At Forrester’s recent annual Marketing Leadership Summit in Shanghai on March 25, I gave a presentation focusing on ways to build a contextual marketing engine and propel customers to the next best interaction. Key takeaways included:

  • Heavy mobile users in China are generating many new customer contexts. Heavy usage of mobile devices in China has changed the ways that people interact with enterprises. Today’s customers don’t just interface with brands via customer response, customer purchase, and customer services; more commonly, it happens outside of those campaigns. The context of all of those interactions determines whether a customer will engage — and, more importantly, transact — with the brand again.
  • Contextual interactions are changing marketing in China. Early adopters like Didi Taxi use contextual marketing from Day One and provide persistent incentives to engage with both providers and customers. Wanda Group, China’s leading business real estate company, acknowledges customer contextual interactions in its shopping malls across the nation and provides merchants with mobile moments to improve the effectiveness of their targeting.

As a follow-up, I’m writing a report that takes a deep dive into the landscape of contextual marketing in China. I would like to invite you to join our research by quickly answering the four questions below:

1. What is most important aspect of discovering customer contexts (choose one)?

a.       Understanding the customer life cycle

b.      Streamlining all touchpoints

c.       Developing customer usage scenarios

d.      Other (please specify)

2. What will be your top challenge to utilize customer contexts (choose one)?

a.       I don’t know how to capture appropriate contextual interaction data

b.      I have existing interaction data but don’t know how to prioritize it

c.       I don’t know how to process data and lack real-time analytics capabilities

d.      I don’t know how to deliver results and lack marketing automation tools

e.      Other (please specify)

3. In what ways can contextual marketing improve your customer experience (choose as many as apply)?

a.       Deliver utility to customers

b.      Provide a persistent incentive to engage

c.       Bridge the gap between marketing and the customer experience

d.      Enable customer-managed relationships

e.      Redefine the purpose of campaigns

f.        Other (please specify)

4. When do you plan to build your contextual marketing engine (choose one)?

a.       In the next three months

b.      In the next six months

c.       In the next 12 months

d.      We don’t have any such plans for the coming year

Please leave your answers in a comment or send them to me at You will receive a copy of the report resulting from this research.