Personalisation vs. Context Marketing: What's the Difference?

If you follow the latest developments in marketing, you’re aware that personalisation is a proven method to reach customers. A new concept, known as context marketing, is also making waves. What’s the difference between the two? Is one better than the other?

In this blog post, we’ll explain the differences and similarities between personalisation and context marketing, and why both are critically important to reach today’s customers.

What Is Personalisation?

To understand how personalisation differs from context marketing, let’s explore what personalisation really means.

Once upon a time, personalisation meant that you put your customer or lead’s name in the greeting section of an email. That’s no longer the case, though – customers demand more from the organisations they do business with.

Today, personalisation is about understanding what the customer needs from you. That knowledge is based on previous interactions, what the customer does online, and the customer’s demographic profile. Effective personalisation involves deep insights into your customers, so you can produce not just content, but an experience that’s tailored for them.


What Is Context Marketing?

Context marketing is marketing that sends the right message to a customer at the right time.

Here’s context marketing in action: every time you search for something in Google, an ad related to that product comes up. Let’s say you’re purchasing marketing automation software. In the results, you’ll see articles about what marketing automation software is, why it’s crucial, and how to choose the best one. You’ll also see ads at the top and bottom of the screen for marketing automation software, which might pique your interest.


What’s the Difference between Personalisation and Context Marketing?

Don’t think of personalisation and context marketing as being different; rather, it’s more helpful to look at context marketing as a subset of personalisation.

Successful context marketing is highly personalised. It’s tailored to the person’s needs and their immediate situation. We’ll use the example of the Google ads above: you see an ad for something you’re looking for when you’re searching for it.



Why You Need to Use Both Personalisation and Context Marketing

Here’s what’s crucial to understand about personalisation and context marketing: you don’t use one in place of the other. They’re both quite important. As we mentioned above, personalisation is much broader than just context marketing, while context marketing is about delivering the right message at the right time.

Here are six reasons why you should use both personalisation and context marketing:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of your customer
  • Customer experience
  • Customer engagement
  • Customer loyalty
  • Customer retention
  • It builds a positive reputation


Gain a Deeper Understanding of Your Customer

One of the things that personalisation and context marketing enable is a deeper understanding of your customer. How is that possible? Personalisation and context marketing rely upon data about your customer.

To personlise content effectively (and at scale), as well as to launch context marketing strategies, you need accurate information about who your customer is, how he or she has interacted with you in the past, what actions he or she has taken during website visits, and his or her demographic. With this data, you learn more about what your customer wants, so you can better meet his or her needs.


Customer Experience

Customer experience’ is about what a customer thinks of your brand when they interact with it. Let’s say you sell software, and someone buys your solution. Maybe the customer had a good experience with the salesperson, but the technician is rude during the installation and deployment. That would sour the customer experience.

When a customer receives messages that are tailored for his or her unique needs, and he or she receives them at the right time, that person’s customer experience is automatically better. The customer feels as though the company is making an effort to understand him or her, which makes the interaction positive.

Customer Engagement

In contrast to customer experience, customer engagement looks at the customer-brand interaction from a quantitative point of view: how many times does a customer engage with a brand? The more times a customer engages with a brand, the higher the level of customer engagement.

Personalisation and context marketing increase customer engagement because when customers receive marketing messages that are relevant and timely, they’re more likely to come back to that company. They want to engage with your brand because they know it offers them what they want.

Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty is how customers feel about your brand. Do your customers feel close to your brand? Is that the only brand they’d ever buy from?

The combination of personalisation and context marketing boost customer loyalty by making customers feel better about your brand. How so? By creating and sending pertinent content at the right time, customers believe that your company values their business, so they’ll continue to stay loyal to you.

Customer Retention

Customer retention is related to customer loyalty, although they’re not exactly the same. Customer loyalty describes how a customer feels about you, while customer retention is about keeping a customer in the long run (plus, it’s easier to keep customers when they’re loyal to you).

How can personalisation and context marketing improve customer retention? The answer lies in their effect on boosting customer loyalty, as we mentioned above. Building a loyal customer base makes it easier to retain customers. As an aside, customer retention is a crucial metric, because it’s much cheaper to keep a customer than to acquire a new one.

It Builds a Positive Reputation

When personalisation and context marketing are done properly, they enhance a firm’s reputation. Both of these techniques show that you care about your customers and that you want to deliver a valuable, positive customer experience.

Enlighten Designs: Helping You Implement Personalisation and Context Marketing Strategies

For over 20 years, Enlighten Designs has created delightful digital experiences for its clients. We leverage our expertise in data and marketing to implement successful personalisation and context marketing strategies to reach and connect with your audience. To learn more, contact us.

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.