By Chelsey Axline
PFL and Heinz Marketing have teamed up to create an exclusive, virtual book club just for CMOs!
For the second stop of our virtual book tour, we had the pleasure of hosting Mathew Sweezey, Salesforce marketing maven and author of The Context Marketing Revolution – How to Motivate Buyers in the Age of Infinite Media.
In this provocative and practical book, Sweezey outlines the new “infinite media” environment and asks the question: In a transformed world where customers shape their own experience, what is the key to breaking through and motivating them to buy?
Given the current situation most of us are in (being stuck at home), there is no better time to talk through the concept of creating experiences vs. content noise.
The Dawn of the Context Revolution
Sweezey describes the beginning of the Context Marketing Revolution as being marked by one fateful day — the day the iPhone was introduced.
The start of this revolution went unnoticed by most, but it has been one of the largest shifts in human history and the way we do business. For the first time, individuals became the largest producer and distributer of media. In the marketing world, expensive business ads, creative messaging, and artistic wordplay were no longer enough.
As I write this, I am receiving not only emails but a slew of notifications from social media platforms covering various happenings around the world: likes, comments, friends sharing relatable memes on the increase of wine consumption during quarantine, and so on. I am filtering hundreds of pieces of content into a black hole where I will never see them, simply because it does not meet my preferences or have my permission to be received. For this, I am thankful.
With buyers now having the ability to consume and block content as they please, we marketers must also change the way we market brands, create experiences, and build relationships.
5 Key Elements of Context Marketing
Considering the amount of communication we receive daily, marketers all understand how hard it is to stand out. To get through the noise, we have to send the right message, at the right time, through the right channel, when a buyer has an immediate need.
So how do we solve for this? You guessed it: with context marketing.
“Motivating customers today has nothing to do with getting their attention and everything to do with understanding their context — that is, their current position in time and space and whatever their task may be in that moment. Today, helping people achieve their immediate goals is the only way to break through the noise and motivate consumers to act.”— Mathew Sweezey
The modern buyers want experiences that are:
- Available: Helping people achieve the value they seek in the moment
- Permissioned: Giving people what they’ve asked for, on their terms
- Personal: Going beyond how personal it is to how personally you can deliver it
- Authentic: Combining voice, empathy, and brand congruence simultaneously
- Purposeful: Creating a deeper connection to the brand, beyond the product
Simply put, consumers don’t need more noise or people trying to grab their attention; they need solutions to their problems.
2 Ways to Get Started with Context Marketing
Sweezey’s book is filled with many great insights and steps, but here are two to get you going.
1. Build Customer Journeys
According to Sweezey, the first step in transitioning to a context marketing approach is ditching the idea that marketing is accomplished through running campaigns, but instead through creating individual customer journeys.
To create these journeys, you must first conduct a series of in-depth interviews with current customers and people who fit your ideal customer profile. You need to learn what they are doing, thinking, and feeling as they reach each stage of the funnel and customer journey. This research will provide you with actionable information on where your gaps are in the journey. You’ll discover the triggers you need to add to the journey in order to fulfill the customer’s immediate and future needs.
2. Create Communities
A second step to get you started is to create a community with your customer base.
A prime example is how Salesforce created a customer community site called Trailblazer, where customers can engage with the company and each other. By creating a space for their customers to interact and communicate with their brand, Trailblazer-affiliated customers spend twice as much money on Salesforce services and stay on as a customer four times longer!
In other words, Salesforce dramatically increased its revenue without ever winning a new customer. Mic drop.
About the CMO Book Club
The CMO Book Club is an invite-only marketing community, hosted by PFL and Heinz Marketing. Our main goal is to bring together CMOs (and aspiring CMOs) to talk about key topics and ideas from experts in business leadership.
Every couple months, we hand-select a book and host a virtual round table discussion with the author, so leaders can network and ask questions!
Want to be included in the next stop of our tour?