May 21, 2014

Understanding "context marketing"

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Every customer is different

Business coach Tom Ferry recently published a video about one of our favorite topics -- why realtors need a CRM. Let's watch it!

Now, I enjoyed this for a couple reasons :

1. Tom sounds like he actually cares about this topic. In a world of webinars and media where the host often sounds like one of the adults from a Charlie Brown cartoon (kids, ask your parents about that reference), Tom will keep your attention.

2. The reasons Tom gives are practical, real-world business reasons, not -- and I can say this, because I work here -- "software company reasons". In other words, Tom doesn't tell you why you need a CRM, so much as he tells about you the problems you should be trying to solve with a CRM. If you can't tell, I feel pretty strongly about this kind of thing.

3. Contactually gets some love.

Obviously we're always happy when people have good things to say about Contactually. But in this case, I was particularly excited about the reason we came up -- Contactually is a great way to do what Tom describes as context marketing.

How do I "do" context marketing?

Really, watch the video. But to paraphrase Tom's explanation, context marketing is about getting the right message to the right people at the right time -- something that is hard (some would say impossible) to do with mass-emails or a traditional mailing list. While there's certainly value in mass-communication, every customer in every business situation is different, and the most effective communication usually takes that into account. If you and I have already talked about the kind of home I don't want to buy, for instance, sending me an email telling about homes like that isn't helpful -- it's tone-deaf and annoying. It makes me feel like you're not listening. And while I appreciate the occasional holiday email, let's not kid ourselves... I know everyone in your address book is getting one. It doesn't make me feel that much closer to your business, and it certainly doesn't move me any closer to completing a transaction with you.

Every customer needs certain information from you in order to feel good about the sales process. The faster you can provide that information, and the more personalized and helpful that information can be, the better your customer is going to feel about working with you. That's it! When you do "context marketing", you're treating your customers like individuals and respecting what makes them unique. The hard part is finding the time and energy to do this effectively, because context marketing is usually a lot harder than the top-down, general "spray and pray" approach.

We built Contactually to make this process easier, and give people a scalable system that could handle hundreds of even thousands of relationships with context. So if you're only using Contactually to send bulk emails, you're missing a great opportunity to connect with customers on a individual level, which is a huge part of nurturing satisfied customers.

Details matter! So for starters, you should probably check out Contactually's advanced features to learn how to treat your growing customer base like the individual human beings they are.