The Three C’s that Drive Relevance

Currency of the web is content
Good web sites, as I said in my MarketingProfs B2B talk titled Make Your Web site Sticky: 10 Ideas, are organized around three principles:

  1. Content — what is your editorial impact?
  2. Customers — who are they and what do they want to do?
  3. Calls to action — or how do we help them close the intent-action gap?

Web sites then and now

The way I saw brand URLs develop was by layers: 1) issue-based content deep enough to be useful and formatted so it is easy to access; 2) community-building elements that would provide visual reinforcement of what other people are doing; 3) and what is on offer. Today I would further reinforce the aspect of "making my life easier/better" for being part of it.

In earlier diagrams, I have the real time and over time components represented, as well as where technology fit it. What you see above is a simplified version of the three C's that drive relevance on the web.

Marketing then and now

Marketing has evolved a great deal even just in the last 6-8 years — take a look at a post I wrote six years ago on the need for analytics in marketing jobs of the future. Marketing has become more technical, and thus rigorous. 

So much so that many marketers are feeling varying degrees of pressure keeping up both with technology adoption/integration/standardization, and often have little room in their programs and budgets for experimentation. Technology is also transforming the career market.

Social then and now

The earlier social networks included blogs — not as in networks of blogs, like Tumblr, as in groups of people who had intra-blogs conversations, posts among friends, How do I love Z? Let me Count Z Ways… was a jab at A-listers (back then it was a conversation item). The point is we were a community of people who collaborated to advancing conversations about many topics.

A couple of years into it, I started seeing how social networks were taking over and asked: your face everywhere, are there too many social networks? Take a look at that chart, early days indeed.

Here we are today where everyone is a marketer and a social expert. That's because social interactions are ideal for the kind of experimentation that leads to innovative ideas, and for delivering a quality experience — social networks are quickly retooling to support it.

As for creating that experience, it starts with modules, just like in responsive web design — what are those building blocks, and how are we going to configure them, adapting and learning from the feedback and interaction.

This week I published two long-form articles at the PM Digital blog. I borrowed from recent news and reports to analyze and further define what some of those applications of the three C's are to drive relevance:

  • NYT Leaked Innovation Report Points to the Importance of Search/Social Integration and Turning Data Into Action [read]

  • Actionable Content Marketing Insights from Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends Report [read]

We learn (principally) by doing, and it is incredibly rewarding and fascinating how much so many of us — of you — have been experimenting and iterating to design and architect better experiences.


Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effect on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *