Is Your Online Marketing Relevant?

March 29, 2013

relevant marketing

Are you sure your marketing is still relevant? The average customer is flooded with messages hourly. At the same time, marketers now have the data and the ability to target small, niche groups of customers. Because of these two trends, customers expect relevance. We became spoiled. We expect messages to speak to us and our specific needs. We expect choices. Given all this choice, we pushed back against things that didn’t meet our needs, especially intrusive advertising:

“If you have to interrupt me, then you must not have what I am looking for.”

“If you annoy me, I don’t want to do business with you.”

Marshall McLuhan was a famous Canadian educator, philosopher, and a pioneer in modern communications theory. He coined the phrase, “the global village,” as well as his most famous expression, “The medium is the message.” This means that the very medium you choose for a message affects the content of the message itself. This is because different media are consumed in different ways.

For example, television is inherently passive, whereas the Internet is inherently participatory.

Compare how people typically watch TV to how they typically surf the web. How do you control the experience (TV remote vs. keyboard)? Who controls what is on the screen? What’s your posture when you are using the two mediums? Can you leave the Internet on in the background to keep you company or make someone think you are home? Do you fall asleep watching websites? How do we find material? How do you deal with objectionable material (ads, for example)?

Is your marketing relevant on the Web?

Ask yourself:

  1. Is your marketing participatory? Allow your customers to make choices, to voice their opinions, to customize their experience.
  2. Is it democratic? The customer is king. Let the customer tell you what she wants.
  3. Is all your marketing based on trust and transparency? The more relevant your marketing is to your customer’s needs, the more trust you will build. They know you are selling a product. You don’t have to hide that. But if your marketing is focused solely on your product or service, chances are you are not marketing effectively.
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