I attended the "standing-room-only" AdExchanger Industry Preview 2015 conference last week and noted four themes that I felt permeated the entire show.

  • The AdTech world treats the idea that programmatic will forever alter the display advertising market as a truism. Far from being last year’s fad, programmatic remains a major theme in the industry.
  • The future of video was a major theme, with plenty of discussion about the convergence – or not – of online and offline video. There was a fair bit of discussion about the eventual ‘stack,' the future of measurement, and, of course, programmatic TV/video buying.
  • Audience targeting crept into almost every presentation and panel discussion – regardless of the topic. Sometimes framed as a result of the convergence of AdTech and MarTech, as it relates to audience targeting, many speakers emphasized a notion that we’re moving from a world of pixel-based marketing to people-based marketing. For those of us that have been focused on customer intelligence and targeted marketing for the past few decades, that was great to hear!
  • Similarly, barely a presentation went by where the topic of “context” wasn’t discussed, if not at least mentioned. Indeed, to a person – from Google’s Neal Mohan and AOL’s Tim Armstrong, to Kraft’s Deanie Elsner and Forrester’s Shar VanBoskirk – “context” was mentioned as a key theme for marketers to embrace in this era of empowered, entitled, and connected consumers. 

While lots of people are talking about context lately, few slow down long enough to say what they mean by the term. We’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about "customer context," and we’re delighted that more people are starting to discuss the topic. But, to us, it’s much more than a marketing buzzword. We believe that a contextual understanding of consumers, and the ability to engage continuously with them on their terms, enables companies to alter how they interact with consumers and to deliver on the promise of that other buzzword, "customer-centricity." When executed effectively, customer context opens new opportunities for companies – enabling them to deliver value to their customers in new ways and to build stronger relationships.

So, how do we define it? As “the unique combination of the consumer’s disposition and situation, coupled with the business’s disposition and situation. The relevance of a firm’s interactions are related directly to its understanding of customer context.”

Customer Context

Today, we published an eBook to provide marketers with a framework to think about and embrace customer context. We invite you to download and read the eBook: CONTEXT CHANGES EVERYTHING for a more complete description, and engage with us in the comments section below or on Twitter to continue the conversation.



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