Relevance is not about the marketer. It's about the subscriber or consumer of the experience. This is why moving your email marketing program CLOSER to the DATA is the only way you will create relevancy.
Although today's panel on relevance did a good job of discussing what goes into relevancy for their subscribers, asking "What is relevance" is sort of like asking for a non-answer. No marketer can define it - because it's not static. What one person wants today as they search, and what they wanted yesterday on their mobile device and what they want in 10 minutes -- all are different. Factor in device, context and outside influence and consumer wants and needs are endless.
Dynamic data is our best chance to truly define relevance...by not defining it, but letting it BE DEFINED in the moment by the data and customer experience.
Great conversation from the panel on Relevancy this morning. However, I think at the end of the day, what was said is just this: Do what makes subscribers happy, and you will make more money. (Although one panelist did say that he'd do pretty much anytihng if it generated more money, which is not quite the same thing.)
Now that of course doesn't get into the particular strategy and tactics that will make sense for your business. I recommend you steal as many cool ideas that have worked for others and test them. And do more listening - through real-time, dynamic messaging based on multi channel analytics.