The “Quantified Self” is a movement developed by Wired magazine’s Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly which explores incorporating technology to collect data on every aspect of a person’s daily life. Practitioners often wear self-monitoring and self-sensing sensors like; Apple Watches, FitBits and even sleep-monitoring headbands like Zeo to determine sleep patterns.
“Our goal is to gather and organise the world’s collective self-tracking resources in one place, in a way that is useful for self-tracking experts and beginners who are just starting out,” writes Gary Wolf on their official website.
It seems a bit voyeuristic, but this is touching on the future of how we interact, soon our digital context will be as commonplace as a blood type.
Digital context merely is our IoT footprint; the pages we look at, the passwords we save and the data we implement into technology to make our lives so much easier. For marketers and anyone in e-commerce, this information is a goldmine and can be used to make the purchase journey much smoother. Still, it can be challenging to keep up with a modern-day prospect.
“The shift in consumer attitudes toward sharing data with connected devices is the most important shift in digital consumption since the advent of mobility. It is a big deal for marketers and innovators to be thinking about,” writes David Norton for Entrepreneur.
Forming digital context can be achieved by utilising techniques such as personalisation for individual users and segmenting for larger groups. This is where dynamic content comes in.
The core of why digital context is so important to both B2C brands and their consumers has a lot to do with personal relationships. Giving a company your name, gender, birthday, etc., is meant to establish an intimate connection. Customers want to feel like they are being spoken to directly even if they are just one of many.
“Personalisation in an analogue world existed when the guy at the video store knew your name. As we move into an increasingly connected and switched-on digital age, personalisation is a powerful tool where a company knows what you want to buy before you’ve even thought about it,” writes Samuel Shepherd for Relevance.
So far, 86 percent of UK brands are aiming to personalise their communications according to Experian.
Dynamic content is useful in this way because it creates a playground for brands to establish an accurate context for each customer. Examples of this include, personalised emails, webinars or meet-ups based on a person’s location, progressive profiling (allows you to select which form fields appear based on the information you already have about a particular lead) and algorithms like Facebook’s News Feed or Amazon’s recommendation system. Studies have shown that click rates can increase by 5 percent when using methods like this.
However, nothing is perfect, and there has been backlash with this form of customer engagement,
“Nearly 90% of respondents are happy with brands using their data to personalise the way they communicate with them as long as what is being said is relevant to them or it’s from companies they have recently purchased from. In the same vein, 67% of respondents found it intrusive if brands they have never purchased from use their details to personalise their comms,” says Experian in a white paper.
The future of digital context
This is where a movement like the “Quantified Self” could be onto something. More and more, a prospect engages with multiple touch-points each day, utilising numerous screens. Therefore the future of establishing digital context could involve a more cognitive take.
Understanding the movements of a customer on a specific site is one thing, but if the future means we’ll be logging the minutiae of our day into technology — what’s stopping brands from collecting this information to further customise an experience just for one?
In fact, “A survey by fashion research unit Sonar found that 64% of UK millennials also believe that, as the technology develops, brands that use AI will soon be able to predict what they want to buy accurately,” says Drapers.
Learn more about Freespee’s contextual routing here
A lot could change before then, regression is possible, but still, our digital context could one day tell us more about ourselves than we ever expected.