Today, Malcolm Muggeridge, a famous British journalist and satirist has said that “History will see advertising as one of the real evil things of our time. It stimulates people constantly to want something or the other”. It is understandable that the quote might not hold entirely true for the SaaS landscape. However, it does speak about the marketers’ inclination to use ads while trying to grab consumers’ attention and convert them.
Although targeted ads can generate high returns, showing too many ads can cause ad fatigue among customers. Surveys have revealed that almost 77.4% of US digital consumers same ads from a single brand, and 78% think that is inexcusable. However, despite the availability of multiple channels requiring lower investments, marketers tend to rely more on running ad campaigns to convert users.
Stockholm Syndrome of Ads
The over-reliance on ads looks pretty similar to the infamous Stockholm Syndrome. The only difference is, here, marketers immediately turn to ad campaigns every time they look for brand growth or conversions. What really matters in marketing is the content converts, not the medium alone.
Replacing ads can be an unthinkable act for marketers. Marketers run campaigns with a few core assumptions. They think, designing an ad campaign with product relevance to a targeted audience is enough for conversion or at least generate engagement. But engaging and converting consumers might still be challenging without segmenting them accordingly.
Although advertising uses audience segmentation, things might become a bit obscure soon. Google is about to ban the use of third-party data, a key ingredient for ads, next year. Fortunately, now marketers might have a small window of opportunity to replace ads with something even better – contextual messaging.
Rise of the Contextual Communication
Contextual communication usually relies more on user consent and first-party data. Having access to this data will make customers more inclined to receive product communications from you. The impact of contextual marketing is quite relevant to SaaS businesses as the customer journey runs parallel to the product usage lifecycle. Therefore, align marketing communication contextually before serving it to the appropriate audience segments.
One of the most convenient ways of sending contextual communication to customers is emails. It allows marketers to take user consent and send relevant messages according to their lifecycle stages and engage them better. The goal should be to own quality time in customers’ inboxes.
Emails also allow marketers to include audience hyper-segmentation while curating communication. It helps in understanding the micro cohorts among the larger audience and addresses the probable bottlenecks that might come up within the user journey. Relevant content according to the needs of these cohorts can build trust among the consumers, which eventually grows into a relationship and translates into conversion and revenue.
Today, marketing is focusing on transmitting relevant communication without violating user data privacy. Serving contextual content as per customers’ preferences can help avoid digital espionage via ad-serving third-party audience data. Further, sending these messages builds customer intent, which, in turn, can help identify the audience cohorts, including their real-time activities, and makes the communication more relevant considering the audience’s online behavior.