Does quality get too much attention? – SCN Encourager 4/30/13

A quality product is good. Decent distribution makes it great.

OK. For me to email you an Encourager on the topic of “quality” may be a bit much. Fair enough. But this email isn’t really about quality, it’s about the importance of developing effective distribution networks.

Consider that information, messages, and news are still “carried” or distributed to us in some manner. No surprise here. But sometimes it’s the “carrier,” not the quality of the product, that makes the critical difference.

As much as we may love to read well-written articles, see an entertaining video, and get the scoop on “the latest,” unless the content actually gets to us in our preferred way of managing it, we may not get around to seeing it at all. We’ll just move on with our lives and never know or even care about what we missed.

And once something gets tagged as “yesterday’s news” most of us just let it fade away unnoticed… forever.

The parents and community members we hope to reach with what’s happening in our schools act the same way we do. They want news and information that is relevant, helpful, and NOW. 

Every week we see how our traditional print media outlets struggle with this reality. They used to be able to distribute their “relevant, helpful, and now” daily newspapers using highly effiicient “home delivery” networks. But as the costs of maintaining these “carrier” based distribution systems escalated, they’ve battled to keep their customer base. They’re losing – but the quality of their product has never been the reason. It’s been the decline of their distribution networks.

Our favorite newspapers and magazines have admirably adapted to changing demographics, but the pivot to new online vehicles and new revenue producers (paid ads) is not without challenge.

And all because of us! (Who me?)

We’re all individuals who “like what we like” both offline or online. Our parents went compliantly along with single group messages and “herding.” We don’t.

Consider these facts which were sent out recently by HubSpot, an online marketing firm. They directly pertain to the countless “web banner ads” we always see when we surf the web. (And give HubSport credit. The fact at the top of their list avoids using the predictable “get hit by lightning” comparison. … I wouldn’t have!)

•  You are more likely to complete NAVY SEAL TRAINING than click on a banner ad.
•  You see more than 1700 banner ads per month. How many do you recall?
•  50% of the clicks on web banner ads are accidental.
•  About 8% of the people generate 85% of the banner ad “clicking.”

Now these statements are causing me to rethink about how (and if) to tap into the various website banner ad programs that come my way. It seems like many of us haven’t totally bought into the new distribution networks yet.

Obviously, when compared to traditional print ads, web banner ads and other social media avenues are the way to go. And this is especially true when your market is “school choosing” younger parents.

To be effective, it seems web banner ads designed for schools should ideally “click thru” to:
•  colorful invitations to worthwhile and friendly events
•  engaging and fun contests and give-aways
•  special tickets for school performances and games
•  positive testimonials offered by “real people”
•  videos or images with strong emotional appeal

Do I know this for certain? Nope. But it’s worth testing – and hopefully I’ll use a “smarter balance” measure that gives equal consideration to both the quality of the product AND its distribution network.

Tom Page, SCN





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