One of our clients, an account development coach, is always stressing to us about how sales isn’t a numbers game. In considering his conclusion, we began discussing how it’s a common belief that marketing is too, a numbers game. However, there are many instances in how that thinking is outdated.
It wasn’t the 50th mailer that brought me here
I would receive a direct mailer from a specific credit card company nearly every five days. I wasn’t in the market for a card, so I didn’t open it. Ever. Then, when I was looking for a card, it had already become a habit to place it in the recycling bin with the other mailers for places I’m still not going to.
One day, I was looking online to see which card would be the best bang for my buck and would give me the best rewards for my travel. And what did I find? That same card that had sent me multiple pieces of direct mail. Now, it’s in my wallet and I finallydon’t have to receive another mailer from them.
But, you know what?
They probably think it was that last mailer that finally got me to their site. They’ve got an attribution model, and they probably (at least partially) credited that direct mail campaign with some customer acquisition ROI. So I fit in with their statistics. But guess what? Their statistics are SKEWED.
I know that’s what they’re thinking, because before I specialized in inbound marketing, I worked for a company in which every quarter they would do this. They’d take the list of new accounts and match it up against who they mailed to. If a new customer was on that mailing list, the marketer would say, “Oh. I got that account.” And I would wonder, “What if they saw a commercial, or received one of our emails, or clicked an online ad and they never opened up that mailer?” But their logic was that the customer had been affected by the mailer—they were affected by seeing their name, knew who we were, and that aided in their decision making process.
That was nearly 10 years ago. But now, things are different. People search for information. Or, they ask questions on social media. They look at consumer reports, and what bloggers are saying. And these people that are a part of their online community will have a MUCH better chance of getting through to them than the company would with traditional advertising. People’s needs have changed, they have different expectations for where they spend their money goes and they trust different sources.
There’s no magic number
We’ve found time and time again that clients and potential clients are often looking to set numerical goals. They want to set an achievement milestone, get to it, call it a success, then try different avenues. They ask, “What’s the number of people we want to reach? How many page views should I have, how many Twitter followers, how many impressions on Google?” But we’re going for quality, and we have to let them know that. You don’t want a lot of people contacting your company, you want the right people. Because a lot of wrong people will only waste resources.
How to do it
We suggest that you focus on your narrative: What is the value, impact and interest that your target audience would have from your product? Why would someone want what you’re offering? How is it impactful, and how would it meet their business needs? It’s important to find out what your story is, then stay true to that and utilize your website, blog, and social media to share that story with others in a strategic way. Because people don’t want you sending stuff to their mailbox (physical OR email) until they open it—they want to find out authentically how great your product or service is.