Conversions are great, but they’re not everything.

In a shiny new marketing world where virtually everything can be analyzed, optimized and measured, it’s more important than ever to take a step back and look at the big picture.

First things first: is conversion tracking an absolutely amazing and helpful process? Certainly. Being able to track a consumer through their entire purchasing decision and learn more about what makes them tick is incredible, and something I’m glad we don’t have to live without. But should we ditch tactics that cannot be effectively measured this way? Is having certainty about “what’s working” and “what isn’t” superior to instinctual knowledge that your efforts are, indeed, working?

typewriter dark social media

One of our favorite methods of Dark Social.

About Dark Social

The term “Dark Social” is one we use to define the many ways social media supports your brand in ways that cannot be measured. Similar to traditional word of mouth, Dark Social exists when a consumer sees your content online, and shares it outside of the platform, via text, email, or a good old fashioned conversation. This is one example, but I’m sure you can imagine the many ways this would unfold.

This type of engagement is far more valuable than a “Like” or “Comment” online, however it’s almost certainly impossible to quantify. The same goes for other forms of “traditional” or “legacy” media that can’t always be proven to elicit an online conversion. So how do you prove to yourself or a client that it’s working?

Ultimately, it’s important we remember that these traditional tactics are as valuable as they were a hundred years ago, before these metrics were even conceived. While the ability to track conversions and measure some tactics against each other provides a heck of a lot of value to marketers, we cannot leave out the things that cannot be measured, for measurement’s sake.

What do you think? Do you agree that an integrated strategy is key? Or feel that being able to measure your efforts is more beneficial to the bottom line?