As we consider ways to market our books, we need to be aware of the “marketing measurement myth.” This is an alarming trend with marketers, especially those with affection for the Internet. Their perspective is that if it can’t be measured, it doesn’t matter and isn’t worth pursuing.
Consider, for a moment, applying this bias to pursuing a personal relationship:
- You can count the number of dates you go on (analogous to “page views”)
- You can time the length of dates (“visitor engagement”)
- You can track the number of second dates (“repeat visitors”)
- But you can’t measure love (“loyal, dedicated readers”)
Pursuing a relationship based solely on what we can measure will result in disappointment, discouragement, and disillusionment. Though we can quantify the process, we can’t guarantee meaningful or lasting results.
In the same way, promoting our books based on the metrics we can measure may produce a lot of activity but may not do as much in the way of sales and certainly not in cultivating fans for us and our books. It’s what we can’t measure that means the most, both for personal relationships and developing a loyal fan base of committed readers. We must invest our marketing efforts and dollars accordingly.
When it comes to smart marketing of our books, what we can’t measure is even more important than what we can.