I’m from an old-school marketing background. I got my marketing degree back in the early 90′s and it helped educate my views on how to market a message or product, and continues to help me shape strategies today.
But there’s one thing that stands out clearly from these early days – the numbers game is utter bullshit.
My educator and many of my fellow students subscribed to the theory that numbers are the linchpin of any marketing campaign. The more eyeballs your message reaches, the more potential for interest.
But there’s a key word in there that makes all the difference – potential.
Your message could potentially get these eyeballs. Your message could potentially land in 10,000 email inboxes. Your message could potentially make a new sale.
Your message could also potentially piss off the same customers you’re trying to convert.
Think about it. You have two options. You can either send out 10,000 mass emails in the hope that maybe 5% will reply to you or even bother to read it. Or, you can send out 1,000 targeted emails knowing that every single person will at least read your message.
It’s not rocket science. It’s called simple research and knowing your target.
It’s also why the race to amass thousands (millions, even) of followers on Twitter is more a vain ego stroke than a valid exercise. So you have 20,000 people following you on Twitter. Do you think every single one knows who you are and what you say at any given time?
How many are dead accounts, or bots, or people that have no interest in what you’re saying, you just seemed like a good fit at the time?
Numbers mean squat. Unless you’ve built up a core audience that you can message, or employ to share your words or sales pitch, numbers are simply a way to make you feel important.
They make a marketing director’s job a little easier when it comes to budget meetings with the CEO. They make advertiser’s look at you with salivating mouths (until they realize you’re not really as influential as 1,000 bots say you are).
If you really want to show off your numbers, show off the amount of sales you got from your last project. Show off the quality of your list as opposed to the quantity. Show off the numbers that make a real difference.
Otherwise you’re just throwing out empty facts. And no-one ever succeeded from emptiness. Did they?