A media relations and video production client argued these services are part of his overall effort to build his brand, spread the word about his business and position himself as a leader in his field. He is less concerned about crunching numbers to calculate how appearing on television or posting video on his website directly impacts his bottom line. In fact, he doubts such concrete calculations exist. This philosophy reminds me of why business people wear sharp suits or top-notch outfits. The conventional wisdom is such clothing impacts their image, especially when meeting potential new clients for the first time. However, I find it highly unlikely someone could determine how much more business someone obtains by wearing a fancy suit versus a raggedy T-shirt. People don’t ask for such statistics. They simply understand looking good is a strategic part of the overall package.
Many applications offer analytics to help us determine how various efforts truly impact our business. Some analytics come with cool titles. Others offer numbers that appear relevant but some of us aren’t exactly sure what they mean. It’s like someone is building a road in the right direction, but we’re not actually clear if it will get us where we want to go. Perhaps these applications employ top secret formulas above our understanding. But maybe some of these analytics are more marketing than mathematics.
Sometimes simple anecdotal information is the most rewarding. One day, while visiting the office of the client referenced above, some people calling in said they scheduled appointments after watching the website’s new video. The client learned this using a simple formula: When the new clients called, his staff asked “How did you hear about us?” Also, the video has received a large number of hits. That’s more eyeballs on his business although we don’t know if those hits turned into paying customers. This same client now is on the first page of Google. But he told me he’s not sure if that’s translated into more appointments.
A media relations client says after his story appeared on television, he received 20 leads. He simply set up a formula asking people how they came across his company.
Another video client says it’s no coincidence the company’s website visits significantly increased after posting two videos. He declared the videos brought an immediate and positive impact. He wrote: “Well, from this end there is the tangible measurement of web traffic increase after the release of each video … Tons of anecdotal stuff … which I feel is the best.”
If you read blogs and browse social media, it’s clear some of the public has an obsession with a concrete equation to determine how services such as video, media relations and social media directly translate into making money. On The Flip Side, some companies that provide these services also appear obsessed with trying to deliver that formula. I remain skeptical. I read a case study in which a company argued on its website how its digital services directly impacted a business’s sales. But even after reading this well-written case study, I’m not sure I’m buying the connection.
Sometimes, companies must simply use common sense to determine whether a technique is working for them. The answer may not be 1 + 1 = 2. But you might just know success when you see it.