“Let’s set some targets” someone said to me. “You need to get 1,000 onto the mailing list.”
I’m all for targets. It gives you a focus, something to aim for. You can measure your progress and work out what’s working and what isn’t.
If you’ve read my 21 Steps to Communication Success you’ll know that a few years ago my father lent me a brilliant book called ‘Better’ by Atul Gwande. He made a number of points but one was that if you count something, anything, you are a step closer to insight and then improvement.
Counting the number on the mailing list is worthwhile. Comparing the number to the number of members, gives us insight. It naturally leads to questions about whether or not we have the right people within member businesses on the list? Are there non-member organisations we should be targeting as part of our recruitment drive? Are there people and organisations we want to influence? Are they on the list? Can the list be broken down into these different groups so we can more closely define the messaging?
Counting quickly leads to a better, more structured list.
But randomly setting a target of 1,000 is nothing more than vanity.
Hitting that number is easy? I could add my friends and family and get them to add their friends and family. Hooray, target hit!
But are any of these people the ones this organisation wants to connect with? Possibly, but if they are it’s entirely down to luck!
As I said I’m all for targets, but only if they are the right ones!