The old mantra of “Content Is King” has been around for as long as, well, content. But now a new challenger has appeared over the horizon in burnished mail, astride a charging steed . Context has arrived – and he brings with him a retinue including Location, Bandwidth, Device Type and Dwell Time.
Gone are the days when Content could stand alone – in the Modern Age of marketing, Content is significantly weaker without Context.
Days of Yore
In the olden days, marketers could push out a content marketing campaign, secure in the knowledge that almost all their customers would be viewing it on similar devices and with a fixed connection. Then came the Mobile Revolution.
The Dawn Of A New Era
Rules were overturned. Content journeys broke. Power shifted from the company to the customer.
Now the same piece of content could be viewed across multiple screen sizes, with connection speeds ranging from super-fast broadband to laggardly sub-3G, at home, at work or in the open air. And those pieces of content simply weren’t up to the task. Marketers began to see carefully structured user journeys crumbling. Expensive video content went unwatched as morning commuters found it too heavy for their roaming bandwidth and too detailed for their smartphone screen. Short, concise blog posts left tablet users unfulfilled as they searched for more detailed insights during evening TV ad breaks. Flash content bombed on Apple devices, replaced with the Big Red X of Doom. Squandered budget piled up like a hoard of stolen gold in agency coffers, while ROI plummeted. Marketers and business owners realized that they had to find a new way of doing things. The King’s days were numbered but no-one had told the King.
Enter The New King
Enter Context, striding across the battlefield with banners flying high.
“Know your people!” he proclaimed. “Listen to them and they will tell you what they want, when they want it and how they want it.”
Marketers began to glean that by understanding a customer’s specific context at a given time, they could deliver an optimized content experience across all devices. Knowing whether a visitor was using a tablet, a feature phone or a SmartTV allowed them to tailor campaign creative to relevant devices. Measuring bandwidth let them deliver the appropriate weight of content at the appropriate time of day. Monitoring visitor engagement levels from different referral sources – such as social, paid ads or offline – focused acquisition spending where it would do most good. The old King surveyed his realm through newly-bright eyes and smiled. He commanded a second throne be placed alongside his own. Together, Content and Context ushered in a new era. The King is dead, long live the King!