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The Importance of Reach (Not Just Conversion)

Many organizations and businesses focus much of their attention on their “conversion” numbers (i.e., the number of people who convert to using their product or becoming a loyal follower/participant of their brand). While it’s important to track these numbers (and people) that often define “success”, I think it’s as important to get a good grasp a company or organization’s overall reach (i.e., the number of people who have any kind of contact with their brand).

Although the conversion pays the bills and tangibly supports the growth, one cannot underestimate the importance of actively engaging one’s “reach” audience with intentional strategy, opportunities, and care. It’s not just the customers that need support. It’s also potential customers that need care.

Here are a few reasons why we need to be mindful of who we are reaching with our product or cause:

  • They are watching more than we think they are. In other words, many follow products and causes for months, if not years, before converting to a brand loyalist.
  • They are a gateway to important networks. Although many in the reach audience may never convert, some of them will refer many others to your business or organization. You don’t have to be a consumer of a product to be an evangelist of the product.
  • They are a great source for quick feedback and further innovation. It’s amazing to consider that many will provide commentary about a product as they perceive it as much as they experience it. This is really good for a company or organization if they choose to LISTEN.

In this world of ever-growing networks that all us to increase our reach, I would recommend the following in engaging your reach audience:

  • Don’t treat them as if they are second class citizens to your brand. You have no idea the potential they bring to the table via feedback and referrals.
  • Create opportunities or campaigns for them to participate that allow them to dip their toes in your product experience without feeling the need to commit to it.
  • Celebrate when they engage your product and don’t get upset when they choose to disengage. These are critical moments of customer/supporter experience. They should always feel that they are welcome to re-engage whenever they are ready. Build bridges and not barricades.
  • Provide sharable resources for them so that they can tell the story of your product, even if they are never converted. Also, be sure to thank them if they do.

How do you engage your reach audience?

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Charles is the CEO & Chief Idea-Maker at Ideation, a brand innovation company that specializes in helping businesses & organizations build remarkable brands via innovative business design, organizational change architecture, brand integration, design, web, and marketing services. He is also the author of Good Idea. Now What?: How to Move Ideas to Execution, a practical book designed to help people move ideas to implementation. Charles is regularly invited to speak to leading companies and organizations on topics such as creativity, innovation, idea-making, and branding. Executive leaders from brands including Wells Fargo, Toyota, The White House, Catalyst, William Morris Endeavor, mun2, Council of Urban Professionals, Chick-fil-A, and many others have benefited from having Charles present at their key events.