Too many businesses, and people, are obsessed with size. They believe bigger is better. If we are talking about ice cream portions or wine glasses, this may be true. When we’re discussing marketing data, it really is a case of size doesn’t matter.
Let me be blunt:
- More LinkedIn connections doesn’t make you a better entrepreneur
- More email addresses in your mailing list doesn’t mean you’re a better business
- Putting more money into your marketing budget doesn’t mean you will grow faster
To maintain the innuendo, it’s what you do with what you’ve got that counts.
Let me explain.
There are many people who will look down on you if your LinkedIn connections number doesn’t say 500+. They are deluded into thinking that having more connections will mean that more people will see what they write in their updates and that will lead to more sales. They will see that XXXX people saw their last update and think that their use of LinkedIn is great. Actually the real measure is the number of people who reach out via LinkedIn and ask for your services. Which is better?
30,000 connections, 2000+ impressions a day and 2 calls per month, or
450 connections, 80 impressions a day and 4 calls per month?
Have you ever asked a LinkedIn connection for an introduction to someone you want to talk to? How often do they respond “of course” and they fire off an introduction email via the LinkedIn functionality? Alternatively, do they respond along the lines of “I don’t really know them that well….”?
If you think of LinkedIn as one big networking event, you are far more likely to be introduced or referred by people you know, like and trust. If you are connected simply because you accepted a connection request, what’s the point?
Of course, if you have steadily built up a network that reaches into the 1000’s and you still know what each of them does and what they are looking for, that’s great because I am sure you are generating a huge amount of new business from your network. You are a rarity!
Mailing list size
Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity and cashflow is reality – as the saying goes. It’s the same with email marketing…
List size is vanity, open rates are sanity but click throughs are reality.
In other words, why send out 1000’s of emails if few people are engaging? You are far better off having 1000 people, a 20% open rate and 5% click through than a 1% open rate because you have 50,000 on your list. This is particularly relevant if your email marketing tool charges you per email!
The number that is better in email marketing is the variants of any email. The more variants that show the recipient you are talking to them, the better. Relevancy and personalisation are key to developing high open and click-through rates.
The standard number for B2B companies is 10%. You should be investing 10% of revenue in marketing your business – outside of salaries. For some companies, this may not be possible if gross profits are below 10%, but it should be for most. Some companies invest far more (Red Bull: 38%) than others but they have expensive “hobbies” such as Formula One and air racing! Saying that, it works or they wouldn’t be able to spend that sort of money.
The size of your marketing budget depends on the size of your target audience and the return on investment. If you simply throw more money at your marketing, you may be lucky and get more leads and sales, but that will only be if you invest in the marketing channels that are delivering that ROI.
I am sure you can think of many more ways where businesses think that bigger is better, but these are the key marketing faux pars. I hope this helps.