March 30, 2014

Monday Mailbag

Every Monday, I answer your questions ... email me (kevinh@minethatdata.com) your questions.

Today's question comes to us from Brad:

  • "Kevin, you don't address the concept of relevancy very much. Don't you think relevancy is the most important way to engage a customer in a crowded marketplace?"
Look at the image at the start of this post. I was watching a YouTube video about the Wisconsin Badgers and their run to the Final Four in the NCAA Mens Division I College Basketball Tournament. You can make a pretty strong case that, at this moment in time, I am not interested in Marketo's Segmentation and Personalization solution, and I sure don't care about Perfect Audience's sixty dollar credit for Effortless Retargeting.

So yes, relevancy seems to be an important concept.

Take a look at this one ... this is from The Weather Channel.

Help me understand something. I'm visiting "The Weather Channel". Allegedly, these are the "Most Popular" stories on "The Weather Channel".
  • Dog's Heartbreaking Reaction After Rescue.
  • Creepy Abandoned Island.
  • Happiest Cities in the United States are Revealed.
  • Terrifying Close Calls Caught on Camera.
This leads us to a whole set of unique concepts to ponder.

If the most popular articles on "The Weather Channel" are not weather-related articles, then is weather "relevant" to those who visit "The Weather Channel"? And if the answer to that question is "no", then what should Management do with that fact? What do you do when the core proposition of your business (weather) becomes an engagement tool that drives the user to stories about terrifying close calls caught on camera?

Here's another question worth considering ... what do you do when the long-term success of your brand (weather) runs smack-dab into the short-term reasons somebody visits your website (terrifying close calls caught on camera)?

Seriously - what do you do when your "engagement metrics" show that the "most valuable visitors" view articles about Creepy Abandoned Islands? Do you give the customer more of what the customer seemingly wants, in the short-term, or do you give the customer the content that caused the long-term success of your brand (weather), causing your engagement metrics to suffer?

Relevancy is one of those nonsense pseudo-strategic topics that leads us to post stories about Creepy Abandoned Islands on weather websites. Modern marketing is not tolerant of leaving money on the table. When you must accept every dollar that comes in the door, you accept the customers, and the content, that customers who follow the dollars prefer. You're offering short-term relevant content, content that facilitates your descent into irrelevancy. Or maybe not irrelevancy - but facilitating your change into a new stream of content. Who knows?