The Only Metric That Matters in Corporate Blogging

For Corporate Blogs, is something important because you measure it or does the act of measuring something make it important? Take email marketing. One of the favorite metrics client want to use is signups. I’m more interested in conversions. Or at least the percentage of new conversions from the baseline. But, the client wants to focus on signups. Which metric is most important?

email metrics
email metrics

Corporate Blogging: What Gets Measured?

Chris Penn reckons the only metric that matters is this: qualified leads. Though he does warn that ‘You can deliver 100% quality leads and with a poor sales team still have no money at the end of the day.’
Here’s the dilemma. When you start an email marketing, you’re looking for specific ways you can:

  • justify your fees
  • make the project work
  • increase the chances that you’ll be rehired

Let’s work backwards.
You’re only going to get hired IF you please the client. To do this, you need to achieve objectives, which helps justify your fee.
But, what happens when you and the client disagree on what metric matters most?

Corporate Blogging: Who Determines What Gets Measures?

Here’s a suggested approach. Remember the customer (client) is always right.
Ask them to:

  • Identify what they want to achieve, ie increase signups
  • Agree on a critical success point
  • Describe what they will do with the signups, ie upsell premium products


  • Determine the cost for these signups, eg $50 per signup
  • Do a cost / benefit analysis, eg if you get 1000 signups the project is a success
  • Explore what you will do with the signups, eg sell these premium products

Remember, you need to set a baseline before starting this project.
So, you can gauge the success of the email campaign.
But, we’re not finished there.
Now that they’ve got the 1000 signups they wanted, encourage them to look at Phase 2. What’s this?
This is where you convert new leads into paying customers. Otherwise, they are ‘non-paying’ browsers.
Outline how you will:

  • Segment the customers – the more the better
  • Personalize the content mix to their needs and
  • Track the responses, which include a call to action, eg buy an item, download a white paper, or signup for a webinar.

PR Metrics: What really matters

Crawford PR have an interesting angle on capturing metrics in PR:
What matters more:

  • (Level 1) The numbers of potential customers who happen on your story by thumbing a magazine or scrolling through TV channels;
  • (Level 2) those who spot an online headline or show about you and click on it; or
  • (Level 3) the most valuable ones of all — those who actively seek you out by coming to your site?

It’s the same dilemma. You need to be clear on what you need to measure before you starting measuring.
Otherwise, what you measure may not have the same impact.
As a web marketer, you sometimes know better than your customer. But, you’re dependent on them for work. Be careful how you manage their expectations, especially if they want to achieve (not measure) that’s close to their heart. Once you have their trust, bridge them to a more rewarding activity where you can demonstrate your expertise and… show them what’s really worth measuring.
That’s one way of looking at it. What do you think?
Photo Credit: Darren Hester at Flickr.

What Al Pacino Taught Me About Corporate Culture

I interviewed three people during the week. All were well-educated, articulate, and qualified.
But something was eating at me.
If you (20-something) are coming to an interview with me (45 year old) remember…

Creative Commons License photo credit: Chris Barber
‘Don’t wear jeans. You’re not going to a rodeo.’ Al Pacino give snitching Johnny Depp a lesson in dress code.
In Donnie Brasco, Pacino is an aging mafioso wise-guy who takes Depp under his wing. Like any rookie coming into an organization, he needs to teach him the ropes. And this kid knows nothing.
Lose the mustache. Ditch the wallet. Wise guys keep dollar bills in a tight roll so they can peel them out.
and no Jeans…
The Mafia has it’s own dress code. Dress for business because the street is your shop floor. So, all the wise-guys look like businessmen.

Where Smart Casual Goes Wrong

This brings us nicely to smart casual. Or ‘smart caj’ as they say.
I interviewed three people during the week. All were well-educated, articulate, and qualified.
But something was eating at me.
If you (20-something) are coming to an interview with me (45 year old) remember…

  • This is a business meeting.
  • Don’t get too familiar too fast. – you can call me Ivan if you want. But a Mr or Sir never hurt.
  • Sneakers – You can wear sneakers. But dress shoes would be better. Oh yeah, if they are snickers, make sure they’re clean, with laces, and the laces are tied.
  • Beer – we met on Friday. I knew the second guy was out drinking the night before. That’s fine but… I don’t want to share that stale odor at 10 am on a Friday.
  • Be clean – remember to wash. I’ll say it again. Remember to wash.
  • Cut your nails. I’ll only say it once.
  • Be on time – don’t look desperate by arriving an hour early. Arrive 5 minutes early and we’re ready to start. You can freshen up in the restrooms if you want. Give yourself some extra time if the place is new to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions.
  • Ask questions – I want to learn what you’re made of. The questions you ask tells me  about your hopes, interests, fears, ambitions… why you’re here.
  • Curveballs – Get ready to answer them. Get ready for the standard questions and then assume I’ll throw some curve balls. ‘That’s not fair’. Maybe not, but life’s not fair. Get used to it and learn to deal with the unexpected.
    Why? How you cope with the unexpected is something I can’t see on your CV. It show me how you copy with stress and will handle difficult clients.
  • Samples – you know I want to see your work, right? Bring the best samples, print them out and walk me through what makes these special. You want your work to stand out otherwise…
  • Respect – Don’t diss your ex-employee. I don’t expect you to work with me forever. When you move on, I want you to have enjoyed working together and say nice things about me to other clients.
  • Listen as much as you talk – I know you’re nervous. You want the job. I have the job. But don’t let your nerves tangle you in knots. Remember to breath. Stay calm. Sip your water. Give others space to talk. Listen. Make notes. Ask sensible questions.
  • Bring a pen, make notes. Don’t rely on the laptop. One guy’s died during the interview. He also couldn’t look at me when typing as he kept correcting his typo mistakes. Use a pad, makes short notes. Look interested.

Take the Long View With Relationships

See this as first of many meetings. If things go well, we’ll meet again. And, even if we don’t assume that we’ll meet again.
It happens all the time in business. So, turn up on time, be clean, listen as much as you talk and remember to smile.
One final thing about interviews.
Always follow-up. Leave a nice message the next day thanking the person for taking the time to meet you. Others won’t.
What have I missed?
What mistakes do people make during interviews? What do you do before interviews that I haven’t covered here?