Eyeballs aren’t people…

Measuring the effect of what you create or share using digital channels is deceptively easy. You can generate a lot of numbers very quickly. Big numbers. Intoxicating numbers. Numbers which to those time poor senior managers can seem very impressive when you present the results of your digital communications campaign.

“This piece of content has been seen by 700,000 people!” “We’ve reached 1.8 million people!” “That’s 62,000 eyeballs on our messages!”

But eyeballs aren’t people. Seeing isn’t believing. Or trusting. Or doing anything other than passively consuming. Eyeballs are simply sensory devices (albeit hugely complex and beautiful ones). So eyeballs on their own are nothing really. Eyeballs don’t make decisions, don’t have independent purchasing powers and when left to their own devices aren’t going to make an argument for the validity of your communication.

So leave the eyeballs out of it. Focus on the people behind the eyeballs. Count the number of people who have chosen to do what you asked or encouraged them to do. The numbers are likely to be smaller, but far more meaningful.

(Thanks to Roo Reynolds and Neil Williams for the chat that prompted this post.)

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