Legacy marketing tactics that require interrupting and refocusing the consumer have been supplanted by context marketing. In the digital age, it is the context of interactions that determines how people respond to your actual product and your marketing message. Context marketing is founded on trust building while being non-intrusive in ways that engage customers on their own terms.
Today, there is no bigger example of successful context marketing than Amazon. As context marketing pioneers, they’ve blazed new trails and refined the approach for more than 20 years. Amazon consistently remains relevant by evolving: they’ve never taken one pass at context marketing & stopped. By using technology to power their context marketing engine, they continue to dominate, remain relevant and most importantly adapt to the needs of their customers.
More than just an intellectual exercise, understanding how context marketing has helped Amazon succeed creates a path for other brands and their marketers. A recent Next Practice article clearly lays out why and how brands can follow the Amazon strategy. In this blog, we’ll look at their context marketing success and the ways that it is driven by a refined Digital strategy.
Why Amazon is the King of Context Marketing
Amazon has constantly acquired knowledge about its customers to anticipate their needs, drive future engagement, and present them with relevant products. They do this using a method they call “item-to-item collaborative filtering.” This recommendation filtering engine uses contextual clues collected behind the scenes to serve customers with highly specific content. You’ll notice no two Amazon site visitors will have the same home page content.
Amazon’s ability to be a contextual king comes down to targeted traffic through personalization messages based on who you are and where you are in both the search and buying cycle and your physical location too. Every interaction with customers tells an important story you can leverage for future marketing. Personalized marketing isn’t effective if you don’t have that comprehensive customer story. It’s not just a customer’s demographic data, but also knowing the story behind that interaction: What was the time and location? What search terms were used? And most important – what was the behavior before, during, and after the interaction?
Amazon, AI and Data Gathering
Data that delivers deep context is aided by technology like AI embedded in contextual products that put other products and services just a question or statement away. AI for personalized experience is growing among businesses of all sizes, but Amazon clearly leads the way. You only need to look at Amazon Echo and Alexa to see context marketing at its height. As an appliance, it is a hands-free speaker that is controllable by voice commands and driven by AI technology to provide services, answers and most of all product solutions to the user. Although these abilities are the epitome of context marketing, Alexa and Echo’s greatest power comes from the ability to absorb the data that is being created in its environment. That enables these tools to learn and anticipate the user’s next need by observing, listening to, or simply recording patterns of behavior.
That ability to learn and anticipate is what makes Amazon Alexa and Echo powerful context marketing tools with far-reaching potential. Context marketing is also about removing friction from the purchasing process, making it effortless to shop from anywhere on any device, but most of all to make sure it’s easier than shopping anywhere else. and Amazon is the clear leader there with their contextual emails, suggestions based on buying history effortless checkout and even Amazon prime. Amazon Prime is about more than being the world’s most successful loyalty program. Rather than its free shipping, it’s the removal of friction and focus on experience that sets it apart. Amazon is all about the frictionless approach as a fundamental building block of context marketing. To illustrate that success, a recent Marketing Land Magazine article cited a Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) report stating that Prime now covers more than 60 percent of US Amazon shoppers, who spend.