In the midst of launches, re-launches, business development and general “blinders on” focus on work, the following article from this past Sunday’s Chicago Tribune caught our eye at Area 224.
Ah, rankings. Especially squishy rankings that tell squishier stories – such as who is more “influential.” Who has more clout? Who has more reach?
We’ll let others discuss the proprietary algorithm and rankings, but we want to ask these questions:
Can you measure clout?
Should you care?
Real clout depends, frankly, on your objectives. Trying to change opinions, or trying to sell something? Looking for someone to recommend a pair of shoes, or a provider of professional services?
Since we’re fans of objective-oriented marketing here at Area 224, this should be a ginormous “well, duh…”
The Chicago Tribune list of the most influential Chicagoans means absolutely nothing to you if none of the people can help you solve whatever your problem is right now. However, since we’re in the Social Media Marketing era, no doubt you’re gonna see a whole bunch of service providers popping up giving you the answer to the question that you don’t have.
Objective. Oriented. Marketing.
Mark Ragan – great guy, by the way – does not do my company one iota of good if I am a financial services firm looking to find new clients – his “clout” is limited to PR and corporate communications.
Paige Worthy – a friend, an actual Facebook friend who I have met in real life – can she use her “clout” to get me a table at the hottest new restaurant in Chicago? Do I even want a table there?
I’m going to use my clout to help do what now? Depends. I’m going to outrank you one place, and pale in comparison to your reach on another.
Arguing about who has more of what is pointless. Measuring that which cannot be measured makes no sense at all.
Get back to work. Stop obsessing with meaningless numbers.