Today, it’s all about big data. Everything your customer does online is measurable with one metric or another.
Whether it’s bounce rate, keyword volume, click through rate, conversion rate, followers, reach, shares, comments, likes or ROI; numbers have become an obsession with big and small businesses alike.
But brands, for all their available measurement tools, have abandoned the core tool for building their business.
Why? It doesn’t have an R.O.I. measuring metric.
The Most Powerful Metric In The World
Business owners today, have access to more measurement tools than they would ever have the time to utilise.
The time required to learn and understand select tools is an investment in itself even before trying to make sense of the metrics they spit out and what that means for your business.
It’s true that brands have a far greater advantage nowadays when it comes to measuring numbers than yesterday’s brands. But therein lies the problem. It’s only an advantage when priorities are in order.
These capabilities have most brands drowning in numbers, putting more time into staying on top of those numbers than creating a brand that people actually feel connected to.
It is that connection (however unmeasurable) that is the most powerful metric.
Your Marketing Concoction May Be Intoxicating
A simple Google about how to market your business can leave your head spinning.
Like a roundabout with fifty exits, your options are vast.
SEO, Link Building, Content Marketing, Social Media, Email Automation, Lead Magnets, Opt-in Pages, Sales Funnels, Display Advertising and Facebook Ads are just a few to mention.
These marketing tactics will provide you with a variety of metrics. You can optimise, re-measure and re-optimise these metrics to shine a light on how people respond to your marketing activities.
It may paint an accurate picture if the balance is right, though the wrong balance may provide an intoxicated outlook.
Either way, making a lasting connection with your audience is not in the metrics.
Your Reputation Has Been Pixelated
Although the term has become somewhat pixelated in our digital world, building a business that means something to its customers is the role of “Branding”.
Long before businesses were distracted by metrics, a business owner’s focus was on their brand.
Longer still, when branding was the process of marking your livestock with a hot iron, a business owner’s focus was on their brand.
Back then, however, they didn’t refer to it as their brand or branding.
Back then it was their reputation.
A Butcher Without A Metric In The World
When business was simpler, owners took the time to sweat the small stuff that mattered.
For a butcher, he knew that if he sourced quality meat, got to know his customers well, addressed them by their first name, looked after his shopfront, wrapped their meat with care and attention and threw in a little extra from time to time, his reputation would grow.
Better still, if he understood his customers, spoke with them daily, listened to what they wanted and communicated in a way that made them feel something for him and his business, he would garner affection and foster brand advocates.
He wouldn’t need someone to stand in front of his shop and shout about how great they were and he wouldn’t be able to measure how people felt about that either.
His main focus was on his customers and make how they felt and his reputation was his obsession.
The Splintered Road Is Full Of Dead Ends
Business is different today than 100 years ago and this is an oversimplified example of branding.
But how people respond when they feel familiar, understood, looked after, cared for and appreciated has not changed.
Familiar brands become familiar with the way they communicate, provide their service, treat their customers and present their offering.
The well-trodden path for small business owners today is to acquire a logo and website from an online designer and deem themselves branded before heading off into the wild world of metrics and measurements.
The system it seems is broken, the path has been splintered and the horse is before the cart, yet most brands can’t see the trees for all the jagged metrics and dodgy logo’s getting in their eyes.
The Opportunity Is Old-Fashioned
This oversaturation of metrics obsessed businesses leaves a massive void and opportunity for brand, reputation and customer-obsessed businesses, all of which are one and the same.
Real branding is old-fashioned. It‘s about making your business feel as familiar as possible to your customer.
This can be as basic as recognition or as intimate as family adoption.
It’s no coincidence that customers who feel a genuine emotional connection with a particular brand generate disproportionate value for that brand.
Businesses that approach branding the right way can have a much longer lasting impact on their customers.
Those customers, in turn, reciprocate, by providing much greater lifetime value and loyalty.
Marketing strategies and measurement metrics are important for businesses big and small but measuring a brand that has a solid foundation will throw up far more favourable metrics than one that doesn’t.
Although the road to familiarity is old-fashioned, it’s as straight as it has ever been.
Though it is overgrown as it is less trodden, smart brands know the way.
While they hear their competition following a newly-etched path to somewhere else, the tried and tested road they’re on, still goes to the same place.