Playing with numbers

Playing with numbers

This post started off as a Facebook status update.  When I had to scroll up to see what I typed, I decided to transfer this into a blog post.  

Here’s a funny story: I was solicited by a major brand to test and blog about their product. After some emails and a really engaging phone conversation, I was feeling great energy. The rep said I was easy to talk to and had a really good grasp of the product and clearly was familiar with how to use the product.

The phone call was followed up with an email asking me for MY NUMBERS.

I provided them with my numbers.

Follow up email states that my numbers are too low for their parameters. Thank you for your interest.

Ummm…what?  You reached out to me.  Shouldn’t I be thanking you?

So I asked the question: Is being a fan, a supporter, a cheerleader, and persuasive about your product trumped by your focus on the numbers?

If I like your product, I will tell everyone I know who I think could use it. In my immediate circles of PEOPLE I SEE IN REAL LIFE, that could translate into 50 sales. When the 50 are happy, they tell their friends. Another 50 sales. And so on, and so on.

Think that has more reach than the 10,000 unique visitors I will never meet and who will still only trust the people in their circles?

I have had a lot of careers since I finished university.  I was a reporter who critically analyzed the numbers.  I was a film critic who was known for honest reviews.  I was a human resources manager whose payroll was never late.  I was a retail manager who could convince a customer to not only buy the knife she came in for, but to buy an entire new set of pots and pans, flatware and dishes.

I know all about numbers and persuasion.  I know exactly which one has the most potential to earn a company sales.

I think it is foolish to discount a potential source of advertising simply because the unique visitor count does not measure up to the 10,000 someone arbitrarily picked. I think it is bad marketing and bad customer relations.


Here’s what you did: you got me excited about working with you.  I invested my time and my energy to convince you that I know and already love your product.  I was feeling great about a potential relationship.  Then you stuck a big, pointy, auditing pencil in my balloon and burst my bubble.  And pissed me off in a way that even the 20-year-old marketing intern you won’t hire knows is dangerous.

It’s the oldest marketing rule in the book: A satisfied customer will tell 3 friends; angry customer will tell 10 (or anyone who will listen on social media).

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