Thursday, March 22, 2018

Marketing: Importance of relevance

“In this new era of digital-based competition and customer control, people are increasingly buying because of a brand’s relevance to their needs in the moment,” write John Zealley, Joshua Bellin and Robert Wollan, who hold top positions with Accenture, in their article Marketers Need to Stop Focusing on Loyalty and Start Thinking About Relevance in Harvard Business Review.
 
The ‘loyalty era’ of marketing is on the wane, and, consequently, people may not buy the same things just because the right incentives are available.
 
In order to become a living business, companies should look beyond the traditional four Ps of marketing as this framework targets a ‘static customer archetype’. “The reality is that there is no such archetypical customer,” they argue. “Everyone’s needs vary depending on time and context. And with today’s technologies, companies now have the ability to see and act on these fluctuations in the moment. Customers are increasingly expecting all companies to do just that, both in their marketing efforts and in the experiences they offer.”
 
‘Relevance’ would increase if companies expand their thinking to include the following five Ps as well: purpose, pride, partnership, protection, and personalization. “These form a simple and comprehensive test of relevance,” they suggest. “The first four extend from the top to the bottom of the psychological hierarchy -- from what (American psychologist Abraham) Maslow called ‘self-actualization’ or fulfilling your full potential, to safety, a more basic need. The fifth, personalization, enables companies to connect with customers around any of these needs.”
 
“Reinvention does not mean you have to throw away all your previous incentives and strategies, but rather foresee the trend of the market and readjust your metrics of performance and delivery,” writes Steve Olenski (currently a senior creative content strategist at Oracle Responsys) in Forbes.
 
Steve recommends four ways that help companies maintain marketing relevance. These are: 1. relentless relevance; 2. bold moves and innovation; 3. customer obsession and asking questions; 4. having a vision for one’s brand and authenticity.
 
“Marketing relevance does not come with a crash course and there is no way to gain expertise in it unless there is continuous self-growth and reinvention and that can only come by gaining an edge in technological advances and keeping communication lines open with consumers,” writes Steve.

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