Relevancy vs. Targeting

Google_logo_1If the 80’s were about Computing and the 90’s were about Connecting, there’s a hypothesis (see Institute for the Future) that the next big wave of opportunity is about Relevancy.   The next big problem to be solved is to develop software and systems that sense what is most relevant to the user — and ideally at a specific point and time (e.g. contextually aware relevancy).   

I’ve posted about this before.  Clearly, today’s poster-child of Relevancy is Google.  John Batelle and Joe Marchese highlight key points on the difference between Relevancy and Targeting… and how Google has used relevancy embedded within content.

For me, the question remains …what are the new "relevancy" plays across enterprise markets that deliver contextually aware and relevant content to the user? 

Check out Joe’s write-up:

"First and foremost is the issue of targeting versus relevancy. When an audience member asked if Google would continue to provide highly targeted advertising opportunities over the new mediums served, the response was: "Targeting has always been, and will continue to be, a basic tenet for Google." We all know that targeting is important, but the core of what Google provides is relevancy–namely, relevancy of search results and relevancy of advertisements.

There are infinite reasons why Google has been successful, but the most basic is that it has always focused first on relevancy. This has allowed the company to capitalize on the concept that ads are actually part of the content, not simply a negative externality. Ads served with search results on Google are in some cases more valuable to the searcher than organic results. Ads served by Google on a publisher’s Web page add value to the publisher’s content through relevancy.

What exactly does relevancy mean? It means that value is added to all members of the advertising ecosystem. The user receives value, the publisher receives value, and ultimately, the advertiser receives value–although none of them have complete control over the process."

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