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Scalejacking and Performance Metrics

July 2, 2009 by

Jeff Goins recently posted at Wrecked for the Ordinary entitled Marketers, Quit Hijacking Our Communities.

In it, he makes some great points regarding marketers’ obsession with numbers and metrics. I’ll give you a couple snippets to whet your appetite, but you don’t want to miss the entire article.

I’ll quote Jeff who quotes Seth Godin who is quoting Dave Balter (welcome to the Internet.):

“Because marketers were raised on the scale of mass-TV, radio, newspapers, they have a churn and burn mentality. The Internet turns this upside down. The Internet is about who, not how many. The Internet lets you take really good care of 100 people instead of harassing 2,000.”


Merlin Mann talks about this same issue, in a slightly more crude manner in his post Blog Pimping; or: Who Do You Want to Delight?. Let’s shed this mindset that it’s all about quantity and adopt a more quality-based mindset. Jeff puts it more aptly:

“We leaders, marketers and revolutionaries need to be awfully careful that we do not measure the ‘success’ of our efforts based solely on metrics. We need to avoid delving into this comomditization of the community, where we treat everyone like a number. The consequences are fatal to those that are trusting us to lead and guide them. And pretty soon, our marketing is ineffective and our message is meaningless. ‘Community’ becomes another byword for ‘customer base,’ and once again Christians are being called (rightfully so) hypocritical.”

Post By:

Joshua Cody


Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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3 Responses to “Scalejacking and Performance Metrics”

  • Rick Wilson
    July 2, 2009

    This is a great point and represents the power of the internet in creating groups of people who are focused and highly motivated – “on topic.”
    But there is a need for balance here. There is a mentality in evangelical circles of minimizing the value of metrics completely. When I’ve presented Arbitron’s Radio/TV audience profiles (very valuable tool) to some Christian clients I’ve often heard comments like – “well why should we believe them?”
    Any measuring system is flawed (Arbitron has plenty) and yes marketing and advertising resources do have a “churn and burn mentality.” But Nielsen and Arbitron do also have a sizable cadre of qualitative information that is very valuable (examp. How many people in this region within this demographic did a home improvement project in the last year).
    AE’s worth their salt always used qualitative data with clients because it provided long term success and got us away from the one sheet “package of the day.”
    I was never a “spots and dots” kind of guy on the street. What I sold was an audience and when I could make a qualitative match to a product or service – we all won!


  • chase
    July 9, 2009

    Joshua,
    I had just visited this website for the first time not too long ago. and by not too long ago i mean maybe…5 minutes.
    and so far, you are my favorite writer. I really have enjoyed reading your early work as well as the lastest. I thought i would comment on you.
    -Chase


  • Jeff Goins
    December 9, 2010

    Rereading this is a great reminder of something I easily forget. You exemplify the positive side of this quite well, Josh.



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