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The Congruence Effect – Contextual Marketing Best Practices

By BrandGen Team

Marketing has a lot to do with psychology. To do a better job of reaching our prospects and customers, we need to understand how they think and the best way to reach them.

Just like any relationship, congruence is an important part of the customer journey.

Congruence is just a fancy word that means that something meshes well together – like a puzzle piece or PB&J. It’s the ideal harmony that you need in order to meet your customers where they are when you’re approaching any campaign.

How to Use Congruence Theory in Marketing

When you’re planning a campaign, think about it like dating: if you come on too strong, you’re not likely to build a long-lasting relationship.

To put that into marketing context, you need to be sure to match user intent.

How? Slowly build up data through relationships with your potential customers by educating them about who you are, the value your company provides, and how your products/services will benefit them.

Think about these questions:

  • What does a prospect need to know first about your products/services?
  • What problems do you solve for customers?
  • How can you educate your customers using multiple channels?

Starting simple will really help you start to see from the outside the best way to provide a seamless experience in your marketing to prospects.

However, don’t just trust your internal teams – you’re likely to have blind spots. Ask your best customers about what’s valuable to them. (Plus, you can use some of their answers for testimonials in the future!)

How to Nurture Prospects With Contextual Marketing

Once you have a foundation for what you want to get across to your potential customers, it’s time to build the relationship. How do you get to know them, and enable them to get to know you?

Again, just like dating, patience is key in getting to know someone and showing them you care – whether it’s a significant other or a sales prospect. You want it to feel natural and effortless, yet thoughtful and planned.

Here’s an example of how that might work:

  • Let’s say you provide a service/technology that matches employers to health and wellness programs in their area.
  • A prospect is searching for employee wellness programs, and they land on a Forbes article on the topic, where they see an ad for your services.
  • Since it’s an ad that’s relevant to their needs, they click.
  • The ad takes them to a landing page with a catchy overview of your services with smart content to match what’s available in their region.
  • A chatbot pops up with a friendly question about what they’re looking for, and they answer by clicking the response that fits their needs.
  • The bot provides a helpful resource for wellness options, and the user inputs an email address to download it.
  • If the user chooses not to download it, they receive a retargeting ad three days later that takes them to another resource that is helpful, and they subscribe to your company blog.

Now you have a little bit of information that will enable you to begin educating the prospect even more on the value your company can bring in a helpful way. The prospect didn’t have to book a meeting immediately, but they were given enough information at the time to be able to make a purchasing decision in their own time down the road.

Obviously, this bulleted list could go on and on, and it can take a variety of turns as different users decide their own path down the funnel, but the premise is the same: make it a seamless experience!

Best Practices for Marketing Congruence

Congruence in contextual marketing campaigns takes a good amount of planning, but it will be worth it in the long run, especially if you’re thinking about it through the lens of account-based marketing or other specific strategies.

Keep these tips in mind:

Align messaging with experience.

Any desired action that you want a user to take should make sense when it comes to the experience you’re creating for them. For example, a targeted ad should speak directly to your target audience and lead them to a landing page that matches the ad and provides them with more context.

In the case of the employee wellness matching service above, the ad matched the needs and brought them to a specific landing page that was personalized for their area. Boom – it catches attention and meets an immediate need.

Don’t ask for too much information too fast.

If you’re building a chatbot or a form, only ask for the information required to help the customer with what they need right now. Then, use that information to offer them more and provide them with the right details at the right time so that they can make a buying decision when they’re ready.

Your goal: nurture prospects from someone just hearing about you for the first time to someone ready to do business with you.

Provide a seamless experience. 

You do not want any interactions with prospects or customers to feel forced or jarring. You should map out clear customer journeys with CTAs that are aligned to the next steps you’d like for them to take.

From the example above, once the user subscribes to the blog, they open the most recent post, read to the end, and click to download the helpful piece of rich content at the end, which they will give just a little bit more info for in the form – if the timing is right.

Now it’s time for you to bring congruence to your marketing efforts for a seamless, contextual user journey. Need some actionable ways to run more effective B2B campaigns? We’ve got you covered.

Check out: Our Guide to B2B Marketing Strategy: A Framework You Can Implement

Tags: Contextual Marketing

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