Is the New “Shiny” way to Market Destined to Become Rusty?

Everyone wants to be part of the next big thing. People, companies, you name it, all want to hop on the new band wagons of marketing. The problem with most of these band wagons is although they maybe shiny and new, they can rust and tarnish just as fast as the older models. Let’s take Twitter® as my latest example:

Twitter® as of this writing is having a meteoric rise in its tweeting. 250 Million tweets per day was just announced. That’s up from 100 Million just months ago. Sounds fantastic right? But if you’re a marketer, or someone selling a product, and you ask my opinion I’ll say “So what. Sounds good if you’re Twitter®, but what does that mean to your bottom line?” In recent times anything I’ve said that makes someone question anything about social media or its metrics has been akin to heresy! However what does an exponential growth in the number of tweets mean? If you had said the increase in tweets was a result of an exponential number of new users, than a case could be made for its importance. If it’s just the same amount of users tweeting more to each other, or more marketers increasing the number of tweets they’re sending out, than all you have is a case for noise nothing more. And as anyone knows in marketing, the more noise you have, the more likely your fellow twits will tune out.

You might tend to think I’m off base. That somehow I just don’t get it. However, even people like Gary Vaynerchuk who are well-respected voices within this new phenom are themselves beginning to openly question the metrics. From my viewpoint as I’ve stated in previous articles or talks, chit chatting is one thing, but business is about selling products through various forms of advertising or word of mouth that before you authorize yourself to spend one nickel there must be metrics that are quantifiable and prove in black or red the R.O.I. Anything less is pie in the sky Unicorn metrics that once the hype is over, so is the bank balance.

Twitter® is currently a free service. But if that model changed tomorrow and you now had to pay for its use would you? And if your knee jerk reaction is “Of course!” then my next question is how much? Of course that’s a trick question for many because they aren’t using quantifiable metrics. As long as the service is free than anything it returns is a plus. Hence lies the quagmire. If you’re not counting your time, energy, or thought capital as part of your metric into your R.O.I. Then you had better not plan on buying that new Beemer with your dreams of riches. Only net profits from checks cashed, and cleared can do that.

I have no idea what a Unicorn costs, but I hear they never rust.

Mark

© 2011 Mark St.Cyr   All Rights Reserved