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The Business of Choice: Marketing to Consumers’ Instincts by Matthew Willcox

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12. If Content Is King, Context Is Queen

Marketers focus so much on message, we frequently underestimate the dramatic effect of context.

Marketers have long known the importance of context for their messages, but few harness the full power context has to offer.

Consider online shopping. In early September 2014, I was browsing for digital cameras. The review site I looked at didn’t just show customer reviews for different cameras but also carried ads for Best Buy’s Labor Day sale, a photo storing service, and links to camera manufacturers and photography retailers. This kind of advertising is known as contextual targeting, an approach that uses the reasonable assumption that if I am researching cameras, then I might notice and respond to ads related ...

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