Why ‘more’ means ‘less’ in Digital Marketing.

Here’s an absolutely true story, that I was personally involved in, that demonstrates the utter idiocy of going for more and more email contacts, Facebook likes, Twitter followers etc.

When we were first starting out, a customer asked us to do exactly that ‘Get me more contacts, likes and followers, I need to reach more people with my marketing’. Dead easy to do and dead wrong.

Why would you target loads and loads of people who have zero interest in you, your products or your services?

You wouldn’t. You’d be mad.

So we did.

But, in our defense we did it slightly differently.

We got more (different/better) email contacts, followers and likes by following the Inbound methodology. We won’t go into the detail of that but we did reduce the number of email contacts by looking at the open/click through rates and deleted contacts that weren’t engaging. Overall, we reduced the number of contacts by half and increased sales – almost doubling them in around 1 month. The customer was not pleased. Sales it turns out didn’t matter; what mattered was the numbers.

We quickly extricated ourselves from the customer and got on with our lives.

We look back on this now knowing that we did the right thing and got the right results but disappointed the customer. They were focussed on their reach and we were focussed on sales. However, we are happy that we got the results.

Our first thoughts about this client after the event were that we should have spent more time convincing them of our approach, ensuring they were bought in and then, went for the quality over quantity approach.

However, I wouldn’t take that approach. Our new approach is:

Demonstrate how the world has changed.
Show them who the winners and losers are.
Show them why their course of action will lead to them being counted amongst the losers.
Let them know the options.
Give them a short overview of why we’re a good option, but probably not the only one.


Either they’ve bought in to our approach, or not. If it’s the latter, then we can save ourselves much pain and heartache. If it’s the former, then we might have a chance of being favoured with their business, or not. Whichever their decision is here, we’re happy we’ve done the right thing and they are too.

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