Creative marketing is no longer about design and copywriting. It’s increasingly turning into the skill of capturing context.

Igor Pauletič / / Marketing

For as long as I’ve been in this business, I’ve never before been asked where we’re heading and where we see ourselves in five years at a pitch meeting. I think my two colleagues who were there with me felt like they were being interviewed for a job. But what popped up in my mind instead was: now I’ve finally experienced this! Finally, someone asked if I knew how we’d be able to help them even in five years’ time. Plus, they were thinking about taking a long journey with us. If you’ve waited for twenty-two years to be asked this question, you’re either prepared for it or simply stupid!

Serious challenges call for technological innovations

You’ve probably realized that this title is my answer to the question . . . And now you’re probably expecting some kind of an explanation. I hope. If you read my posts once in a while, you may see me as a high-tech enthusiast. But I’m not sure that’s what I really am. It’s just that deep down I believe that only technology can lead to development of any kind. The serious challenges of today’s world call for technological innovations. I admit it, I like watching movies and TV series, such as Black Mirror, and in my posts I sometimes use ideas that come to me while watching them. But this morning I was honestly surprised at what I had already written about as early as 2015. Long before all the hype about the GDPR. And several years before the Cambridge Analytica affair. If you take two hours of your time and watch The Great Hack and Prediction by the Numbers on Netflix, you will most likely come to realize yourself that creative marketing—the main advertising mantra for many years—is becoming primarily about capturing context. As it happens, the technology that made the Cambridge Analytica scandal possible is now here and also available to your company. We’d be happy to make a live presentation for you.

What’s better: to be within the context of the current step in the customer’s journey or invest primarily in public awareness (a.k.a. advertising)?

At FrodX we help (large and medium-sized) enterprises market and sell their products and services exactly the way their customers like to buy them. In essence, our business is to help companies adapt their marketing and sales, and often their products and services as well, to the changed buying habits of their customers. You could call us a marketing agency, but one that’s more from the “new world.” Nobody expects us to win a Cannes Lions award, but we are expected to provide direct impact on sales. Our clients often give us a relatively free hand in this. To achieve the goals set, companies can hire the top award-winning creative marketer, or the number one copywriting star at the annual marketing conference in Portorož, or use appropriate technologies. As long as they get the right results. Now you should be wondering why the heck someone would opt for the latter. I can explain this with two examples that are easy to understand.

You’d like to sell an overdraft protection increase to your customer

Let’s imagine that top award-winning creative marketers prepare an ad for your sales campaign. You pick a date and inundate your customers with an ad for increasing the overdraft protection on their checking accounts to the amount of their monthly salaries. Huge response? Definitely not. Only a few people would even notice such a message. 

Now imagine what response the bank would receive if it also texted customers informing them that they could immediately increase their overdraft protection every time their card payment failed to be approved due to an overdraft. It would only take a single link in the text message to the online bank, where they could confirm the increase. If the bank’s good at capturing the context like this, the business terms are considerably less important to the customers. Just because you’re providing a solution to their problem at the very instant it arises and the customer becomes aware of it. A technical challenge? Of course, if you’re only thinking about the hammer you’re holding and know how to use. I think that if you can tell customers via a POS terminal that they don’t have enough in their bank accounts, you can also text them at the same time. This does, however, require new tools and expertise, and an open mind. It’s easiest to achieve impossible goals with people who don’t yet know that they are impossible 😉

You would like to sell a set of new tires to your customer

I often show people how I can start and unlock my car and turn on the heating or AC via a mobile app. The same app also shows the car’s location and past journeys and runs the car’s diagnostics. When there’s something wrong, it’s not just the lights on my dashboard that go off, but also the warning icon in my app. Because my car’s constantly connected to the Internet, the service mechanic no longer has to use cables to run the car’s diagnostics. Instead, everything’s automatically uploaded to the manufacturer’s data center, which the mechanic accesses through his own app.

I presume the data that such a digitalized car collects and transmits also includes information on a greater number of skidding incidents and hence the tires’ condition. Plus, in addition to the car’s current location, the mobile app also has access to my Office 365 Calendar, so I could easily also receive an invitation to book an appointment with the service mechanic, including information on how much the new tires and tire change would cost. Booking an appointment (i.e., placing an order) for changing the tires is only a touch away, when the right moment arises. The system provides an overview of the bookings available and the tires on stock, and even enters the date of my service appointment into my calendar. Still thinking about how to design and write your ad? 

Context isn’t just about personalized content and catching the right moment

Context also includes the display your customer is most likely to notice at any given moment. This is no longer just about sending someone an e-mail or text. Omnichannel presence also includes the ability to communicate via the displays of devices that your customers use. Because I’m a little obsessed with high-tech anyway, my colleagues decided that it would be best if I received information on new leads directly on my infotainment board when I’m driving. Now I’m waiting for them to figure out that I also have a projection display on my windscreen. When I’m driving, I’m most likely to use these two communication channels.

OK, this way of sending information on new leads at FrodX may seem a little over the top, But just think how user-friendly and effective a notification to users of Petrol’s app Na Poti (On the Way) could be if it popped up on their infotainment board after one hour of driving, suggesting they could take a break and redeem their Petrol loyalty points for free coffee at a service stop one kilometer away. Let alone highlighting a product predicted to be the one they’re most likely to purchase. We already have the technology and the knowledge required to implement this.

To sum up

I don’t really have anything special to say in conclusion. Maybe I can ask what your marketing is doing to move your sales a step higher. I hope you aren’t betting on creative marketing to bring you a Cannes Lions award any more.

The FrodX CX solutions are based on the following technologies: