Tag Archives: value

Quality time, not quantity of time.

Time spent on site” is a classic digital marketing Key Performance Indicator, but it is usually a poor measure of marketing effectiveness.

A while back, I was responsible for the European digital marketing for Nokia’s Nseries. We initially had an Nseries web-site for every major European language. A decision was made to reduce the languages to just English, Spanish and Chinese, to make things more efficient. As proof of the success of this strategy, it was pointed out that Italians were now spending more time on the new site then when they had their own language version; I pointed out that they might be spending more time on the site because they can’t understand it as well, and they are therefore taking longer to find what they are looking for….

So, for web-sites, ‘success rates’ and ‘customer satisfaction’ seem far better measures of success than ‘time spent’ and ‘dwell time’.

Similarly for other branded experiences, what is important is that value is provided, not that brands take up more and more of people’s valuable time. In fact, there are many situations where the value is actually in reducing the time spent with a brand, leaving people with more time for other (more important) things.

Save people time and effort, and you will be appreciated much more than those needy attention-junkies you are competing with.

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Create value and the profits will come.

According to the classic economic theory, the social responsibility of business is to create profits. But if making profit is your only reason to be in business and guides all your decisions then – ironically – you are not likely to create a very profitable business.

Profits are one Key Performance Indicator, which, in association with other parts of a decent balanced scorecard of measurements, show you that the approach you are taking is working. Profits are the natural by-product of a successful strategy.

But if you focus on the profit itself, then you are going to think short-term. You are going to make decisions that harm your customer relationships because they are inherently selfish. You will never build anything resembling loyalty; the goodwill that makes your business more valuable than its basic assets (ask an accountant for proof) will never grow.

Instead business is about value creation. The ultimate questions are: how can we create more value for the customer, and how much is that worth to them?

Social Media can be a useful tool in building value and relationships. But it can also just become a cost of doing business, an additional marketing channel, which doesn’t really provide any additional value to your customers.

Similarly retail environments can be just a place to close the deal, a final funnel to fulfil all that built-up demand. Or they can be places that focus on building value and relationships, where people flock to not only buy at the lowest price, but to feel informed and involved and *valued*.

So keep an eye on your profits, but make decisions based on how you can increase the tangible and intangible value you provide your customers. Your brand will thrive, your share price and profits will grow, and your customers will thank you.

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