October 19, 2010

Optics and Metrics

Will this work?

In my former life, I programmed radio stations for a living. I loved my time in radio but one of my biggest grievances remains today:


• To measure ratings in radio, a tiny percentage of the population is asked their opinion to speak on behalf of the masses.

• The newspaper industry claims each paper is read by several people.

Television polls the same people and calls it consensus.

Direct Mail response rates higher than 3% point to a resounding success.

• External advertising industries claim the billboard will be seen but you must remember the three second rule.

Yet companies remain sceptical that an online strategy can help them.

It's important to note that if you own a business and you are unsure the best solution for you - be careful of those who will drown you in metrics and doublespeak. That is especially important when delving in to the online world.

I am not bias toward particular media though I do lean to some more than others because of effectiveness. This won't be another article about relationships and two-way conversations. It must be based on strategy, not theory. All media has its place and I have clients who use them all. This is more about paying attention to what is important to you and your business. It's about managing your expectations.

You can’t ask everyone and there is no such thing as the perfect shot. Every industry has its metrics yet often business owners when introduced to digital solutions want documented results at the beginning.

It is valid to want to know the expected results of marketing dollars (after having a great offering and a well focused plan and message) but running a business like an ad campaign is dangerous sport.

Living By Numbers

I like metrics and research. I think both are important but if you want a guaranteed solution chiseled in granite every time you may be waiting a while. I don’t condone running your business with wild abandon but balance is good. Numbers can be a deterrent. Numbers can intoxicate you. Numbers can be deceiving.

If you live and die by fuzzy metrics, you may not be seeing the entire equation.


photo credit: healnh

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original post: feb 2010
© Kneale Mann knealemann@gmail.com people + priority = profit
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