RonAmok!

The adventures of an analog engineer and digital storyteller who studies emerging networks and their impact on the great game of business.
Dec 20, 2007

I was attending a meeting recently where web-metrics were being presented. When the topic came around to the company’s corporate blogs, the presenter spoke enthusiastically about the thousands of unique visitors who had read our blogs.

Curiously, she didn’t mention the blog-subscription numbers. So, with the same level of enthusiasm that she described the thousands of hits, I explained that our RSS subscription-rates were steadily rising and that one of our bloggers had just broken into triple digits. The silence in the room was deafening. It was clear that my triple digits were being pooh-poohed compared with the quadruple digits that the marketing manager presented.

Marketing folks have a paradoxical view of numbers. On one hand, they love really large numbers. If you say, “We got a million new unique hits on our corporate website yesterday,” the news will be greeted with enthusiasm. Marketing folks also love small numbers. If you say that “We had a 6% hit-rate on our latest advertising campaign,” you’ll receive enough back-slapping to collapse a lung.

The paradox is a holdover from the Golden Age of Mass Media, where corporations shot messages pell-mell through mass media outlets to see what sticks. Because the response rate for these mass communications is so dismal, marketeers were forced to play “Probability Marketing,” where large numbers were required on the front end of a campaign in order for a small number of conversions to precipitate out the back-end.

I attempted to explain why my triple-digit “subscription” numbers trumped the quadruple-digit “hits” numbers. “Think about it this way,” I said. “The people who take the time to subscribe are so fascinated with our bloggers opinions on these super-niche topics, that they demand notification whenever we write something new!”

Now that’s influence — the currency of New Media.

Successful New Media isn’t about “Probability Marketing.” It’s about a unique group of people who are interested in your products and services. In these New Media Times, it is much more important to focus on a small number of engaged customers and prospects than to use the shotgun method and blast your message through all of the noise.

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Filed under: Measurement

Comments

Funny… I tried to convince my wife smaller is better, she just laughs… is that bad?

Walt Snider
December 21, 2007

Funny… I tried to convince my wife smaller is better, she just laughs… is that bad?

Walt Snider
December 20, 2007

I dunno, Walt. I’ve never had to have that conversation:-)

ronploof
December 21, 2007

I dunno, Walt. I’ve never had to have that conversation:-)

Ron
December 20, 2007

It’s also about *who* is subscribed. If I write an automotive blog and I only have 20 subscribers, but one of them is the president of GM and another is the head of engineering for Ford, is that not as valuable as 2,000 casual readers?

David Jacobs
December 27, 2007

It’s also about *who* is subscribed. If I write an automotive blog and I only have 20 subscribers, but one of them is the president of GM and another is the head of engineering for Ford, is that not as valuable as 2,000 casual readers?

David Jacobs
December 27, 2007

Amen, David!

ronploof
December 28, 2007

Amen, David!

Ron
December 27, 2007

David’s comment peaked my curiosity about knowing your readers so I must ask everyone “Ronning-Amok” in new-media land…

How are you capturing reader demographics to know who is subscribing to your content via RSS? Just via comments or reader’s proactively emailing you, or are their other methods you prefer?

Corey
December 29, 2007

David’s comment peaked my curiosity about knowing your readers so I must ask everyone “Ronning-Amok” in new-media land…

How are you capturing reader demographics to know who is subscribing to your content via RSS? Just via comments or reader’s proactively emailing you, or are their other methods you prefer?

Corey
December 29, 2007

I’m one of the smaller, but better, corporate bloggers that Ron talked about. I have 39 subscribers who think industry standards are a cool thing. OK, well, maybe 37 do – one of my subscribers is my brother and another is my daughter, neither of whom know a thing about standards. As for the other 37, I would really like to know who they are. I’m with Corey – how can we find out who our subscribers are?

KarenB
January 3, 2008

I’m one of the smaller, but better, corporate bloggers that Ron talked about. I have 39 subscribers who think industry standards are a cool thing. OK, well, maybe 37 do – one of my subscribers is my brother and another is my daughter, neither of whom know a thing about standards. As for the other 37, I would really like to know who they are. I’m with Corey – how can we find out who our subscribers are?

KarenB
January 3, 2008

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