Best Context Marketing for Entrepreneurs and Small Business

According to many sources, context marketing is about capturing the right data, in the right setting at the right time, then connecting it across all resources in the right way with the right customer.

 I don’t know about you, but my experience has taught me that this is very hard… To do such a feat successfully you would need to hire a team of marketing experts. I guess that’s why marketing experts insist on context marketing being ever-encompassing and complex.

What is Context Marketing?

Consumer perception plays a major role in purchase behavior. Perception is reference-dependent; the perceived attributes of a focal stimulus reflect the contrast between the stimulus and its context.  (figure 1: context influences color perception).

color context

Keeping the focus stimuli fixed and changing the context stimuli results in distorting consumer perception. The main message conveyed is the same. However, paying attention to an object makes all its features accessible – including those that aren’t linked to the primary (focus) stimuli. (figure 2: context shapes a ‘B’ or ’13’).

shape context

1. PRIOR Context MARKETING

This type of context is stimuli that was present for a while and then was removed abruptly. For instance, you see a picture of a racing car and then click on a completely different page.

Almost all marketing managers ignore prior context as they simply don’t understand it.

Priming in Marketing Communications

When discovered for the first time, it was observed that subtle stimuli that bypasses the conscious filters of our mind proceeds to influence our decisions over the course of time, gradually fading as exposed to new stimuli. The researchers that discovered this effect called it the Priming effect.

2. CURRENT Context MARKETING

A more obvious stimulus is Current Context. It is a stimulus that is actually in the background of the point of inference (focus stimuli). Current context is not a subtle stimuli – it is direct and present.

An example of Current Context is FRAMING. The basic principle of Framing is the passive acceptance of the formulation given. Because of the passivity, people fail to construct a canonical representation for all extensionally equivalent descriptions, leaving them at the mercy of the given context.

current context marketing

For example, a 90% lean meat is exactly the same as a 10% fat meat. However, the emphasis is on the leanness of the meat, and therefore, the reference point (context) is the leanness of the meat – in this case it’s a whopping 90% (which in reality is normal and may be considered fatty).

Invariance cannot be achieved by a finite mind.

Framing in Marketing Communications:

Let’s consider two scenarios of information shared with consumers:

A: Every third visitor of our online shop buys at least 1 item

B: Two out of three visitors of our online shop leave without buying any item

The same piece of information, when framed differently will affect the perception of the reader in two completely opposing directions. By choosing to state formulation A, we frame consumers to engage the shop with the perception that there’s a good probability they will find something interesting to buy. While formulation B will frame consumers to think that there’s a high probability they won’t find anything interesting to buy.

Anchoring in Marketing Communications:

This one is truly a mind-boggler. Behavioral psychologists often refer to it as a cognitive ‘bias.’ What they mean to say is that they can’t quite put their finger on it. They call it the Anchoring effect.

Anchoring is a marketing technique of deliberately setting the context in consecutive steps that lead to shaping the consumer perception (and choices and preferences thereof). A famous experiment baffled the academic society around the world. This experiment proved that the outcome of rolling dice before answering a question significantly influences the answer!

Less Noise. More Compassion!

A simple way we can employ Anchoring, is to add a short survey asking the consumer a few, seemingly irrelevant questions right before accessing the landing page. The objective is to influence the consumer to expect higher prices for the products by affecting his/her value perception. Consequently, the consumer is pleased to see lower prices than expected and purchases a few products, as it seems like a good deal at the time.

Another way to affect the consumer perception is by deliberately setting high expectations. In the real estate business, agents often take you on a tour of very expensive properties first, disclosing the prices to you, you GET ANCHORED ON A HIGH PRICE. Then they take you to see a little house that is still overpriced, but it is much cheaper than the first two houses you’ve seen. That prompts you to think that the 3rd house is a bargain! The same principle is frequently used in Finance and Trading.


3. Context MARKETING Strategies for Entrepreneurs and Small Business

3.1. How to Use Priming – Online Content/Testimonials

If you’re using native Ads, blogs, or similar written content to drive traffic onto your landing page, use ACTION words. Also, use it in first person perspective in present tense.

e.g.   I move.        I spend.       I buy.            I jump.         I kick.            I sign.

The reader infers the information (focus stimuli) from your content while setting a subtle reference point (context stimuli). When reading in 1st person, the subconscious mind sets the context as if it was real and happening in the moment of reading.

