Back in 2014 my colleague and Forbes contributor Steve Olenski wrote a post entitled The Nine Letter Word Every Marketer Needs To Remember At All Times. The word Steve was referring to was relevance.
Part of what Steve wrote is his not-so-subtle reminder what the word means and it's relevance to marketers: "In case any marketers and advertisers forgot, the word relevance is an adjective meaning having direct bearing on the matter in hand; pertinent. In marketing and advertising terms, it means providing your customer, and prospect for that matter, with content that is relevant to them."
Make no mistake about it contextual relevance is at the heart of Modern Marketing success. For much of history, the focus of retail was all about your store location. If you are conveniently located to the local population, they would stop in and buy. If your locale is not convenient, they would stay away. With the advent of digital channels, your customers can be anywhere and the focus of retail has moved from location alone to context.
Today’s retail marketer can create more personalized messages, offers and value today by leveraging digital body language signal data such as location, product browse behavior, past purchase occasions, current shopping bag contents and even environmental factors like weather and traffic information.
The success of retailers like Amazon, Blue Apron, Nordstrom and others is not about their location or operational excellence, it is about their ability to recognize, analyze and activate around context to provide a highly relevant experience.
In Steve's Forbes post he shared a chart that even though is from 2014 is still very telling.
As I said very telling, especially when you have nearly 70% of consumers stating they would automatically delete an email that was not relevant to them while another 54% would go even further and unsubscribe altogether!
But look at the very bottom of the chart, that last bar. 9 out 10 consumers would take one or more of ALL these actions. If that doesn't cause marketers to sit up and take notice and do everything they can to ensure relevance is king, I don't know what will.
And yes I realize the stats are 3 years old but I would argue that these percentages are even higher today.
Retailers that want to accelerate growth may wish to consider some of what Amazon has done so well. The online retailer undeniably has many strengths, but one area in which it truly excels is delivering personalized communications to its 300 million-plus active customers.
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