Swearingen Communications Insights

Fresh ideas, seasoned perspectives, and solid marketing strategies to keep you grounded and growing.


Relevancy: What Is Your Client Buying Today?

In Gone With the Wind, Scarlett O’Hara’s frequent refrain was, “I can’t think about that now.  I’ll go crazy if I do.  I’ll think about that later.”

Georgia in the 1860s is a world away from today’s frenetic business environment. Yet Scarlett’s words ring truer than ever for modern, harried consumers.

We “can’t think about that now” for dozens of reasons.  General overload tops the list.  The messages that are most relevant to our immediate needs and circumstances will break through.

Amazon was among the first to train us to expect personalization.  For example, not long after we order a jazz collection or gardening book,  Amazon notifies us of new releases on similar topics. They do it infrequently and soft-sell enough, that most of us don’t mind the intrusion.  In fact, we sort of like it.

So in a relatively short time period, we have come to expect personalization. Now we’re hurtling toward the next level of consumer expectation: relevancy.

As our expectation for customization grows, it’s not about what we bought yesterday.  It’s about what are we buying today.  Now. This minute.

The savvy service provider recognizes what the client is buying in the moment.

On April 14, we’re not buying tax planning.  We’re buying a tax return.  When we’re in the final stages of financing a home or business, we’re not in the market for short-term CD’s.  We want our loan to fund.  Now that we’ve finally committed to updating our trust, we can’t focus on re-allocating our investments or buying annuities.

Relevancy is understanding our clients’ “pain du jour” and addressing only that.  This is not to say we ignore other needs they have, for later. It’s about answering their immediate need, with no strings attached.  Tomorrow is another day.  For today, let’s be so relevant, we can’t help but win their loyalty and affection.