Article by Ernan Roman
Featured on CustomerThink.com
Your marketing messages go through a virtually instantaneous evaluation by consumers.
They either identify with your communication and say, "Yes, that's me!" or, disconnect, feeling that you have no idea who they are or what they want. It's all based on your degree of relevancy.
The following requirements for achieving meaningful marketing relevance emerged from 15,000 + hours of VoC research we have conducted;
- Segmentation by life stage is now essential for determining which products consumers will see as relevant.
- Within life stages, determine consumer's self defined attitudes toward your category and your products.
- Develop truly personalized messaging and offers for each individual consumer with relevant content and imagery to address their likely concerns and questions.
- Your customer insights must be real time to stay in sync with your customer's ever changing life stages.
According to The Fifth Annual Cisco® Consulting Services Retail Survey, it was noted:
- Most shoppers want innovations that improve convenience and efficiency, extending beyond personalization into hyper-relevance [Tweet this]
- Hyper-relevance delivers value... or engagement... throughout the shopping lifecycle, ... that best suits the customer's context (where [they], what [they] are looking to accomplish in that moment).
Relevancy Strategy 1: Make your brand and product relatable to your target audience:
How Nail Polish Helped Ace Hardware Become Relevant
When Ace Hardware set out last year to begin targeting women, they reached out with a relevant and unexpected message that women could relate to-offering wall paint in OPI Nail Polish colors. The campaign was so successful that the two companies teamed up to introduce a lineup of 50 new colors.
One of the reasons this unlikely effort worked, is that it made the idea of do-it-yourself relatable and turned the "helpful hardware man" stylish. The company quite literally re-engineered not only their marketing strategies, but also their actual product in order to make it relevant to a brand new audience.
Bloggers, women's magazines, and other style-savvy media outlets that would have never before reported on a paint collection found the campaign relevant to their audience which made the reach all that much wider.
These efforts to make an established brand relevant to new audiences appear to be working. Ace Hardware reported that for the first quarter ended April 4, 2015, total revenues were $1,186.1 million against $1,078.7 million a year ago.
Relevancy Strategy 2: Tailor your offering and message to a highly targeted audience to ensure relevance to their needs:
BtoB Relevancy Drove Event Attendance for Replicon
Replicon, a software company, turned to LinkedIn to promote live BtoB events to specific job titles. They created an event series called "Culture vs. Compliance," featuring live presentations.
Brett Chester, VP-online marketing at Replicon noted that the company "utilized a marketing mix that no one had used before in the same way." They teased the event with a LinkedIn sponsored update and followed up with sponsored targeted InMail messages sent to LinkedIn users with HR, payroll manager and higher-level titles.
Victor Lin, digital marketing manager at Replicon reported that "...Within the first two weeks of the campaign, the sponsored updates delivered over 90,000 impressions, with an average click-through rate of 1.33%, compared with the LinkedIn average click-through rate of 0.31% during that same time period." The company reports that the event achieved the campaign goal, with an average attendee rate of 51% -- and in some locations, the attendance rate topped 60% of registrations.
"[We used] copy resonating with our target audience [and] we tweaked the message as we were learning and improving... When you truly understand your audience, who they are and what they need, then you are able to say, 'We have something you're looking for'," said Lin.
- Consumers are demanding marketing that is relevant to their interests as a person for BtoC, and to their individual job title and function for BtoB.
- Marketing ROI increases significantly when targeted to an audience with a message that is relevant per 3 criteria; their interests, life stages and self defined attitudes toward your category and brand.
- Be creatively daring! The Ace Hardware example above and the Ice Bucket challenge last year are examples of extreme creativity.
Today, the big win will be achieved when marketers engage consumer needs with credible relevancy. By scrutinizing every single communication to make sure it is relevant, you demonstrate a sincere interest in what is truly important to your customers.
President, Ernan Roman Direct Marketing Corp., (ERDM)
Inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame based on results companies achieve with three Customer Experience methodologies he created: Voice of Customer Relationship Research, Integrated Direct Marketing and Opt-in Marketing.
ERDM specializes in conducting Voice of Customer research to identify Customer Experience strategies that generate significant increases in response and revenue for clients including IBM, MassMutual, QVC, NBC, Microsoft and Norton AntiVirus.
Named by the Online Marketing Institute as one of the "2014 Top 40 Digital Luminaries" and by Crain's B to B Magazine as one of the "100 most influential people in Business Marketing".
Ernan's latest book is titled, "Voice of the Customer Marketing". He also writes the widely read and Huffington Post published blog, "Ernan's Insights on Marketing Best Practices".