Tuesday 2¢: Popular or Profitable?

I talk about how ART (Awareness, Revenue and Trust) is the mission of marketing, but we need to think about how we balance our focus on those three; do we want to be profitable or popular?

This week, for this half-baked Tuesday evening thought, I am inspired by a post on LinkedIn by Jay Acunzo, who, if you don’t listen to his podcast or follow him on the socials, is incredibly helpful and open about his own experiences with his coaching business and is very generous with his advice about podcasting.

(Aside from his LinkedIn link above, here is a link to Jay on Threads, as I’m enjoying that platform right now, and he’s sharing some good stuff).

Jay shared that his consulting business sells “high-ticket things which require lots of trust before you’re likely to buy” and his post is about how he could get more attention on social media by posting the sort of thing that attracts likes, shares and discourse, but he asks if that kind of content would help build the trust his clients need to have in him.

Well, no.

As Jay says, he would “look more like you’re selling deodorant or soda than powerful, strategic transformation of their brand or career”.

I’ll stop quoting Jay’s post now for fear you won’t read it, and this will be a huge spoiler!

His post is about those who are hanging out their own shingle, running their own business. And after I read this post, I was chatting to a chum who’s a very respected consultant. She posts on LinkedIn but doesn’t play the social hustle game, and she shared with me over lunch how none of her equally successful consulting chums are stars on the platform by the vanity metrics.

Now, as you know, I don’t really do a lot of research for these half-baked Tuesday 2 cents, but this also fell into my lap as chatting with another chum of mine on a totally different topic today, he shared that people we both know who are KILLING IT on the socials are not seeing this convert to business in a difficult consulting climate that is 2023.

Popular is not profit.

So, and I am sure Jay doesn’t need my affirmation on this, these unscientific data points support what he is saying.

But I’m in the corporate world of B2B marketing, and I bang on about how the mission of B2B marketing is creating ART, Awareness, Revenue and Trust, is it the same for us?

Could we compromise profitability with a drive to be popular?

Well yes.

The three things that are ART need to be balanced.

Yes, you can create a lot of Awareness, move the needle on all the vanity metrics, post the kind of shallow content that gets attention and clicks and see the vanity metrics move up and to the right.

I’ve been saying for about 20 years that if you train a cat to play the piano, put that video on your B2B website homepage you’ll blow your website visitor metrics.

But would it create Trust with the much smaller audience who influence or decide whether you make the most important bit of ART – Revenue?

Probably not.

Another example I heard is that if you put a typo into the subject line of an email, you get more opens.

And, I am sure that’s true; the people who told me that have the data. There is psychology at play where people are naturally curious about having a giggle about who was daft enough to do that.

You get lots of opens, but does it build trust?

And how do we know, what metric do we measure?

Do we measure the sentiment of the person opening our emails who thinks we can’t get a spell checker to work and wouldn’t trust their hard-earned cash with people like that?

Or do we measure the increased open rate?

You know the answer.

High fives all around on an increased open rate.

So we can learn from Jay, that getting attention is different from getting customers.

Aside from my ongoing argument with Grammarly robots did not write any copy, but they did create the image, which was created using A.I. through NightCafe Creator

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