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Content Without Context Misses Its Mark

In a recent survey, Forrester Research Inc. found that nearly all marketers see content as a vital part of their interactive marketing success—but almost half of them fail to effectively develop and manage marketing content.

Content marketing is undoubtedly a hot topic, but smart marketers know it’s not a panacea. “Even if you have the best content in the world, if you’re not able to deliver it in a contextual way, you’re going to run into problems,” said Stephen Powers, Vice President and Research Director of Forrester Research, Inc., in a recent recent webinar.

The context in which you place your content matters just as much as the content itself. According to Forrester, contextualization is “a tailored, adaptive, and sometimes predictive digital experience.” It involves personalizing the content for your audience, delivering the right content to the right person at the right time and in the right place.

To deliver a contextualized experience, Powers said organizations need to consider three key buckets of data:

1. Demographics

This is the given: Your customers’ age, gender, geographic location,
and other demographic data should inform the content you’re serving them.

2. Historical Data

Historical data includes purchase history, previous pages viewed,
past actions taken on your website, and more. “Think about all of the things [your customers] have done prior to getting to this experience,” said Powers.

In addition, brands need to consider cross-channel contextualization.
If your customer has interacted with you via a call center and they’ve received a certain email from you, they expect that those experiences will inform their later experience on your website. “The fact of the matter is, customers are no longer channel specific,” said Powers.
“It’s the whole idea of being contextual and being cross-channel that’s going to be important.”

3. Situational Data

Your customers are constantly moving and changing devices. Their right-here-right-now data needs to inform the content you’re delivering. Where are they at this moment? What device are they using? What time of day is it? Depending on your brand, you may also want to serve content based on the weather or local trending events.

To contextualize content, organizations need to “take an approach of automate-plus-optimize,” said Powers. You may still need to do some manual optimization along the way, but the right web content management system can offer a variety of automatic contextualization.

Compelling experiences need to be tailored to each individual business user. They need to sustain meaningful conversations and build relationships by creating personalized and compelling content that is experienced and created only for “you”.

To learn more about innovative web content management systems, visit

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OpenText is the leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM). Our EIM products enable businesses to grow faster, lower operational costs, and reduce information governance and security risks by improving business insight, impact and process speed.

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