As an entreprenur, or a small business owner, you can use your customers’ testimonials for priming. Simply add the testimony next to calls-to-actions. For example:

“I had a great experience with Aleph Website. I get new leads daily thanks to their work! The website is great and it works exactly as I want it to!”

You can see how the text is perfect for priming; all verbs are in present tense, all actions are positive and encouraging. Adding such a testimony is guaranteed to increase clicks on your call-to-action. This is one of our Linkedin Ads we have published in 2021:

how to use priming context marketing with testimonials

This effect is called Priming. It is simply an external stimuli (sound, image, scent) that activates a certain mental projection in our mind that keeps lingering for a while. Priming is most useful to influence consumers emotions. Emotions are drivers of our decisions, often on a unconscious level. So if the emotion is activated in the consumer, they will make decision based on their feelings that come from the activated mindset.

fire up the consumer before driving them onto your landing page!

3.2. How to Use Framing – View Cart/Open Shop Page

Right before accessing the online shop, there is a short moment of buffering. Extend this buffer for a second to frame the consumer. It should be a total of just 3 seconds of deliberate buffering; long enough for the consumer to read our information statement, but short enough not to reflect on all aspects of this statement:

framing pop up

The consumer didn’t get enough time to analyze the information statement we presented.

The consumer is now at our online shop, browsing and looking for potentially interesting items.

The Consumer is framed!

While this is one simple framing trick you can apply, there are many more you can do that follow the same logic of influence.

3.3. How to use Anchoring (Interactive Landing Page / Survey with Search and Filter Options)

A well-designed step-by-step marketing funnel with pre-tested content gets you a good conversion rate. Adding an anchor survey while loading the landing page will increase further that conversion rate, but also, unrealistically improve your customer reviews! This is a natural mind hack that will get you lots of positive reviews. As you may already know, customer reviews increase online sales by significant percentage, which makes context marketing even more appealing!

Right before loading the landing page, install a pop up that appears in the middle of the screen. The pop up is an anchor survey with three questions:

presenting questions used for anchoring in context marketing

Let’s imagine we are selling refurbished Samsung Galaxy S7. The market price range is $100 – $200. This wide price range gives us the space to implement an anchor successfully. Answers should be numbers at least double the upper threshold, but not greater than 1000. Very high numbers will blow it out of proportion and we lose the reference point due to disassociation from the context stimuli. [prices were studied back in 2019]

The questions could be anything, for example:

1. How many companies does Unilever own? Correct answer = 400 companies

2. In meters, what is the length of Knock Nevis, the largest ship in the world? Correct answer = 458 m

3. How many kilograms weighs the heaviest person alive in the world? Correct answer = 610 

questions used for anchoring in context marketing

Some marketers prefer questions related to the product they’re selling. The beauty of anchoring is that you can do whatever you want, as long as you set the reference point (context stimuli) correctly.

Once all the questions are answered, the consumer has anchored a reference of 400. Seeing the prices, the consumer learns that there are smartphones 4 times cheaper than the biased reference point. What a delight! It’s time to purchase a Samsung Galaxy S7!

You might say: “this strategy makes no sense!”

You might say: “this strategy makes no sense!”

I agree with you 100%, but Anchoring is not about the rational mind, it is about the intuitive mind, and I just taught you how to monetize human intuition! 

Morality and awareness of consequences are above all! Your actions will shape the future – improve the livelihood of your audience and you will thrive!

How Aleph Website Uses Context marketing

Aleph Website is a small team of passionate Web Experts. We love to build websites and we embed actively both context and content marketing strategies into our websites.

aleph website uses context marketing on the homepage

On our homepage you can find a discount offer with which you can save $810. This is a really good offer on top of an already great price point for a professional website development. Our Services cover all functions needed for the success of your website. You can always see Our portfolio to get a glimpse of our work.

Notice how we added the counter to induce urgency when considering our offer. Visitors are prompted to click on ‘Our Deals’ and they are referred to our packages where they can choose the one that fits them. However, the discount is only for our most-prized website package. With our Pro Package, we ensure that Context Marketing is embedded in the design.

aleph website prices and website cost

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Photo by Bruno Figueiredo on Unsplash

Context Marketing

Photo by Patrick Assalé on Unsplash

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