Thursday, March 22, 2018

Marketing: Importance of relevance

“In this new era of digital-based competition and customer control, people are increasingly buying because of a brand’s relevance to their needs in the moment,” write John Zealley, Joshua Bellin and Robert Wollan, who hold top positions with Accenture, in their article Marketers Need to Stop Focusing on Loyalty and Start Thinking About Relevance in Harvard Business Review.
The ‘loyalty era’ of marketing is on the wane, and, consequently, people may not buy the same things just because the right incentives are available.
In order to become a living business, companies should look beyond the traditional four Ps of marketing as this framework targets a ‘static customer archetype’. “The reality is that there is no such archetypical customer,” they argue. “Everyone’s needs vary depending on time and context. And with today’s technologies, companies now have the ability to see and act on these fluctuations in the moment. Customers are increasingly expecting all companies to do just that, both in their marketing efforts and in the experiences they offer.”
‘Relevance’ would increase if companies expand their thinking to include the following five Ps as well: purpose, pride, partnership, protection, and personalization. “These form a simple and comprehensive test of relevance,” they suggest. “The first four extend from the top to the bottom of the psychological hierarchy -- from what (American psychologist Abraham) Maslow called ‘self-actualization’ or fulfilling your full potential, to safety, a more basic need. The fifth, personalization, enables companies to connect with customers around any of these needs.”
“Reinvention does not mean you have to throw away all your previous incentives and strategies, but rather foresee the trend of the market and readjust your metrics of performance and delivery,” writes Steve Olenski (currently a senior creative content strategist at Oracle Responsys) in Forbes.
Steve recommends four ways that help companies maintain marketing relevance. These are: 1. relentless relevance; 2. bold moves and innovation; 3. customer obsession and asking questions; 4. having a vision for one’s brand and authenticity.
“Marketing relevance does not come with a crash course and there is no way to gain expertise in it unless there is continuous self-growth and reinvention and that can only come by gaining an edge in technological advances and keeping communication lines open with consumers,” writes Steve.

Paul Holmes: Morality is not optional

Paul Holmes is a world-renowned authority on public relations and reputation management.

When Paul talks, several of the global PR giants pause to ponder. But his latest column, In Modern PR, Morality Is Not Optional; It's Foundational could shake the giants out of their slumber and complacency. “Good relations between an organization and its stakeholders are built on trust; trust is gained by acting ethically,” he wrote. “So ethical decision-making is good public relations.”

For the uninitiated, Paul is founder and chair of The Holmes Group. He has been writing about public relations for more than 25 years. Paul created the annual Public Relations Agency Report Card and the Creativity in Public Relations Awards. His group’s flagship title, The Holmes Report, covers the public relations business in the Americas, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) and the Asia-Pacific region. In 2011, Paul was inducted into the ICCO Hall of Fame.

This is not the first time the publication is focusing on ethics. In October 2017, the Holmes Report published a report, ICCO Summit: Helsinki Declaration Outlines Ethical Principles For  PR. 
Last fortnight, the Holmes Report published a report on global PR trade bodies’ decision to set up an ethics task force following the Bell Pottinger scandal.
Equally forthright is Alex Malouf, Corporate Communications Manager, Procter & Gamble, the Arabian Peninsula, who has worked across the Middle East for 12 years. “Are agencies willing to sacrifice a paying client for whom they’d have to undertake work which is unethical or moral?” Malouf raised the question in his column in the Holmes Report in October 2017. “The pressure to continually show growth is relentless, and it’d take an incredibly brave agency country head to turn around to his or boss and say, ‘I’m sorry, but what we’re being asked to do is unethical’… It’s easy to talk about ethics in Washington and London, but is the same message being applied in Africa and Asia?”