The Role of AI in Marketing A Conversation with Katie Robert

Contextual Content

This content was originally featured in the November 16, 2022 newsletter found here:

The past couple of weeks we’ve been talking about data privacy, the voice of the customer, and personalized marketing experiences.

This week, I want to try and tie it all together with contextual content. Contextual content is just a fancy way of saying content that people want based on their interests.

A few months ago I wrote about using the data you collect in Google Analytics to create more personalized experiences. You can read that post here:

Earlier this week, we decided to ask our Slack Community, Analytics for Marketers, what their hobbies outside of work are. Within a few minutes, we had a whole thread of responses ranging from cooking, to reading, to board games, and making music.

Well, that was easy, right?

In reality, we’ve been working to create and maintain this community for a couple of years. We’ve built the trust and respect needed to allow members to be so readily open and honest.

Now, let’s talk about you. What if you don’t have a community that you can ask? You likely have customers, past and present. We can start there.

I asked Chris on this week’s podcast, “Isn’t it weird to ask your customers what they do outside of the context of purchasing your products/services?” Chris responded, “Not if you tell them exactly how you’re using their information.”

Ok, so let’s say you’ve explicitly told your audience how you’ll use the information and they have agreed to hand it over. Now what?

Well, now you need to start creating!

Sounds easy, right? You have all of the pieces so like a Lego set you just put it together. Well, hold on. You still need to create valuable content and now you’re tasked with weaving in something that may not be at all related to what you do. Kind of like mashing all of your toy sets together as a kid to make one cohesive story.

Let’s take cooking as an example. At Trust Insights, we do a lot of consulting around data science, organizational behavior, and marketing analytics. Not a whole lot to do with cooking. You might notice that Chris uses a lot of cooking analogies to help explain things, but that’s not the same as creating content around cooking and data science.

Maybe the approach is to look at brands like America’s Test Kitchen and research how they approach cooking. As a fan, I know that they incorporate a lot of precise measurements, science, and chemistry into each recipe and episode. This is similar to how Trust Insights approaches analytics. To relate to my audience that also enjoys cooking, I could introduce (or reintroduce) them to cited works by America’s Test Kitchen and show how ATKs approach is similar to that of Trust Insights. Baking, as a practice, is a science. Trust Insights talks about the scientific method. Perhaps I could do a series on breaking down the process of baking using the same frameworks that we use for our analytics projects.

It’s not enough to just say “we’re cooking with data!” and assume you’ve created contextual content. You need to dig deeper and really understand the interest. Then you can bring it back into your services and products. Create something that you’d read. Share it with people who have the interest but aren’t customers and get their feedback. Did they find it valuable? Did they learn something new about you? Did you create interest enough that they would read more from you?

Try it out, see what works.

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