It’s normal to measure your performance. After all, unless you know how you are doing it is very hard to improve. However, like me, you’ve probably been measuring the wrong thing…
Over the last twenty-odd years, I’ve had several jobs. I’ve been a bar manager and licensee (several times), a marketer and an account manager. I’m currently publisher at Raging Swan Press. While my jobs have all been different, they’ve had several things in common. Chief amongst those things is that my performance was measured.
- While I was a bar manager and licensee we measured daily, weekly and monthly sales.
- While I was a marketer, we measured how many new listings or promotions I secured.
- While I was an account manager, we measured my sales volume and profit.
- When I founded Raging Swan Press, I measured myself on many of the same things: sales, revenue, reviews and website hits.
It’s recently occurred to me, I’ve been missing the point. Sure, you can measure downloads, revenue or whatever and that’s fine. It can provide valuable information about what works and doesn’t work, but it’s not the most important thing.
What I’ve Actually Been Measuring is Trust
When a customer came to my bar, they were buying a drink (or two). But that wasn’t all they were buying. It wasn’t really about the drink – they could have drunk at home. They trusted they would have a good night out that was worth the extra expense.
The same is true at Raging Swan Press. When a customer purchases a Raging Swan Press product he is trusting us to provide a product that surpasses his basic needs. For example, a GM can run his players through any given module, but they may not have a great time. When someone buys a copy of Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands (our most successful product to date) he is trusting it will be an exciting, engaging adventure. If we fail in that mission, we erode or lose his trust.
Without trust, your business is doomed. Sure, you might get lots of one-off sales but you’ll fail to secure the repeat business of loyal fans (or “regulars” in bar speak). You’ll be constantly struggling for business. You’ll fail to get traction.
How do you Measure Trust?
I’m not sure you can measure it like sales or listings.
Sure, if your sales are increasing month on month, year on year that’s a good indication things are going well. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have your customers’ trust. Increased awareness of your company, promotions and many other factors can affect your sales.
Finding a way to discover if your customers are repeatedly buying your products is a good start. Discovering if they’d recommend you to another gamer is another great indicator of the trust they hold in your business. Good reviews are an indication of trust; if the reviewer feels comfortable recommending your product to the gaming community he is demonstrating trust in your company.
Help Fellow Publishers
Do you have any other clever ways of measuring trust? I’d love to hear them – please leave a comment below and help other publishers measure what’s truly important!