A guiding principle for marketing efforts
Organisations need a single, reliable guiding principle to ensure that all their marketing and communications efforts make a sustained impact, and that principle can be summed up in a single word: relevance, according to Andrea Coville and Paul Brown in their book Relevance: The Power to Change Minds and Behavior—and Keep You Ahead of the Competition. But most people tend to put too much emphasis on the practical aspect of relevance, and not enough on the social aspect.
In order for your offering to be relevant, you must fill a need and you must create an emotional connection. According to the authors, there are three ways of building relevance:
- By segmentation: dividing your marketing by factors such as age, income, gender, education and interests. You need to be relevant to particular segments because you cannot be relevant to everyone at once.
- By intangibles: your offering needs to appeal to the way your target people are thinking, it needs to have sensory appeal, it needs to have a community aspect, and it needs to reflect compatible values.
- By circumstances: the content of your communications, the context of interactions, and the source and medium of your communications all need to be relevant.
This is a short and easy-to-read book. It does not seem to me that the authors’ ideas differ significantly from those of other current marketing books, but they have captured the concept of relevance in a creative and memorable way.