Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Big Picture Matters

Our little girl had her one year old check up Tuesday. She got her first shot which was for tetanus. After he wanted to review the next three shots that we might want to have her get. All were optional.

When discussing the Chicken Pox Vaccine he said Adults are 4x more likely to have a serious bout of the Pox than children. But then he said 'What they don't tell you is that in children 0.02% have serious bouts and in Adults it is 0.08%'. In the big picture really we shouldn't worry about this.

I said my industry is just like that. They massage the facts to sound impressive. Especially social media. My friend Danny Brown posted an infographic Sunday about Facebook. The focus was on addiction but when I did the math 53 billion minutes a month in the US wound up showing active users spend only 11.7 mins a day on the site. The most of any website/network. In the big picture that is a small number. If you add the 50 million non-Facebook using interest users we are around 7.9 minutes a day. Do we even use the internet these days?

My last post slammed a study about Like's. While the case study on Skittles was a poor one to use they did show by using paid and earned media on Facebook you can boost your marketing results. It basically proved you can amplify activity when combined, but the base is almost zero percent of Skittle's daily customers amplified by 2.5x. In the big picture this was not driving Skittles sales. 

Twitter considers an active user someone who sends 1 tweet per month. But is that active? can you reach that person on Twitter? Of course not. Facebook calls an active user someone who logs in one time per month for one second. Is that active? of course not. But this makes the gross account numbers look nice.

But what is the big picture? It is taking a step back from the hype, the sales pitch, and the spin. Look at all options for your marketing plan. How can you reach people best? Just because they spend more time on Facebook doesn't mean you can reach them there. You might have more success with print or TV or a clown with a bell wearing a sandwich board.

My peers will shoot me for saying this. But it is the truth. Almost always your best form of marketing is great product or service, right price point, great customer service, your location and your street sign if you have a physical business. 

Remember that it is the big picture that matters.


  1. I know most of my local furniture stores will always get my attention best with clown and sandwich boards. Thanks for the reminder to back up from scrutinizing comparative, relative numbers in a vacuum.

    1. LOL Thank you for coming by Shakirah! Have you ever heard Peter Shankman's sandwich board story when he needed a job? He wore one in Manhattan and had his resume. He got like 150 calls or so from that.

  2. This was my week to be the clown with the bell outside the office; somebody did stop in, but they thought we had pizza to sell. I let them subscribe to my blog instead.......

  3. I had a similar conversation with an associate recently, that aligns with your last paragraphs. It has been, and always will be, about solving someone's problem to THEIR satisfaction, reducing their pain and/or enhancing their pleasure. It's about good old-fashioned marketing, good quality goods and services, and treating others as you wish to be treated. I don't care how many bells and whistles are touted as THE way to do business today. People still buy from people. People still get PO'd with inferior service. People tell lots of people lots of things. We trust those things. Cheers! Kaarina P.S. Did someone say pizza?