I hate numbers. They’re so numbery. That’s why I hated math as a kid. Too many numbers. I did like School House Rock…you know the 3-6-9 song…but that was it. All other numbers, not so much.
But numbers do have a purpose. Begrudgingly, I’ll admit as much. I mean, what would baseball be without all the stats to show who’s hot and who’s slumping?
The debt clock in Times Square. It screams out with numbers that make it painfully obvious – we’re spending more money than we take in.
What about the numbers on a grill that show just how hot it is in there. Without them, one would never know if the meat was cooking correctly.
Or the numbers on the bottom of a Publix receipt that say: “You saved $8.87 today.”
We live by numbers because numbers show perspective and measurement. And because they do this, they enable us to see life in context. And we humans crave context.
Numbers, numbers everywhere. And that got me thinking…
Does your company show a number? Does your product actively visualize its value and present it in real time relative to every customer? Odds are the answer is a resounding NO. But shouldn’t we? Can’t we?
What might a super efficient Trane AC unit look like with an energy savings display on the unit. “Since upgrading to this Trane, you have saved $4,567 in energy costs from your previous unit.” I’d venture a guess, you’d feel a boatload better about your purchase and you’d likely share how smart your purchase was with others. Yes?
How about that new 34 MPG fuel efficient car you bought? Your old car chugged along at 18 MPG. Why doesn’t your new car show you just how much you’ve saved and continuously reinforce just what a smart cookie you are?
What might a SaaS software platform look like if it displayed a rotating image of a clock: “Based on typical use cases, your employees have saved 468 man hours in time so far this month using our platform. At a blended, fully loaded rate of $48.50/hour, you have saved $22,698.” Kinda makes that SaaS license fee seem pretty small, eh?
Marketing before a sale is about the promise of value. Marketing after the sale is about highlighting that value over and over and over and over again. And over.
As a marketer, I spend all my time demonstrating value of my clients’ products and services. We tell stories. We share news. We write thought leadership pieces. We issue press releases. We push value at every turn. But more often than not, we don’t have a number. We don’t have a simple thermometer that screams out: “This is my value to you at this precise moment.” We engage in more nuanced initiatives, because we haven’t yet managed to infuse our products and services with the necessary context that allows anyone, at any time to see and understand exactly what value they’re getting from a product or service.
Think about how your marketing would change if with the coming Internet of Things, everything has a number.
Time to invest in Neon.