Inside iProspect

Being Relevant Matters: A Framework To Guide Your Marketing Decisions

The following is based on the presentation Being Relevant Matters given at the iProspect Client Summit 2015: Only For The Brave in Montreal, Canada.

“It is simple, but not easy.” - Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday, the prominent media writer and strategist, would often use this line in his work. Just because a line of thinking is simple and straightforward does not make it easy to execute. Keep it in mind as we go through this framework together. It will help you guide your marketing thinking and how to stay relevant to consumers.

But before we jump into it — why relevance? The answer is clear. As consumers we are drowning in noise (5x more per information day compared to 1986) which is why as marketers we need to deliver the most relevant message to the right audience or we stand no chance.

Four Pillars of Relevancy

Let’s break down the framework into four specific pillars and illustrate it with specific examples.  

  1. Stay relevant for the die hard fans.

  2. Stay relevant when people search for you.

  3. Stay relevant and top of mind.

  4. Grow through relevance.

1. Stay Relevant For the Die Hard Fans

First, what messages and how you are addressing your core fans, the real die hards? The ones that get you. The ones for whom the brand is essential and non-negotiable part of their lifestyle.

Take a look at a post from Jeremiah Weed, a beverage from our client Diageo (the name gives away the angle the campaigns are taking):

Their Facebook fan base gets this. They love it. This is not another brand that is pushing a generic message. They understand their audience and what they love. And look at the engagement—the numbers speak for themselves. As a brand you need to respect the fact that someone has given you permission to their social feed—the part in their life that is reserved for friends and family. Do not waste this opportunity. Show the right stuff.

2. Stay Relevant When People Search For You

Of course, you need to dominate search. If marketers in the past needed to dominate shelf space to shape the consumer’s impression of the brand (as the A.G. Lafley, Chairman of P&G and former CEO defined as their ‘first moment of truth’), today the consumer is devoting a significant amount of time of research as defined by Google as ‘the zero moment of truth.’ People are clearly showing clear intent about what you have to offer, they are actively looking for it. Take a look at this example here from adidas with their amazing sneaker, the Tubular X.

Are you showing the best possible result with the right landing page when people look for you? Do you incentivize people to click? What about upsells? How much real estate on the space do you dominate?

3. Stay Relevant And Top of Mind

As I said it before, there is an overwhelming amount of information we are processing each day. You can’t think that just because people like your brand and have engaged with you and had a one-off transaction with you, you won them. You have to win them back consistently. As we live in a more-or-less ‘a state of organized chaos’ as one iProspector put it the best way to do that is through personalized messages that reach the right customer.

Let’s take an example with how adidas does dynamic and personalized remarketing:

As you see in this image, the message here is personalized to the website visitor—the products here depend on your shopping activity on the adidas website and if you have visited and added to cart the products above. But remarketing has extended far beyond just past website visitors: with Customer Match and Custom Audiences, two products by Google and Facebook respectively, you can directly target segments from your customer database and use their emails to create highly tailored segments to reach on YouTube, inside Gmail, Facebook, on Search, etc. (And let’s not forget another cool feature on Facebook—we can remarket to people who have watched/completed our past video campaigns.)

4. Grow Through Relevance

We started the framework with a focus on our most engaged fans, the people who love us. But what we often get most excited as marketers is to grow the brand. How do we factor in for relevance in this stage? Here, the tools that we mentioned earlier can be of immense help. Both Facebook and Google now allow you to create similar audiences based on your existing customer base. No more broad targeting - we are being efficient and going after the people who share the highest number of characteristics to our existing, high-value customers. Just upload your list and let the algorithms find a lookalike segment and show them the right message.


To recap: First, think about your die-hard fans and show them the messages that they understand, the messages that resonate. Second, be obsessed about what people see and find on search engines when they search for you or the services or products you offer. Third, stay top of mind to people by showing the right personalized message to specific segments. Fourth, grow by leveraging the algorithms of Google and Facebook and you let them find the most similar people like your existing customers.

As Ryan’s quote opened the post: “Simple, but not easy.“

Good luck and stay relevant!

This article was originally written by Hristo Vassilev.

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