The Importance of Personal Context and Connection

by Ken Mueller on January 8, 2013 · 8 comments

The Importance of Personal Context and Connection

We often say that content is king, but unless people find our content, it’s merely a pretender to the throne.

What we need as a road leading to the content is some context. A familiar context is often the thing that draws people to us and our content.

A few years ago we bought a Honda Odyssey, kind of grayish in color. Prior to purchasing the vehicle, I’m not sure I ever really noticed a Honda Odyssey on the road before. But once we purchased one, suddenly I was seeing them everywhere. And not only was I seeing them, but many of them seemed to be the exact same year and color as ours. They were all over the place! You’ve probably all had similar experiences.

For the past month we’ve had two of my son’s friends from the Czech Republic staying with us. Suddenly I’m seeing every little reference to their homeland in the newspaper, online, on products, and anywhere else.

What’s the difference?

Before, I had no personal connection. Now, I have that connection and I’m much more aware of these things around me.

When we have that personal context, we feel a greater connection to the content. Context paves the way for the connection to the content.

If content is king, context is the road to the kingdom.

For businesses, this means we have to find a way to connect with our customers and potential customers through some sort of context. Our current customers already have that connection, but we need to build on any affinity they might have for us and our products. The tougher part is to find ways to connect with those who aren’t already our customers so that they begin to see us in a more personal way.

Understanding your audience and what draws them in and inspires them is the first step in discovering ways to provide the proper context. And the context could come in the form of a certain image, a particular word, or some combination of things that grabs the eye and resonates on a deeper level.

The beauty is, you have that connection with some if not all of your current customers. As you connect with them online via social media, they can help you provide that context for others. In fact, it might be your existing customers and their connection to both you and them that IS that context. It’s never been more important to build stronger relationships with your customers, and then equip them to be your contextual ambassadors.

How are you creating and providing the context that draws people to you and your content?


I enjoyed this post, Ken. It dovetails with the book I am reading for review (Jim Blasingame's The Age of the Customer) .... I am still early in the book but it is describing the transition from the Age of the Seller to the Age of the Customer, and the HUGE difference that community makes these days. I believe that is true, and if I love a business/cause, I will be the first to try to create some bang-up User Generated Content to put that business/cause in context for the people in my orbit.

Tom Rochford
Tom Rochford

Reticular Activator System  

The reticular activating system (RAS) is the part of a person's brain that has the role of attention maker or attention breaker.


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