Personalised marketing: Walking the line between contextual and creepy

Lena Roland

Contextual integration, relevancy and privacy were the major themes explored at Now / Next / Why, an event held by Contagious, a marketing and branding consultancy, in London in April 2014.

In the multi-device digital age, targeting consumers according to media usage alone will not suffice. To create what Will Sansom, director of content and Strategy at Contagious Insider, described as "a complete, connected and consistent experience", brands must plan around the personal context. This means taking factors such as the time of day, location, pattern of behaviour and purchase intent into account. Or, in other words, marketers must "design around the life of the consumer."

One platform doing just that is Google Now, a service using time- and location-specific data, sourced from Google's cloud-based services, to deliver relevancy and convenience to users. According to its website, Google Now "works in the background so you don't have to. Your information is automatically organised into simple cards that appear just when they're needed. Because Google Now is ready whenever you are, you can spend less time digging and more time living."