Consumers are constantly bombarded with invitations, whether it’s to like, share, click or view a piece of content. It’s therefore easy to see why many simply tune out. 

The first report in our Masters of CX series, Winning hearts in real time written by New York Times bestselling author Jay Baer, explores how brands can succeed at being useful and relevant in real time. 

In this post I’m going to take a look at four of the key terms Baer has highlighted...

  • Reactive relevancy
  • Circumstantial relevancy 
  • Behavioural relevancy
  • Location relevancy

Reactive relevancy

As Baer mentions in the report, great customer experiences comes from giving people something genuinely useful and relevant. 

But usefulness and relevance alone is not enough to deliver the best possible experience in 2015. Consumers have high expectations when it comes to response times: 80% define ‘real-time’ as the ability to respond in two minutes. 

The most effective way to meet those expectations is to closely monitor social media for particular keywords or phrases and proactively assist people who are making enquiries. 

Circumstantial relevancy

A consumer's situation can change from day to day and year to year. Someone might buy a pair of glasses and then go years without needing to replace them. 

So the brand selling the glasses only becomes potentially useful to that consumer in that moment, and it is up to them to be ready to fulfil the need when it arises. 

The challenge is in keeping track of customers’ circumstances to avoid missing any opportunities, especially when they are few and far between.

As Baer states, it’s like “popping out from behind a tree to assist when necessary, then fading back into the woods to wait for the next opportunity.”

Behavioural relevancy

A consumer’s behaviour can provide a number of cues about their intent or needs. Baer describes it as a temporal market segment called ‘people who are engaged in this action, right now’.

The best way to spot behaviour, Baer says, is through mobile devices. This is because apps and certain elements of the mobile web are only used during a particular behaviour, i.e. checking the time of a movie means they are likely thinking about going to the cinema. 

Smartphone app

Making an impact through behavioural relevancy is difficult, customers are already accustomed to performing actions in a particular way. Anything that tries to break that routine therefore needs to provide a much better customer experience than the one the customer is used to, or else they simply won’t bother with it. 

Location relevancy

We live in a time when people are constantly broadcasting their location via a mobile device. This provides a fantastic opportunity for marketers to provide relevant information based on where their customers are. 

Location tracking

It’s not just brands that want this either: 86% of marketers agree that consumers expect them to know where they are, what they are doing and to provide a more relevant experience. 

For more information about real-time marketing, download the full report Winning hearts in real-time. The report features lots of real-world examples to illustrate the points covered in this post. 

Jack Simpson

Published 26 August, 2015 by Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (2)

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, Founder and Author at Fresh Relevance

Real-time relevance is a vital issue for brands and it's especially problematic for email, because email is not a real-time medium. As soon as it's sent, it quickly goes stale.

We've all opened stale emails promoting out-of-stock products, or reminding us of an offer that's since expired, or confirming a purchase that we've cancelled before reading the email - quite damaging for a brand.

The only way to keep it fresh is real-time email content, which puts exactly the same real-time relevant marketing in your emails as in your web pages - formatted at open time. Custom text, count-down timers, product recommendations etc. For example:

almost 3 years ago


Devika G, Marketing Content Associate at MobStac

Great read, Jack. And yes you said it right. Consumers today are bombarded with so many irrelevant ads or coupons that it only leaves them annoyed rather than enhancing their experience. This is one the main reasons why Apple's announcement of having enabled ad- blocking through iOS 9 was hailed by many users. And like you pointed out, the best way to face this is by making ads more relevant. This is exactly where beacons come into the picture. These devices allow businesses to target customers with the right ad, at the right place, at the right time. However, many marketers even today are unsure about how to put beacon to use. We recently held a webinar on ultimate guide to planning a successful beacon pilot. You can find the slides here:

almost 3 years ago

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