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Effective and efficient marketing x.x - resistance is futile

Aug 18th 2008
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Efficiency vs. effectiveness in Web 2.0Blog posts from Aaron Brazell (Technosailor) and Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard on the topics both touched upon the dilemma of finding an audience for your work and making your work easy to be found.

A lot of social media writing focuses on tools and techniques to accomplish the related tasks of audience building and marketing your work.

In keeping with the theme of efficiency and effectiveness from my last post, I have some comparisons of different methods to promote your work, as seen through lenses of efficiency and effectiveness, for you to consider:

Efficiency is blasting off 10,000 E-Mails to 10,000 strangers with a single keystroke.
Effectiveness is getting the right E-Mail to the right person who will appreciate and celebrate your work.

Efficiency is using Ping.fm, Twhirl, or some other tool to send quick updates and links to multiple Web 2.0 services at once.
Effectiveness is crafting the specific message for the right audience using the right medium.

Efficiency is using a bookmarking tool like Bookmarking Demon to create a horde of links back to your blog in order to boost your blog’s performance with search engines.
Effectiveness is building relationships with other bloggers and social media users in order to obtain genuine respect and admiration based on value, trust, and goodwill.

Efficiency is using a bulk article writing/mass submission tool to send your work out to multiple locations at once.
Effectiveness is writing the right article at the right time and getting it in front of the right eyeballs.

Efficiency involves using these tools plus a bunch of different advertising methods to drive income via CPM and CPC pay models.
Effectiveness… well, that’s a question that we’d all like to answer, especially the vast majority of us who’d like to be rich or at least financially independent. However, I think an important part of effectively reaching your content creation goals must focus on delivering and receiving lots of value.

I tend to think more in terms of being effective instead of being efficient. That’s one reason I tend not to fret about optimizing the use of every single second of time during my day. The down side to not optimizing is wasted time and potential. On the other hand, efficiency can be wasted without proper direction.

Efficiency does have its merits. Sometimes the shotgun approach to audience building and promotion can yield results when you can’t accurately target the people who are part of your target audience. Plus, of course, there’s always the X factor: you can’t always predict the results of every action because we have limited knowledge of the world and the people in it. Thus, maximum penetration with minimal effort can sometimes lead to good results.

On the other hand, high bounce rates from social news and social bookmarking do make you wonder about the wisdom of using a shotgun.

My gut tells me that effectiveness is the proper mindset for the twin goals of audience building and “findability” (as Aaron Brazell mentions) but efficiency has its place and shouldn’t be discounted either. Effectiveness, at its heart, includes creating valuable content. That’s what I strive to do. However, given the power of search engines, I’m starting to believe that ignoring the power of SEO (search engine optimization) isn’t the best idea either.

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