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Rethinking Relevance: Four Factors To Account For Now

Relevance is a concept marketers have esteemed, discussed and tried to implement for several years now. It makes sense - our essential job is to drive more meaningful connections between consumers and brands. When we do create relevance we are successful in driving tangible business outcomes with advertising.

There are some pervasive factors that make rethinking relevance more mission critical than ever before. I spoke on this very topic at the 2017 iProspect US Client Summit in New Orleans a few weeks ago, and invite you to watch my session here. The important factors impacting our ability as marketers to create relevance include:

Expectation Economy

The other thing that’s come out of the always on, always connected environment is the Expectation Economy. The minute one brand or service offers something new (the Amazon shipping effect), our expectation changes. We become intensely more demanding of the most convenient and personalized option available to us.

Andrew McAfee said, “The experience of being in a driverless car goes from terrifying, to thrilling, to boring in 15 minutes.”

Experience Is The New Currency

There is a scarcity of spectacle events – events we depended on to help us define our culture. In the 80s and 90s, you could reach half the country’s population by airing an ad during the Super Bowl. Today, individual network viewership has declined dramatically. People aren’t watching commercials. They are streaming, skipping ads and binge watching. Marketers must now create meaningful experiences to capture consumer attention.

Subtle Influence

The idea of achieving mass influence (impressions) is no longer working. It’s now about subtle influence, the consumer journey and empathy mapping. How relevant can we be to an individual? And how well can we understand their intent signals? We need to understand what it will to build life long relationships. This is truly the merging of brand media and performance media.

Activating Data

Most marketers report marginal success at integrating the massive amounts of data they have access to and then putting that data into action. We know that the old model of media planning is dead. If we are relying on audience planning to get the job done, we are going to fail. 

Instead of starting with a mass audience and whittling that down based on what’s kind of working, start with an engaged audience who has already shown a signal of intent, and then grow out from there. Search is one of the most powerful intent tools.

As every dollar needs to be spent against a data point, consumer intent and context is the future. It is more important than ever for our success as advertisers.

Sam Huston, Chief Strategy Officer at iProspect US, originally wrote this article.

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