Lately, there’s been a growing insistence that social media (and marketing in general) be measured solely by the end result: sales.
Despite plenty of lucid arguments to the contrary, many smart (and opinionated) people believe that “community building,” “brand management,” “increased awareness” and other intangible benefits of marketing are useless, or at least that they’re incidental byproducts of marketing’s real purpose: sales, sales, sales. If something can’t be measured in ROI, it’s a waste of time, and since so much of what we now call “social media” is ethereal, the validity of the entire field must be called into question.
And I agree.
But where I think people lose track of their own argument is at the root. Because marketing is sales. And so is shipping. And so is packaging. And so is customer service. And so is employee retention. And so is public relations. And so is dress code, color scheme, the ecological impact of your parking lot and the flower arrangement in your lobby.
Every part of your business impacts sales. That’s because sales is the end goal behind every decision your business makes, from the market you target to the name on the door. And if we’re going to wail in the streets about all the ways people are missing the point about marketing, then I need to see some more hard numbers of my own.
- Are your conversion rates affected by the screen brightness of the buyer’s monitor?
- Which muzak was playing in the elevator immediately prior to peak sale hours?
- How do sales rise and fall during each employee’s lunch break?
- Which verb tense generates the most e-blast click-throughs?
- Do stores lit by CFLs outsell the ones lit by incandescents?
- Does your shopping cart’s border thickness matter?
- Is your delivery van’s tire pressure affecting the integrity of the packages, resulting in the possibility of lost business due to customer disappointment with the surface scuffs on the product’s overwrap?
The variables are infinite. And they ALL affect sales. Just because marketing is an easily-measurable target, and one that’s popular to publicly dissect, that doesn’t mean it’s the only aspect that should come into question.
HR, tech support, cleaning ladies, spouses — I’m looking at you.
What’s the ROI on everything?
Dig this blog? Subscribe and you’ll never miss a witty insight again.