At the 2014 Grammy Awards, musician Pharrell Williams wore an unusual hat:
Of course, he may have had fun looks, but it did not seem like a big deal.
That is to say, until some fast food chain seizes the opportunity to develop a clever tweet:
Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat? #GRAMMYs
– Arby (@Arbys) January 27, 2014
It was a spectacular feat on many levels. Many brands were trying unsuccessfully to profit from the Grammys, but Arby nailed it.
This was also a great use of Arby's social media character. The restaurant even received a funny answer from Pharrell himself:
Y & # 39; all tryna starts a roast beef? @ "@Arbys: Hey @Pharrell, can we get our hat back? #GRAMMYs"
– Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) January 27, 2014
These two Tweets gave Arby massive advertising, earning tens of thousands of retweets in a matter of days.
And they did it all with just eight words and an associated hashtag.
Why did it work so well?
This intelligent marketing movement had two important characteristics. It was timely and that was relevant .
The most successful marketing is timely and relevant, and as I'm going to explain it, it's all that matters.
It does not matter if you have millions of social media subscribers. It does not matter if tons of influencers are promoting your product.
If your marketing is not timely and relevant, it will not succeed.
It's getting harder and harder to do marketing. People are more picky about what they consume, and they ignore everything that rubs them in the wrong way.
If you issue sales conditions to your customers and require them to buy, you will not get many conversions.
But if you can connect with your customers, they could simply become lifelong advocates for the brand.
You have to reach your customers wherever they are. That's why timely and relevant messages are crucial for your brand.
What exactly does "timely" and "relevant" mean?
First, define these terms.
"Timely" and "relevant" are not just buzzwords. They have real implications for your business and, in the end, they are rather complex.
Let's talk about speed.
Many marketing campaigns are timely but irrelevant. Often these campaigns fail.
Do not get me wrong – speed is crucial. But you can still fail if you send a message at the right time.
Consider the Race Together campaign that Starbucks launched in 2015.
The campaign has definitely arrived at the right time. The coffee giant launched it in response to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, who had just happened the year before.
The cases were still in the news, and Starbucks decided to create a dialogue about the breed. It should have been a match made in paradise, but it was not.
The campaign went really bad.
The initiative itself was inherently flawed. It did not matter if it happened at the right time because it was not the right marketing approach.
The problem of race is certainly of extreme importance, but the way it was approached was steadily extinct.
So speed is important, but your marketing can not be right in a timely manner. It must also be relevant.
To be relevant, you need to think about the needs, desires, and current opinions of your audience.
You can not base your ideas on the relevance of old trends or data. You must stay up to date and understand what your customers want and like now.
You must think about what your customers want, where you can reach them, and how you can benefit from it.
If your audience is not interested in what you have to offer, they will not listen to you.
If your audience is not in the same places you are marketing, it will not hear you.
If your audience does not derive any value from your marketing, they will not pay attention to you.
Last but not least, if you want to be relevant, your marketing needs to match the values of your audience.
If you launch an initiative with which your customers are fundamentally at odds, you will not see much success. The same thing will happen if your marketing is insensitive or poorly done.
To summarize, relevance means responding to your customers in every way possible.
When you combine speed with relevance, you get a one-two punch that almost never fails to convert.
The danger of the bad message
To understand why timely and relevant issues are important, consider some marketing efforts that have failed miserably.
One of the biggest marketing failures of the last few years has to be the controversial announcement of Pepsi, which all media in the world have called "deaf to your tone," from the New York Times to USA Today .
The announcement of 2017 involved the participation of television personality Kendall Jenner in the demonstrations and finally the offer of a Pepsi can to the police.
Pepsi stated that the advertisement was "to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding", but it fell flat because the announcement painted an unrealistic portrayal of the protests and demonstrations. interactions between police and protesters.
Like Starbucks' Race Together campaign, Pepsi aired it at the right time, as a result of police protests that seemed to divide America, and the company's intentions were positive.
However, the announcement was not relevant. It was much too staged and the situation was too much to report to the viewers.
To put it bluntly, the public thought that advertising was a ton of shit and it was pronounced against it. (Pepsi removed the video from his channel, but the re-uploaded version received more than 150,000 dislikes!)
The flak that Pepsi received for the announcement was more than a negative publicity. Pepsi learned the hard way that the wrong message at the right time would not work, and it was a wake-up call for businesses around the world.
You do not have to be Pepsi or Starbucks to send the wrong message and alienate your audience – this can happen to a business of any size.
SaleCycle discovered it when its content strategy failed.
The B2B company wanted to produce more content and provide more value to its readers. Until here, everything is fine.
