Quantification Matters, But Only To An Extent

By   December 5, 2013

Twitter has always been my favourite social media platform for the richness it drives home everyday. Rarely, would you believe that a 140 (or often less than 140) character message can spark an insightful discussion and leave you with thoughts to ponder upon for the rest of the day. One such incident happened yesterday (4th December) when one of my very good Twitter friend @SoravJain tweeted about the year end and the time for Bollywood awards to creep in. I replied and soon another friend (@bijli) too replied to Sorav’s reply. Here is the conversation:

 

But, what did I take back? The learning remains the following:

The numbers or ratings don’t really matter in one’s life. What matters is its relevance. The other day I had a similar discussion in my office and was stumped to see a colleague defend with arguments of Filmfare award’s history. Well, the point of discussion was never around the merit of awards, the focus was ‘how influential are these awards / ratings / rankings really in a consumer’s daily life?’ Sooner or later, we would be bombarded with back to back award nights and I bet a month later hardly any of us would remember who won-what-in which award! Same applies to B-school rankings. How many magazines, newspapers, websites do we see every year come up with various rankings for business schools? Don’t we get confused by them? Don’t we hit the roadblock where we wonder on which ranking should we base our decisions on? I remember an instance when my former colleague went across to search various forums researching the credibility of a journalism college where he intended to study. Though, the college was ‘the best’ in its domain, thanks to the rankings, he searched in deep about the institute, spoke with various stakeholders of the institute and did all ground work. Dear marketers, that’s how today’s consumers are!

Courtesy: Kristin Lebovitz

Courtesy: Kristin Lebovitz

Let’s be honest! I don’t totally nullify the importance of these surveys / rankings / ratings etc. But, I do question when people make a hue & cry around and/or about them. These objective measures have further penetrated to our living rooms in the form of voting for various reality shows, where we TV audience who switched on TV sets to have an entertainment, are asked to vote for the candidates (marketers consider this as an effective tactic to increase customer engagement). How many times we have seen our favourite contestant leave the show, just because he/she fell short of ‘few votes’! I recall when the young girl was crowned as Junior Indian Idol. My heart went out for those other three kids who reached the final four stage. When I tweeted about this, I received replies stating that she was the youngest and so on. I seriously hate to see when Sanjeev Kapoor (the popular chef) rates the recipes (on a scale of 10/20) prepared by the contestants in the popular reality show – Sanjeev Kapoor ke Kitchen Khiladi. I wish to ask him, if he is really doing justice to his task.

No wonder some of the media professionals (both client and agency side) focus on numbers while building a social media community. Sorry to write, but my harsh words to them would be ‘do allocate a budget to gather crowd on your funeral, than just relying on your family & friends’. After all larger the number, better it is! Right?

My only point after all these above anecdotes is:

Numbers, be it in profession or personal lives do matter only to a certain extent. One needs to invariably apply the ‘qualitative’ factors thereafter to have a comprehensive understanding.

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