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Traffic Myths 1 & 2

(March 14, 2006)  Myth 1. "There are no good traffic measurement tools and besides that, it's hard to correlate traffic with business results. It's even harder to correlate traffic with branding."

This is the myth that is the most commonly raised when objecting to quantification and measurement initiatives. An interpreter might be forgiven for thinking that this sort of whining is shorthand for "I'm too lazy to think." You'll excuse us for not repeating yesterday's rant about fast food joints. Anyone who has ever learned something new has had to cope with the reality that you have to measure yourself and then communicate it.

It's simple really. The only reason for having a blog is to get the attention of an audience. If no one reads it and it produces no results, the business will not continue to subsidize it. Businesses are not charities. Ultimately, activities associated with a business have to produce more than they cost. Period. Yes, learning and experimentation are important, buts as means, not ends.

The blessing and curse of blogging is that it makes you a public figure. Part of the reason that so few CEOs are blogging is that public exposure is not always a fun thing. The joy of celebrity wears out somewhere along the rubber chicken circuit. The slings and arrows of fame are hard and sharp. They hurt even when they are not personal.

This is what bloggers hope for when they imagine success. Taking that energy and focusing it for business purposes is no simple matter. The impulse to communicate in a way that adds value to the things you are passionate about is a fragile and important motivator.  But, harnessing the creativity contained in a blog, particularly a recruitment blog, is the very essence of success. A blog that no one reads or that is read by the wrong people quickly becomes a liability. (Again, we've put the links to Manpower's Labor Shortage survey at the bottom of the page. These studies tell you who the global critical target audiences are.)

The resources used to pay for a recruiting blog (time, software and services) can easily be deployed elsewhere. If elsewhere promises a higher return, the coherent business decision is to spend the money there. That's business. Inevitably, the blog comes "under management".

Myth 2. "Nobody really knows what to measure (in fact, we can cite experts who say so). Measurement is a waste of time because we don't know what to measure."

The real motive behind measurement is curiosity. In business, the whole point is to abandon personal assumptions and search for what works. It's an environment that rewards intense curiosity and profound disrespect for the status quo.

A look at the great car companies in America will let you know what happens when you claim that measurement is impossible. The Japanese automotive enterprises launched their (Very, very successful) assault on the American marketplace by measuring things that the incumbent companies believed were not measurable. This included formerly impossible to quantify things like Customer Satisfaction. The culture of measurement is the difference between a Lexus and a Cadillac.

Wanting to measure is a symptom of caring deeply about the impact of your work on the world. It is very easy to bask in the spotlight of attention (until it turns a little negative). It is another thing to want to produce that spotlight for a business purpose in a predictable way.

Be curious. Look at the server logs regularly. Track the changes. Experiment.

Confronting the Coming Talent Crunch: What's Next?
White paper: There is already a talent shortage in many areas of the global labor force, a situation that will grow more acute and more widespread across more jobs over the next 10 years and could threaten the engines of world economic growth and prosperity. This paper explores which trends are likely to become more pronounced, and what strategies governments and employers can employ to lessen the impact to their organizations. Download PDF - 263 KB

Talent Shortage Survey
Survey report: Manpower surveyed nearly 33,000 employers across 23 countries and territories in late January to determine the extent to which talent shortages are impacting today's labor markets. The survey results revealed that 40 percent of employers worldwide are having difficulty filling positions due to the lack of suitable talent available in their markets. Download PDF - 245 KB

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

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