To create marketing genius today, we need to enlist an intricate mix of Content, Context, Cross-Channel and Conversion elements. There are many moving parts, many new innovations, and many ways to build the marketing “mousetrap,” thereby differentiating customer experiences.

Most marketers are focused on the 4C’s, but still face numerous hurdles when connecting the dots in the most impactful way. Many organizations are still developing teams that are customer centric, as opposed to channel and initiative centric. And, often the web, ecommerce, email, mobile and social teams are not well aligned across the customer journey. This makes it challenging to develop customer experiences that perform at optimal levels.

Even so, the evolving elements and innovations are coming together for many marketers to move towards marketing genius, especially by the following 4 C’s as keys to success.


1. Content

Content has been king for a while, but the definition of great content includes more variety than ever. Marketers need to create experiences using product and service information, curated thematic content, user generated content, social feeds, ratings and reviews, video content, surveys, and content aligned with real-time business and consumer circumstances. Tapping into this variety of sources and crafting communications that are compelling requires content audits, content development, and ongoing testing and optimization.

Starting with auditing content is a great first step to putting the king of content to work. Harnessing existing content, identifying content gaps, cultivating new content, and testing the impact of content at various lifecycle stages, are all key to outlining a content strategy that will take marketing programs to the genius level.


2. Context

Context is truly ruling the marketing realm these days, and rightly so. Context relies on actionable, real-time data that reveals a consumer circumstance. That knowledge powers marketing genius by enabling marketers to deliver contextual communications. By understanding customer and business situations such as location, satisfaction level, purchase intent, weather, device used and more, marketers can deliver more value and context to consumers.

Great content and contextual delivery provide the genius of the right message at the right time and the right location, thus generating higher conversion rates and customer value. These experiences become true business differentiators, as marketers become better and better at aligning with consumer situations.


3. Cross-Channel

With content and data driving a more contextual experience, the next area of focus should be communicating across channels. To truly optimize consumer experiences, marketers should be testing new channels of communication perpetually and defining the best channel mix based on customer segments and actions.

Most marketing teams are still working to expand and optimize new lines of communication. Using automation path optimization, marketers can test to refine the sequence of events that will lead consumers to act and convert.

Tapping new channels and building testing models to understand what works and when is key. For example, does an email and a push notification drive X more conversions? And, does rich push messaging deliver even better results? Or, what if the email has LiveContent that updates the message at the time of open with real-time data such as inventory, pricing, or flash sale countdown? Start with controlled elements and test, optimize, and test again to build cross-channel journeys that deliver results and excellent user experiences.


4. Conversion

Finally, focusing on conversion is important to understand how communication touch points impact conversion. Begin with this end in mind to build transparency and attribution models that provide a “cause and effect” view in close to real-time. Understanding what sources deliver results and the combination of touch points that drive conversions is key.

Beyond that, focusing on calls-to-actions, design elements, landing pages, and other details will ensure that all the contextual content delivered across channels, will result in conversion. Details matter. This is where testing is critical to driving a final customer action.

To achieve true marketing genius today, marketers need to apply the 4 C’s, along with an agile process for testing and optimizing programs. Understanding key use cases across the customer journey opens up countless opportunities to deploy the 4 C’s. With these elements in place, marketing genius emerges from the details!

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