Why relevance is everything in 21st century communication Last Saturday we enjoyed a day out in central Melbourne, visiting venues which were part of the Open House Melbourne scheme. Open House is a wonderful event, running across a weekend every July, allowing the public access to many historic, cutting edge or unusual buildings, many of which normally have limited or no public access. Among the buildings we visited was a still functioning underground electrical substation – a cavernous subterranean structure two storeys below the CBD, which was also a fascinating glimpse of early Melbourne history. The Open House scheme is an innovative and well organised event which utilises the good will, time and knowledge of legions of paid and volunteer staff. Event information is available via a website, free app, a beautifully produced and comprehensive guidebook, and a printed brochure.
Amazingly, given that most people who attend walk between multiple venues over a day or weekend, the one item which wasn’t available was a large, clear printed map of all building locations. We thought that was a no brainer, as it would have made choosing and navigating between locations a doddle. And there were plenty of others who agreed. It got me thinking about the information we provide to people who connect with or buy from our business. Are we telling them what they really need to know? Or do we have the “brochure but no map”? What is relevant information– and who is it relevant to? Relevance has become a bit of a buzz word recently, but I think it includes
- Answering the questions most likely to be asked about your product or service
- Filling in likely gaps in understanding – many consumers “don’t know what they don’t know”
- Sharing creative ideas and new ways to use products
- Explaining how to implement after purchase
Think about your own business, and the needs of your clients. Are they all the same? For most businesses, the answer is no… your niche is not so tight that everyone who buys has exactly the same requirements. Most businesses serve a number of sub niches. For example, our business has a substantial niche providing book printing for self publishing authors. Their needs are very different to the small business owner who comes to us because they need a stand out brochure for a new product. When you’re posting to social media, blogging, designing your website or creating printed information, ask
- Who am I doing this for?
- What do they want, or need to know?
If you can’t answer the first question, do not pass Go and do not collect $200! Because you run the risk of being boring, or irritating… or worse still, ignored.