By definition, for something to be relevant, it needs to be important to the matter at hand. For marketing, the matter at hand was once simply reaching the public’s consciousness through mass media with hopes that your product would be remembered at buying time. Being relevant today, however, is another matter entirely. Today’s consumer has a shorter attention span and is living in a noisier world.
Today’s marketer needs to tunnel through the noise and meet customer expectations in ways that are completely tied to customers’ “matter at hand”—their preferences, history with the brand, and current context.
The Matter At Hand
For a marketer, knowing a customer’s preference, history, and current context isn’t a simple matter. It requires a platform that brings together the right information quickly enough to engage the customer in the moments that matter.
That information includes:
Transactional data – Knowing what your customer has done before is a head start to being relevant today. It’s not just about purchases—transactional data includes all interactions with the customer, including inquiries, returns, product reviews, and more.
Online data – Knowing how your customer has surfed your sites, both web and mobile, will tell you which pages or products have receive the most attention.
Social data – Getting your customers to engage socially provides a rich look into their interests, travel, and other information that supports relevant messaging.
Location data – Perhaps the most relevant data of all, a customer’s location allows a brand to reach out at moments that are fleeting, like proximity to a store.
These pieces of information, together, feed an ability to determine when and where a customer is most likely to respond positively to a message. Every communication needs to be relevant and should feel more like a service than a marketing push. A customer that finds a brand relevant feels served with useful and meaningful information rather than noise and pressure.
Customers are increasingly able to filter out noise and irrelevant information. This is a critically important concept and core to relevance. Focusing on this gives brands an ability to separate themselves from the crowd and be more effective marketers. These efforts feel like special treatment rather than promotion and allow customers to feel comfortable providing more information about themselves. When your customers feel like your marketing is a service, you know you’ve reached the point of relevance.