If it’s numbers you want …

When marketing is in total and complete service of sales, it is very easy to fall into traps.

You get what you reward, after all. And if it is numbers you are after, you will find somebody who can sell them to you, or somebody who can induce you to believe in a new made up trend, or again somebody going rogue who will ask you for a ransom to get back what is yours in the first place.

I have written about this before, but the intensity of this collective allucination is baffling. Marketing is about experience and relationships, and the only way you can build a great relationship is by continuosly looking at quantitative and qualitative data combined.

When is the last time you have talked to one of your customers?
When did you spend half a day skimming through reviews?
When have you done something that does not scale, just to impress one single member of your audience?
When did you use Voice of Customer to make an important decision about your next campaign?

We all get to measure [success] differently. You know how many people in here are all about math, conversion, and quantity? You know what that’s called? That’s called salespeople. Marketing and branding doesn’t get measured by the hour. For me, how I measure it is “how do I feel about where I am positioned?”, “how well is my company doing?”, “how well is my speaking requests coming in?”, “how many people are watching my stuff?”. But I don’t measure it on a tactical day-to-day, it’s an overall feeling of a vibe, intuition, and some baseline metrics. Many people are into landing page optimisation, and by the way that shit works, but that’s sales. People did not come here to see me speak because I cookie them, and target them with my message. It’s because I give them value, and they hope to get even more value from seeing me speaking live. This is branding.

Gary Vaynerchuk, see also this article

The commoditization of marketing

Trust in digital advertising has never been so low. As a global industry, advertising is now considered to be the less trustworthy, coming after the likes of banking, energy, and telecoms.

This is nothing new.

Gary Vaynerchuk is right when he says that marketers ruin everything. His point is simple. It happened with TV, radio, mail, magazines, newspapers, internet, e-mail, and it is now happening with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat. When a marketer finds that the attention of the audience is somewhere, millions will follow, and soon (with TV, radio and magazines it took decades, but now it’s faster) people will veer somewhere else. The chase resets, and this process is never ending.

I would actually go as far as saying that it’s not only marketers. As human beings, we have the tendency to repeat what worked yesterday, to emulate success wherever we see it, to go down beaten paths.

Gary Vee says that this is inevitable, that there is no way out of this downward spiral. He might be right, yet I believe he would agree that there is a huge value in leading rather than following, in going after the niche rather than the mass, in finding your own unique way of doing things rather than copy-pasting what others have done infinite times.

Because after all, what really makes people shut down and move on to the next thing is the race to the bottom, designing for the lowest common architecture, dumbing things down to reach the maximum result with the minimal effort.

Art has never driven people away. And marketing, if done well, is art. It might not be for everybody, and that is perfectly fine.