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Relevant Messaging: The Key To Retail Success

By Ed Higdon. Posted in Uncategorized

December 17, 2014

The average customer is hammered with thousands of advertising messages every day; they easily disregard what is irrelevant to them. Customers expect that marketers will find them on relevant channels and offer pertinent information based on their individual needs and preferences. They will happily provide detailed, in-depth data about those preferences in exchange for information that adds value to their daily lives. The quickest way to get customers to disengage is to bombard them with generalized messaging. So how can businesses provide the value customers crave?

It’s Not Always About An Offer

While customers do respond to offers, relevant messaging is more than just well-timed coupons or promotions. When customers ask, “What’s in it for me?” they are asking about more than just cost-savings or new products. They want to know how doing business with a specific brand or retailer will make their lives easier.

There is a solid strategy behind daily deals, loyalty rewards and other offers, but customers want to be treated like the people they are. They want to know that the stores and brands they spend their money with understand their needs on a deeper level than just their customer profile and buying history. Touch points shouldn’t exclusively focus on making a purchase today. They can be personalized, relevant information such as tips, tricks, news, resources and information; when positioned correctly and delivered to the right customer at the right time, relevant messaging strengthens customer relationships.

The Subtleties Of Relevancy

Staying relevant is about tailoring the message to the specific customer and the timing it for effectiveness. For example, during the 2013 Prime Time Emmy Awards, Target hit a home run: when Tina Fey arrived on the red carpet wearing a cobalt blue dress, Target’s marketing team Tweeted a picture of Fey, alongside several cobalt blue items currently available in their stores. They understood that their customers would be watching the Emmys, many would be following live Tweet hashtags, and that their customers enjoy emulating celebrities they admire.

TinaFey

In order to stay relevant, retailers must have a deep understanding of customer behavior and desires in order to be at the ready with well-timed, impactful messages.

Relevant Messaging: UPS’s Bold Strategy Shift

In some cases, staying relevant to customers can mean a bold shift in strategy. After extensive research, UPS discovered that 90% of small business owners preferred to conduct business with other local SMBs. Using this information, the UPS Store focused its messaging on small business owners, addressing their specific needs, preferences, and requirements through a variety of channels.

In order to connect with the small business niche, UPS created a Small Business Solutions portal and an online community called Small Biz Buzz. These channels create provide personalized services and offer products that have real value for UPS’s target customer.

As more and more retailers fight for customer attention, relevant messaging has never been more important. The relevant messaging trifecta for businesses is to know which customers to target at the ideal time with tailored, high-value content. It’s not easy task – but the businesses who fail to deliver relevant messaging risk their customers disengaging and opting for a business who claims to know them better.