Earlier today, I spoke at a PRSA panel on blogger/publicist relationships. Publicists want bloggers to recommend something, and bloggers either do just that, or ignore them. The discussion then focused on how publicists might communicate with bloggers in order to reduce ignored pitches.
Our accounting systems - both financial and management accounting - don't have anything to say about feelings of loyalty, enthusiasm, repeat purchases, referrals, and all the other emotions and behaviors that determine the economics of individual customers. Executives and employees know how to meet their immediate financial goals, and they know they will be held accountable for doing so. But customer loyalty and the company's mission, as objectives, are soft, slippery, seemingly impossible to quantify. In the rush of daily decisions and priorities, of budget pressures and sales quotas and cost accounting, the gravitational pull toward short-term profits is powerful. And so companies, despite the best of intentions, drift into a vortex.So, there's a theme for me today: "Would you recommend this?" is indeed an ultimate question for many aspects of business, and when the answer is, "no," we do need to understand why. Conversations in one case, and data (backed by action) in the other, are the keys to getting to positive ground.