When I started working in marketing agencies, it was all about the sales. Constantly told “you’re only as good as your last campaign”, and we determined the campaign’s success by sales. Preferably lots of them.

Agencies have changed

Last week I had a meeting after a ‘successful’ campaign – the client happy due to the increase in ‘touchpoints’ (which are just opportunities for a potential customer to encounter your brand).

These days even lower bounce rates and higher page views bring a huge grin to the clients face.

Increases in Klout scores or page ‘likes’ are met with high fives and god forbid if a tweet goes viral they’ll probably end up dancing on the boardroom table.

Are sales dead?

Well, let’s take a moment for quiet contemplation and ask the following question:

“Do I enjoy being sold to?”

What was that, you don’t? Really, me too.

The idea of a salesman in a shiny suit with his foot jammed in your door makes most people break out in a cold sweat, even when they’re salesman. It’s almost a universal truth.

Time for the truth

Now before we starting getting nasty comments from any sales people who read this, I’ll qualify my last statement by saying:

‘No one likes being sold to, but we do like being kept informed’.

That’s why it’s no longer about the sales. The internet has changed how we shop forever. It lets people recommend, learn and criticise absolutely everything like never before.

I remember when

In the good old days (yes I just said that), there was a saying along the lines of:

“If you have a good experience, you may tell one person, if you have a bad experience, you’ll probably tell ten.”

Not anymore, a bad shopping experience can go viral in a matter of days. You don’t tell ten people, you tell ten million!

This is why marketing agencies have become less focused on the sales themselves. We’ve grown up a little. We got a bit more mature and realised that marketing is really about engagement and nurturing a good reputation.

Marketing’s about getting noticed, but for great products or service, not for epic fails.

So when we’ve increased your page likes, cut your bounce rates, helped people spend longer on your site and made your tweets go viral, then the sales will take care of themselves.