t a typo in the title. We mean “context,” not “content.” Of course, content’s important; if you don’t have anything of substance to say to your audience, you can’t expect them to listen. The context of that message, though, is equally meaningful to your leads. You need to reach the right audience with the right content, but you also need to do it at the right time and place. That’s where marketing automation comes in.
The Goldilocks principle is alive and well in marketing. To be contextually relevant, your marketing activity has to parallel your leads’ interest closely, or they won’t pay any attention to it. They’ll take one taste of content that’s too complex or broad for their needs and declare it too hard or too soft. What they want is “just-right” content – information that meets their current objectives.
When they’re at the top of the funnel, prospects typically want entry-level information like reviews and general overviews. In the middle of their buying journey, they’re doing more fact-finding and want white papers and case studies to help them make the best decisions. You can only deliver that contextualized content when you know where your leads are in the buying cycle. Marketing automation pinpoints their place in the sales funnel and delivers a steady stream of content geared to their needs at the time.
A Place for Everything
Just as the metaphorical location of your leads in their buying journey matters, their literal location puts your communication with them in a more meaningful context. Think about how important location is to insurance companies, for example. They need to know where their audience wants to hear about flood insurance or earthquake insurance. They also want to reach renters and homeowners with different insurance offers. With marketing automation, it’s even possible to track and sort leads by the type of building they plan to insure so people in brick homes get different content than those in wood homes.
Making the Medium Fit the Message
Making your email marketing mobile-first, not just mobile-friendly, makes sense now that more than half of all email recipients open their mail on mobile devices. What if you could go a step further and know which devices your audience used to view your email and any other content they get from you? You could then contextualize and customize your communication with them even more precisely, delivering media on platforms that fit the devices your leads use. Not all smartphones support animated gifs, for instance, but your marketing automation software can tell you whether your leads are able to receive and view them.
Eligibility and Access
One of the greatest mistakes marketers can make is extending an offer that doesn’t apply to the person it’s reached. Sending out messages your audience can’t act on is a sure way to make them tune out, so it’s vital to track certain details about your leads. Let’s say you have a special offer campaign for new clients; you wouldn’t want to offer this to your longtime customers who aren’t eligible for it. Be sure your offers only go out to those who can use them by keeping track of leads’ activity within a marketing automation system that synchs with your CRM to records sales data too.
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