The issue of relevance

Hugh FurneauxPresidentAriad Custom PublishingCannot afford to miss:Getting the Customer to Design Your Communication StrategyMonday, Oct. 25, 10:45 a.m. - 12 noonGoing for the Interactive Superhighway: First Stop - On-line Interactive ServicesTuesday, Oct. 26, 4 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. I am in...

Hugh Furneaux


Ariad Custom Publishing

Cannot afford to miss:

Getting the Customer to Design Your Communication Strategy

Monday, Oct. 25, 10:45 a.m. – 12 noon

Going for the Interactive Superhighway: First Stop – On-line Interactive Services

Tuesday, Oct. 26, 4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

I am in the business of target market publishing, and the session on Monday is talking about targetting messages and getting the right information to the right people.

The issue is basically one of relevance. The issue is knowing who it is that you are communicating with and communicating with them about things they are interested in.

The more you know about them, the more you will know what they are interested in and the more relevant your message will be.

Whether the targetting comes through direct mail, or newsletters, all these things should be geared to the individual involved, whether it is because of the amount of business they do with you, the type of business they do with you, their age and stage of life, or whatever.

People have talked about this issue for a long time, but now they are able to do it because of the technology of constructing databases and being able to select from the database by various criteria.

I am hoping we will learn what is happening on the leading edge as opposed to what was being done three years ago.

The issue at the second session is not just relevance of content, but relevance of time.

It is one thing to be able to select out a group and say they are interested in information A, but what is going to make it increasingly relevant is if you can deliver information A at the time when the person is most interested in receiving it.

A good example of that in the financial area is providing somebody with information about what to do with their mortgage.

To talk to them one year after they have taken out a five-year mortage is going to be less relevant than if you were to talk to them six months before their five-year mortgage comes up for renewal.

What electronic media should be able to do in the future is allow them to access the information they need or want when they want it – whether it is through the medium of their television set, or through their telephone, or their personal computer.

The one thing that is still up in the air is what is going to be the dominant medium five or six or 10 years from now, in terms of people sitting in their homes accessing this information.

I see the future of my targetted publishing business evolving to where we use electronic formats to help companies deliver relevant information on demand to individuals or target groups.

I believe it will eventually be possible for people to construct their own newsletters, so to speak, by gaining access to information when they want it, rather than having this one-way communication, whether or not they ask for it.

I’m going to this seminar because, first of all, I would like to be brought up to speed as to what exists right now – multimedia formats, interactive tv, video-on-demand, video dial tone, smart tv, screen phones, and so on.

And aside from becoming educated about what exists, this will act as a catalyst for me to see applications to my own business in the future.