This Sunday dozens of brands will pay for multi-million dollar Super Bow ads because those spots will get them in front of what is likely to be the most watched TV show in US history. The odds that more than a handful of these massive budget campaigns will accomplish their objectives sits somewhere between slim and none. Great reach, little impact.
Today, tomorrow and the next day, many thousands of brands will send out many thousands of email and direct mail campaigns to many millions of customers–and most will be ecstatic to get a 1% response rate. Huge reach, very little impact.
Each and every day many of us fret about how many friends we have on Facebook, our Twitter follower count or the number of “likes” we get for something we post. Our often fragile egos may get a temporary hit from multiple retweets or for a bunch of “likes” for our super cute outfit, some random photo of our lunch or the preciousness of our kid and/or dog. But to conflate the number of superficial affirmations we might get with making a meaningful difference is a mistake. We crave more and more reach, but substantive impact is almost always lacking.
As Bernadette so rightly reminds us: “it doesn’t matter who encounters your message, your product, or your service if they don’t care about it.”.
It’s one thing to relentlessly pursue more. It’s another to relentlessly pursue better, more remarkable, truly relevant, deeply connected.
Maybe the people in the tribes we lead want us to turn it up to 11, to increase the frequency, to go for more, more, more. Maybe average or boring is just fine by them.
Or maybe it’s about easing back on the throttle, turning down the volume and choosing instead to uncover and celebrate the people that really matter to us. And then, very intentionally, crafting a message and an experience that deeply resonates with them.
There isn’t only one right way to do this. Your results may vary.
But when we confuse reach with impact, we’re bound to end up in a bad place.
When we ask the question: “who cares?” and the answer is probably only a handful of the people we’re talking to, marketing to, sharing with, then the quest for reach has likely gone to far.