Business AdviceContent Creation

Percentages Mean Nothing in Case Studies ...1580

Belew private msg quote post Address this user
I read yet another case study hoping to learn something ... but went away disappointed.

500% increase overnight! Wow! But, what was the baseline?

Yesterday, one person opted in. Today 5? How about tomorrow? Another 25?

Seriously, if we don't know from where you start, the percent of increase means nothing.

Give your readers something meaningful when you share a successful case study in marketing or otherwise.
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lunar_ranger private msg quote post Address this user
When writing content for business type people (fortunately there has often been a good editor- close at hand) I recall the many times I have been told "the numbers speak for themselves" and "goals should be quantifiable- give them something tangible and measurable" and "numbers give the reader something authentic".

From my limited experience, building a case by the numbers can be backed on flawed reasoning and there are a there are a number of reasons why people may lean on numbers:

Numbers offer reassurance for the clueless but will frustrate anyone who actually understands their problem. There are no solutions in just knowing the impact.

Numbers can offer insight, but can be distracting as hell, and pull attention and resources in all the wrong places.

Numbers don't tell the human story unaided. There needs to be an emotional association with them and they need to be used as a supplementary means of reinforcing what is being said.

Most people won't understand the numbers until you create a human or contextual framework for them... No guarantee they will care or understand after that point either.

Numbers are often used to pad over the "we don't know what this is or what it means" response.

People can hide behind numbers as a way of deflecting their real personal contributions to a project.
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Belew private msg quote post Address this user
The most important number for most is how many times the phone rang, or how many relevant emails/signups we got ... or how many conversions are we getting?
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lunar_ranger private msg quote post Address this user
The form completions, downloads, request a demo and phone consultations have always been the end of the rainbow for the marketing dept. Furthering the narrative- through targeted internal/external content, seems to me, to be more of a procedural step to get to the desired end result here. This tactic seems to be a bit impersonal, I don't think it builds our thought leadership reputation, or our brand. We have an aspirational model of our perfect client. Overall I feel we're failing by not getting in front of enough of the right people- through the right channels or content distribution methods.
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Belew private msg quote post Address this user

Everybody fails when they are not in front of the right people.

I had a sales person once tell me, "You are not sending me the right kind of people. I need this, this and this."

I am thinking, if I had that, that and that, I wouldn't need you (the sales person) ... the product would sell itself.
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Rev private msg quote post Address this user
Statistics... yeah. Half the people in any group are below average and 86.7% of all statistics are made up!
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Belew private msg quote post Address this user

I still like numbers ...

The challenge is for them to really mean something.
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