In a previous blog I talked about how customer loyalty techniques involving the airmiles, loyalty points and rebates that were perfected in the 1990s are being displaced in today’s environment. The concept of relevance has taken its place. To be relevant  or even better, to be hyper-relevant  is to insert the brand into the customers’ decision-making process when the customer is on-line, evaluating or re-evaluating what to purchase. 

For established companies in South Africa, striving for hyper-relevance might seem an insurmountable challenge, especially in an economy that has barely grown in the past decade, with fiscal missteps and corruption contributing to weak business and consumer confidence. 

Fortunately, with advancements in data analytics, companies now have the ability to see and act on customer behaviour almost in real time. With every transaction and engagement, organizations reap data that can inform future marketing decisions and help them become more relevant. That presents a challenge for marketers of established companies in South Africa. 

Most marketing strategies are still focused firmly on the traditional four Ps of marketing, and in particular on the P of promotions, which in the past included broadly targeted and mostly undifferentiated communications, advertising and promotional events. The good news is, many executives recognize the need to apply data-driven customer relevance to correct those deficiencies.”  

But yet another challenge looms for CMOs: marketers in this country are perceived to have strong qualitative and creative capabilities; they are not known for their strong data-based strategic input. This has diminished their credibility within the C-suite. To retain their place at the table, marketers must not only become more data-savvy, they must also show they are drivers of strategic value. 

For CMOs confronting these challenges, Accenture’s engagement framework and set of principles for the era of relevance are a good place to start. 

Accenture’s experience, case-study research, and analysis of high-performing companies support the creation of a new framework for engagement in the Era of Relevance. We call it the Five Ps, and it serves as a guideline for the kinds of needs that customers increasingly expect all brands to fulfil: 

  1. Purpose: The need to feel that the company shares and advances their values.
  2. Pride: The need to feel proud and inspired to use the company’s products and services.
  3. Partnership: The need to feel the company relates to and works well with them.
  4. Protection: The need to feel secure when doing business with the company.
  5. Personalisation: The need to feel that their experiences with the company are continuously tailored to their needs and priorities. 

Our Consumer Pulse research bears out this new framework. Nearly three quarters of consumers say that a company with a strong purpose aligned to their values would have kept them from switching to another provider. And more than half (60 percent) deem purpose to be an important factor for companies to have in order to be relevant to them.  

Likewise, across the rest of the Five Ps, most of the consumers who responded to our survey said these factors are important for a company to be relevant to their needs and to retain them as customers. 

For more information, please contact me. Or you can read more about the research in our report,  Welcome to the hyper-relevance era.