What’s More Important… Impacts or Impressions?

impacts vs impressionsWhat drives the bottom line more… gross tonnage (impressions) or fewer, highly targeted impacts? For most of my career I was taught that impressions were the golden goose. But a few years ago, back in 2008, something really interesting happened on my personal blog Positive Disruption. Here is a reprint of what I wrote. Read it and then ask yourself again… what’s more important? Impacts or Impressions? Let me know in the comments.

I spend a lot of time talking with fellow staffers and clients about the need to focus on Impacts versus the traditional industry standard of Impressions. I’ve always felt it better to run fewer impressions but make them more relevant. Today I got a chance to watch this play out in real-time.

I’ve been blogging here at Positive Disruption for about 2 years and on an average day, I’ll have about 10 page views. I do a good bit of public speaking and I always reference my blog and usually post the presentation on the blog instead of the standard “leave behind” in hopes of advertising the blog and driving traffic. Same goes for anything I write, if I comment on another website’s comment section I always put a link back to Positive Disruption. And of course, when I write my small agency diary posts, I always go back and respond to comments — with the obligatory link back here.

All of this and two years of blogging gets me about 25-30 page views on a really good day.

Then this morning Ad Age does me a huge favor and posts a quote I gave them about the future of digital marketing. Not only did they post it, but it was the first quote in the story and it included a link back to this blog.

In just a single day, I’ve had 160 page views — 6 times my best day. Why? Because Ad Age is a highly relevant source and because the quote wasn’t half bad.

All this shows, it isn’t about quantity but quality when it comes to driving qualified traffic to a website, retail outlet, hotel, etc. We in marketing should spend a hell of a lot more time worrying about running the right impressions (Impacts) versus running the most impressions (tonnage). We’d stretch our clients’ budgets farther and probably sell more of their wares.

So, which is it. Impacts or Impressions?

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About Tom Martin

Tom is 20+ year veteran of the marketing and advertising industry with a penchant for stiff drinks, good debates and digital gadgets that helps digitally challenged companies create innovative and effective digital marketing strategies. He is the founder of Converse Digital , author of The Invisible Sale and a contributing writer for Advertising Age. Tom guides clients through the digital marketing maze and helps companies teach their sales force how to Painlessly Prospect their way to more sales. Connect with him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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