The Numbers Game

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Is it ok to change your mind about something you really believe in?

For years I’ve been telling brands that it’s no longer all about how many people you put your marketing messages in front of. What’s important – especially when dealing with Digital Marketing and Social Media – is who you are putting your message in front of. Enough people are posting and exchanging information online that there’s no need to "spray and pray" your marketing message. You can finally listen to the myriad of conversations and questions online and be active within that river of chitter chatter.

It seems perfectly logical, but it’s not the whole story. Numbers do, indeed, matter.

Here’s why: the only way to find the right people that you need to connect to is by spreading your message far enough and wide enough that your ideas do catch on with an audience. Social Media is perfect for that, specific, action: to spread ideas. You can have a thought and publish it in text, audio, images and videos instantly (and for free) to the global online population, but for that idea to get any semblance of traction, you are going to have to wave your hands at a pretty frenetic pace. Even the great ideas take time to spread, and what really makes them spread is the amount of people who then take idea and kick it around their circle of influence.

As always, everything is "with" not "instead of."

Using Digital Marketing and Social Media to get your ideas to spread is going to require a tender balance of both quality and quantity. The ideas and concepts brought forward on this Blog spread dependant on the current size and state of the audience and the community it serves. Anybody can pump out content, but it takes quality content to get the attention of the "right people" and enough of those "right people" to give it any semblance of attention and push it towards some kind of tipping point.

The point is not to get your message out to a small group of people, but to the right people.

There is a mass audience within every niche. It’s important to remember that. Whatever niche you serve, there is (usually) enough of an audience (or even consumer base) to justify the business. The real trick of marketing is to figure out the balance of that marketing mix, channels and platforms. Success will (probably) come for those who can equalize the ides and stories that they want to share and connect with by also figuring out how to get that message to enough people that matter (i.e. spreading it far and wide).

It turns out that Marketing – in the end – is, was, and will probably always be a numbers game as well (whether we like it or not). 


  1. Great post, Mitch. It reinforces what I’ve heard you and others say many times: that social media is just another channel or tactic. The same rules apply across other channels; you have to keep thumping your message until you are sick of it before others even start to catch on en masse. It’s still a new world, but one with some comforting similarities to the one we grew up in.

  2. Good perspective Mitch.
    Seems to me that’s always the challenge to find sufficient numbers of a very focused audience that is exactly the right fit for your message or offer.
    Regards, Del

  3. Hey Mitch,
    Really great post. I agree that it is so important to find balance, whether it’s quality vs. quantity or channels vs. platforms. Thanks for expressing this in such a simple way. Great example of quality content =)
    Darren L Carter

  4. It really pays to do your market research then. Getting the most specific targeted advertising is what matters. So it would sem to be very very important to run a pre tested campaign that tests the specific dynamic that you are looking for.
    Much easier said then done but very very important especially in the business I run.

  5. Does this mean you take the ‘I follow You, You follow me’ approach. If your content has built a sufficient stature/following to where you can stand above the noise of everyone shouting out there message it can work for you.
    I do believe that as Social Media continues to grow, there will just be too much noise, I already think there is too much noise in social media. The quality of your followers will be more important in the future than how many.
    Do you find that your tweets receive less clicks than a year ago? I’m betting the answer is yes.
    Your quality content does bring me back to your blog though.

  6. I can’t subscribe to the “I follow you/you follow me” model. I think the only way that works is if the value is equal on both sides. I follow those I get value from not just those that want to follow me. I do consider myself a bit of a Twitter snob ๐Ÿ˜‰

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