In a recent article, Abhi Yadav, CEO and Co-Founder of customer analytics platform company, Zylotech, shared his hot tip on acquiring and retaining customers: relevancy. Yadav highlights data from a 2018 Accenture study that found that more people are making purchases based upon a brand’s relevancy.  Relevancy exists when a customer connects with a brand or product on an emotional level, perceiving it as conducive to their their personal values and current lifestyle. In order to reach the customer in that manner, you must know them to their core.
So, how does one do this? Data, data, data. Customer data is the foundation of a successful customer-centric model. Without it, companies would be blindly casting their lines into the water and merely hoping for a bite. Customer data allows for a personalized experience that speaks to the customer’s expectations and emotions.
Relevancy is relative. What is extremely important to one customer may be trivial to another. It comes down to creating a personalized customer experience that caters to each individuals’ priorities and needs. For companies with demographically diverse audiences, it is imperative that customers are segmented into specialized groups based upon their differentiating characteristics. While 1:1 personalization is the ultimate goal, segmentation is the first step towards achieving it. Customer segments can be divided by gender, location, transaction history, satisfaction level, interests and so on. Whichever method you choose to organize your customers should allow for a specialized approach towards each group, touching on the members’ individual behavioral patterns and expectations.
The Human Factor
Personalization highlights the human factor of a B2C relationship. Relevancy is a two-way-street; companies want for customers to view their brand as relevant, and customers want companies to acknowledge and prioritize the factors that they personally find relevant. The relationship is built on the mutual understanding that each party’s brand important for the other, regardless if it is more or less subconscious on the customer side. Therefore, instead of directing all your efforts towards creating a unique product, dedicate time towards creating a unique relationship.
Differentiation vs. Relevancy
When companies actively differentiate themselves from their competitors, they aim to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for customers that others cannot. In the cases of both differentiation and relevancy, companies stand out in the eyes of the customer. Yet this occurs for separate reasons; differentiation offers something new whereas relevancy offers exactly what the customer needs. In order to further illustrate the discrepancy between the two, Elliot Schreiber, Ph.D, explained that “differentiation is all the people you date; relevance is the one you marry because you cannot live without them. It is emotional and irrational, but the bond is strong. Consider all of the competitors who worked on their versions of the iPad that would be different, faster, etc. Regardless of what was introduced, the customer preferred the iPad. It was the most relevant product on the market.”  In relationships such as those that Apple cultivates with their customers, the leading factor becomes less about the product itself and more about the role that the brand plays in the customer’s day to day life.
In a recent blog, we talked about the major influence that emotions have on the customer experience. We found that the majority of decisions and perceptions of the experience were based on the customer’s emotional state in that current moment. In fact, in general, humans lead with emotion when it comes to most decisions, even outside of the customer experience. That being said, connecting with a brand should be viewed as an action driven and determined by the customer’s feelings.
Be Where Your Customers Are
Find Them Before They Find You (Or Cannot Find You)
Part of being relevant is simply being present. In the current market where consumers run the show, it is crucial that companies connect with their customer through channels that the customer identifies with. For example, if your customer is highly active on social media, it is imperative that you maintain a strong presence on such platforms to reach them in a domain that they are familiar with. When you fail to show up, customers will forget about you and move on. Be where your customers are, and better yet, find them before they find you.
Create an Omnichannel Experience
To achieve a well-rounded presence that can speak to all customers, you must strive towards an omnichannel experience. Not only will doing this reduce customer effort and centralize the relationship, it will allow for all potential channels to be covered. An omnichannel model allows for a consistent cadence and service to be executed across all platforms of interaction. Unlike multi-channel models, the omnichannel experience consolidates all B2C interactions into one fluid persona that customers can identify with regardless of the channel. This opens up the opportunity for an even more personalized experience that is consistent in every area.
Relevancy is not a static concept. Customer interests are always changing, along with technology and market trends. Though, the positive aspect of developing technology is the ability to reach more people at a hyper-individualized level. It is important to maintain a customer database that is constantly refreshed according to shifting behaviors, emotions and expectations. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2019/04/08/your-customers-demand-relevance-are-you-prepared-to-give-it-to-them/#665fef3b9fc8  https://www.emotivebrand.com/brand-relevance-is-the-new-differentiation/
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