SaleCycle started publishing 2 to 3 pieces of content per week and overall content production exploded.
However, they focused more on quantity and less on quality.
Even though they had 100 blog posts, only 10 of them accounted for half of their total traffic.
The reason? They published a lot of content that did not interest their audience.
Although it was timely, it was not relevant at all.
These examples prove that you need both relevant marketing and . You can not have one or the other.
Being timely but irrelevant (or vice versa) is an embarrassing imbalance. This gives the impression that you pay a little attention to your audience, but not really.
Pepsi's advertising and SaleCycle's content strategy were both timely, but they were irrelevant. In both cases, the customers felt far removed from the company.
In the end, it's your customers who decide if your message is timely or relevant. That's why you have to prioritize them.
You must know your customers
Being both relevant and relevant requires you to listen to your customers, get to know them better and produce content that they want to see.
Sounds simple enough, but how does it work in real life?
Basically, you must continually follow certain elements of your audience and use customer feedback to improve.
Okay, that always seems simple. But believe me, there is a lot to do.
Many companies believe that they can simply take a look at online reviews or social media posts to create timely and relevant messages.
But here's the thing – customers want you to know them very well.
But the customer-business relationship is a two-way street. If you do not do your part, why should your customers do it?
So make the extra effort of building characters, get to know your audience's desires and respond to them.
Make your motto "timely and relevant"
I hope you are convinced that the timely and relevant moment is really the only message that matters.
That does not mean you're done.
Understanding is only the first step. You must implement it.
As banal as it may seem, being relevant and relevant must be something you are and not just something you do. (I have says that it sounds corny.)
You could tell yourself that you are timely and relevant, but if your customers are still not happy, then you are not doing as well.
Pepsi is a perfect example. When he created the disastrous TV ad, he was not trying to provide irrelevant content to their customers, but they misunderstood the type of content that their customers would connect with.
There is no doubt that Pepsi thought that it was delivering a message that was both timely and relevant.
Just as you probably think you are passing the right messages to your customers.
For all that I know, you are. But the fact is that you can never assume that you are doing the right thing and turning a blind eye to your customers.
If you want to create the most relevant and relevant messages, this concept should be at the center of your business.
Everyone in your team should think "timely and relevant."
Think about Amazon's mission statement. It's easy to remember and permeates every level of the business.
Our vision is to be the most customer-centric society of the Earth; build a place where people can come and find everything they could want to buy online.
Every employee of Amazon knows that it is the goal. In the same way, your entire team should live and breathe "in due time and accordingly".
This concept should guide everything you do.
Your social media team should think "timely and relevant." Your product manager should think about it. Everyone, trainees to the CEO, should think about it.
If everyone is not on the same page, then a person's efforts could be completely lost in the translation.
You care about your customers, do not you?
Obviously, it's a rhetorical question because you worry about your customers.
But be brutally honest with yourself: when you post your content, launch your new marketing campaign or launch a new product, is that attention always focused on your customers?
Pepsi and Starbucks fiascos prove that intentions do not always translate into actions. What starts out as a good-natured marketing plan can end up taking a mess.
As much as it may hurt to admit, you might ignore your clients.
And you could send your customers the entirely wrong message, which is directly caused by ignoring your customers.
At the heart of the matter, being relevant and timely is taking care of one's audience.
If you listen to what your customers have to say and understand what they want, you'll almost never send the wrong message.
You will understand the desires, needs, interests and dislikes of your audience.
You will be able to see what kind of content is both timely and relevant.
For your convenience, you can take advantage of Kissmetrics campaigns.
Campaigns were designed to deliver the right message at the right time. You are able to send emails based on the behaviors of your users. Essentially, Campaigns is a behavior-based messaging engine. You find a segment of your audience that needs a boost, and you create and send your emails in campaigns.
The engine runs on the fuel of behavioral analysis and segments. Behavior-based e-mails mean that your e-mails are much more likely to be timely and relevant to your users.
And instead of relying on basic metrics like openings and clicks, Campaigns digs deep and looks at behavioral analysis.
Is your marketing and content timely and relevant? Have you had problems delivering the right message to your customers?
About the Author: Daniel Threlfall is an Internet entrepreneur and content marketing strategist. As a writer and marketing strategist, Daniel has helped brands such as Merck, Fiji Water, Little Tikes and MGA Entertainment. Daniel is the co-founder of Your Success Rocket, a resource for Internet entrepreneurs. He and his wife Keren have four children, and sometimes enjoy adventures in remote corners of the globe (including children). You can follow Daniel on Twitter or see photos of his adventures on Instagram.