If you’ve got a handle on the marketing metrics and it’s all creating more, you don’t need to read any further, but if you are struggling to determine if the Playbook you’re running is effectively landing more of your customers on base and bringing more of your Endgame to life…here’s an alternative: how I use marketing metrics and sufficiently (continually) simplify my Playbook.
It’s a Numbers Game
We hear all the time that ‘it’s a numbers game’.
Every sport and every athlete, from basketball to baseball can get obsessed with numbers just like ‘marketers’ get obsessed with them…and lately, even though I’m not much of a baseball fan, I’ve become intrigued with swinging the bat.
Swinging the bat is tied to the marketing plays you’re running day-to-day, month-to-month, quarter-by-quarter, seasons-by-season…
In 2020, I set a 29-29-29 challenge (29 people, 29 coffees, 29 days)…and it was about swinging the bat.
My 13 in 30 goal that emerged out of that, has been about swinging the bat.
The other ‘goal lines’, end zones and ‘keys’ I’m shooting for (and from) are all about swinging the bat….lobbing my Moneyball Mashup out to land somewhere in the (quantum) field, intentionally and increasingly closer to where my people are and, sufficiently simplifying how I determine the effectiveness of my swings.
The Marketing, The Metrics and the More.
I used to traffic in complicated metrics and LOVED them…but they didn’t really MEAN anything.
The metrics don’t mean anything unless you know what they mean…and more importantly for most business owners, unless you can find someone who can make them MEANINGFUL.
This is true of marketing metrics, accounting metrics, ‘customer experience’ metrics, polling metrics and so on…they are only meaningful, if they enable you to make marketing decisions that well, mean more.
In my experience, the small business owner today is hard pressed to find people who know how to make those numbers mean anything, and even fewer who can make them meaningFULL for the business, and provide high use-value.
And if you are in the game of paying for Marketing to create more – you want them to mean a sufficient amount in order to determine if you need more or less of the owning, earning, paying plays.
Sufficient, Simplified, Structured.
I LOVE numbers (most times) and I could spend hours with them, and that is why I had to recalibrate my metrics to be sufficient and simplified, structured around what I needed them to mean.
Whether you’re paying for marketing to create more or if you are playing the time/energy (DIY) game, we need some way to determine if we should keep swinging a particular bat, how close our swings are landing to our people in the field (or the stands) and, which PLAYS we need to keep in our Playbook and which ones we should P.A.S.S.
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My metrics are sufficient, for me. They have been sufficient for others who are searching for different; alternatives to the complicated and a greater sense of simplicity.
They keep me (and them) from falling down the rabbit hole of spending too much time, energy or money – over-thinking what’s effective.
They have become more and more simplified, because I’ve brought them down to the basic, essential elements and marry them with intuitive truths that I can sense.
What I see on my P&L statement (how much money I’ve spent) PLUS how much time and energy I’ve invested PLUS how much MORE has it all created?
MY (PROBABLY TOO SIMPLE) FORMULA:
INVESTMENT (MONEY + TIME + ENERGY) = MORE (OR LESS)
There are different ways to look at more which I touch on in other posts/podcasts/videos, but really this is about, are you and your customer creating more and experiencing more of what you both want? That’s your Endgame…and if you have a Playbook that ISN’T creating more of your Endgame…there are reasons for that.
Here’s an example:
My client is in the alternative / health and wellness category — indirectly. Their business is best suited for practitioners and businesses that work with alternative practices of health and wellness.
They had been a part of a community that ‘niches’ down to these types of businesses for about three years and as we began our work together, looking at their ‘plays’, participating in communities, networks, Facebook groups and so on is one part of recalibrating marketing to mean more.
When we got to the metrics conversation, they shared the hours they’d poured into understanding the numbers – reach, impressions and engagement etc., in their own social spaces and those included with community participation like this one.
I won’t lie…it made me cry a little inside. Because I have LIVED this.
I asked the question that I now ask myself. ‘What more has it created?’ And I saw the same look on their face as I see on mine when I get really real with my investments of time, energy and money.
“Engagement is a result of strong, two-way relationships.” ~Susan Fournier, Boston University.
Engagement is one of those playbook metrics that ‘Marketers’ get all gah-gah about and it doesn’t MEAN anything, unless you know what it’s supposed to mean (ie: the presence of strong relationships).
In the long run, we did pull a little bit of different ‘data’ to really understand what Seth Godin refers to as the minimum viable audience and it became clear that the viable audience was too small to continue to invest the way they had been, financially (not to mention the time and energy) …and we recalibrated to toward different plays that were already creating more and began with a couple of new options with clear parameters around how we would test and evaluate.
Here’s one metric I still like: Cost Per Meaningful _______. fill in the blank: conversion, action, relationship created…
The Game, The Ball and The Bat.
It’s all about swinging the bat and practicing different ways to swing the same bat or different ones, so I can make connections that create a clear line drive; the occasional home run hit and more often than anything, a series of consistent plays that gets more players on base.
If you’re among the smallest SMBs and if you are an agent of change … you don’t need to look at the leaderboard or the scoreboard to know if those swings are producing more misses than hits.
But we hear all the time, that we need to know the nitty gritty details of the numbers, in order to play a better numbers game and this is where I go in a different direction than most.
It’s both a numbers game and it is not.
It’s not about randomly swinging the bat, it’s about practicing the swing, finding the right stance, balance, bat and flow of movement that creates more ‘right for you’ connections.
And…the number of connections lead to better numbers…people you are initiating, cultivating, nurturing and amplifying strong, two-way relationships with.
This in itself was a game-changer for me, both positive and negative, the positive: not many are playing this kind of game, the negative: few expect it.
When someone like you or me steps up to the plate to swing the bat with the intention of making a genuine connection we are playing a different kind of game than 85% of businesses in the world today.
And, some of the people on the field/in the stands aren’t expecting that.
We as consumers are literally braced for the swing and are guarding our heads or hearts from the impact. Brené Brown calls it, ‘armouring up’, to protect ourselves because of the hits we’ve already taken by those randomly and sometimes furiously, hitting the ball right at us. ( a whole other conversation )
But, is it still worth swinging for the fences? 100%!
If the ball is your Moneyball Mashup (what you create, contribute and champion for, as an agent of change) then there are real people standing on the field or sitting in the stands hoping that ball will roll up near them or maybe, even be one they can catch out of the air.
Here’s FOUR sufficient questions that help me determine if my Playbook and Game Plan is lining up with more of my Endgame:
Are the swings initiating more relationships?
Are they causing more people to step in and cultivate that relationship?
Are they equipping you to nurture a better experience for your customer and yourself?
Are more of your people wanting to help you amplify your Moneyball Mashup?
Initiate • Cultivate • Nurture • Amplify
Game after game • Swing after swing.
How can I help make a stronger connection between what you see in the numbers and what you WANT to see of your Endgame?
…ALL of which work with the same recalibration process, principles and practice that makes marketing mean more for agents of change within the smallest SMBs.
A Laser-Focused 3-Pack is one bridge that focuses on a specific pain point, gets to the root of the core problem to find solutions that are right for you. Connect with me for more of what you need
(and less of what you don’t).