Content and Context: The Money Behind Successful Mobile Strategy

By David Sauter, CEO

Published: July 2, 2014

As of January 2014:

  • Sixty-seven percent of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.
  • Forty-four percent of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls, text messages or other updates during the night.
  • Twenty-nine percent of cell owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.”

As mobile devices become more personalized, pervasive and valuable — so too must branded marketing. Yet, as more and more companies latch on to the value of mobile outreach, there is an ongoing debate about the role of context compared to content.

Across all mobile mediums, marketers constantly stress the importance of making marketing more contextually aware. At the same time, marketers have to create a substantial amount of content to segment particular groups of mobile users.”

Instead of picking a priority, the strategy and success comes in balancing both.

The Importance of Context

Context is crucial to mobile. Local and contextual targeting based on where a customer is, what they are doing, and what they need play an incredible role in determining how you, as a company, can bring them added value. According to a piece on, “different signals, such as social activity, time of day and Internet-based behavior can help brands make advertising more contextual. Additionally, basic data such as demographics and location can be layered on.”


“Location can be a strong indicator of a user’s intent and should be one of the first factors that marketers look at to send contextually-relevant messages. For example, a consumer only looking at online reviews of [heavy equipment or machinery] does not reveal much about intent. However, if the user is looking at the content on a mobile device that is nearby to a dealership, marketers can infer that there is a stronger likelihood of that consumer coming in to a dealership to buy a [machine].

The Importance of Content

Yet, if you have your contextual strategy dialed in, there is no value to it without compelling and relevant content to go with the situation. Understanding the context a potential customer is in is the precursor to ensuring that you are sending them the right message — one that positively brands your company or product while providing them information they find relevant and helpful at that particular time.


If you have an individual who you know is searching for equipment reviews close to your dealership, don’t send them a link to an open house at your dealership across town. Send them anincentive to stop in, whether it’s in savings or other value, specific to the product or service they are searching for.
To leverage the contextual power and opportunities of mobile is a tremendous advantage for those companies who do it right. But without, content that fits the appropriate contextual situation, the power of that brand message is nullified. Today, more than ever, mobile strategy demands the best of both.

In the wise words of our gurus at Content Marketing Institute, “as you’re thinking through your content marketing strategy, don’t just think about how people will perceive or engage with each different piece of content in a silo. Be aware of where they are coming from — their moment of need — and where they are going — their next-most-likely-action. If you do, you will deliver more appropriate content more often. And the efficacy of your content will skyrocket.”