The Marketing Guy

Rooting for Good Marketing Since 2009

What if you Don’t Know Why Your Marketing is Working?

My wife, a budding writer with her first book out (and doing really well!) was discussing an interesting conundrum with me this morning. Her sales are going up and she’s selling more and more books every day on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, but cannot attribute the rise in sales to any particular marketing strategy she’s deployed.

She’s purchased keywords, run digital ads on her target audience websites, and gotten a lot of great reviews, but has not seen any ridiculous amounts of click-through’s, there’s no New York Times reviews, and at least on Amazon, she’s not anywhere near the top 10 bestseller list (she was #1 for a week on for contemporary romance, but that was a few weeks ago).

So as a former brand manager, she’s perplexed. Should she chalk this up to good luck? She’s unable to get analytics from the online sites that tell her who’s downloading the book and where they live. Is it word or mouth? Did some travel editor write a feature on London and people did a search online?

In any case, although it’s a frequent challenge of entrepreneurs to get this type of insight, larger companies often have this same problem. Often times the solution is presented as “you need business intelligence,” but that’s only the answer if you have the context behind what the numbers are telling you.

The point of all this is that even in today’s hyper-connected world, where feedback is immediate and anything you say can go viral with one click, there’s still a lot we don’t know. That’s hard to accept for many of us, as it feels like with all the data around us that we *should* be able to find out. But as connected as we all are, this example just goes to show that there’s a strong element of the “unknown” that is still a part of our world today.


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