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You all know what a red herring is, right? It’s a dried, smoked fish, turned red by the smoke. But I’m not here to talk about the fish. I’m here to talk about the red herrings in digital marketing – the “fish” that distracted marketers for years so they would keep spending in digital, thinking they were doing marketing. And there sure are a lot of red fish that I’ve seen over the years.
Mo’ Fish, Mo’ Betta’
Marketers just love “more.” But instead of focusing on more sales, they tend to focus on easier-to-measure vanity metrics like more ad impressions, more clicks, more traffic, etc. More of these “red fish” don’t necessarily lead to more business outcomes, which should be the objective of marketing programs. Too obvious? Right, I agree. But consider what marketers are receiving month after month from the agencies they allow to spend their money for them — excel spreadsheets that report on the number of impressions, clicks, and possibly traffic. Do those spreadsheets track all the way through to sales impact? Of course some do; but from what I have seen those are the exception, not the rule.
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