Context has become everything to the retail shopping experience. It's no longer substantial to simply paste a generic "20% off" sign on a store window, or send an email announcing a common sale. The modern consumer now only pays attention when something matches his or her unique preferences, needs, and lifestyle. That is where contextualization succeeds in propelling marketing efforts to a whole new level.
As a concept, contextualization refers to determining the conditions in which something occurs and understanding the meaning behind it. Factors such as shopping habits, demographics, location, time, weather, price, purchase behavior, and even device type all play a role in successfully piquing the interest of customers.
Whereas "the customer is always right" adage may have reigned for decades in US retail spheres, the current dictum falls more along the lines of "the customer is always connected."
Here are six benefits of using contextualization.
1. Contextualization leads to marketing in the right place at the right time
Let's say you're a shoe retailer in Florida wanting to send out a promotional offer for flip flops. If you send out a blanket email to the whole of your database, it may not be reaching the people who would take advantage of your offer.
For example, if it's February and your customer Amy has moved to Chicago, flip flops would not be her ideal online purchase during a flurry of snow storms and cold weather. If, however, you're using contextualized data to determine which promotions to send to whom, you'll know that an offer for warm, fuzzy boots will be going out to Amy in the right place at the right time —and she'll be much more likely to use it.
2. Contextualization ensures relevant communication
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