Engagement, Good Product: You Need Both
Heads up, this content is 14 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

I recently overheard a very useful quote, which was something along the lines of…

“Engagement leads to loyalty. Loyalty leads to sales. A good product leads to repeat sales.”

And I just wanted to jump up and scream, “AMEN! YES!” But instead I politely continued my meal and tried not to interrupt the strangers’ conversation.

Can I say it again, though?

Engagement -> Loyalty.
Loyalty -> Sales.
Good Product -> Repeat Sales.
Burn it backwards into your forehead.

To the social media marketers, please notice that Engagement and Loyalty don’t directly lead to a Repeat Sales, because they often have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you have a good product.

To everyone else, please notice that Engagement and Loyalty are important for getting Sales. It doesn’t matter how fantastic your product is — if you’re not telling the right story and getting people emotionally involved in it, they probably haven’t realized how great it is yet.

The point is, you have to do both.

And while I’m standing up here on this soapbox, let me yell a little louder to those in the back who are zoning out: Product is just a jargon placeholder for Anything, and Sales is another way of saying Commitment.

Whatever it is that you want people to connect with — your blog, your outfit, your party, your basketball game, your performance, your job hunt, your friend, your hot sexy body, your tweets, your…. (keep going, I’ll be here all day) — you care about it, so you’re interacting with the world in a way that helps you get the response you want. But unless that thing you care about actually matters to the world in the way it wants, even if you’re a great storyteller, you’re only gonna get that response once. If you want it again, that thing you care about has to be good. Good means it meets their needs. This isn’t about yours.

But then again, if you never tell the story — if you never break the ice, or use that cheesy pickup line, or send in that resume, or pass out those invitations, or hand them your business card, or twitter it, or give them that elevator pitch — then they’ll never know.

It’s both. It has to be both. If you’re only doing one well, you’re limping.

(And frankly, you look pretty silly, since we all know that both of your legs work just fine.)

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8 Responses to “Engagement, Good Product: You Need Both”

  1. Sheik Says:

    I just read this aloud to my mother. thanks for putting this in words for me, as this is something I've been trying to tell her for months now.

  2. sarahdopp Says:

    :) Sweet! Yeah, it summed up a lot I've been grappling with, too.

  3. Maura ~ @moburns67 Says:

    Some really interesting points. I'm going to stop short of branding it onto my forehead :-) but I'm definitely going to re-read it a few times to see how to best incorporate the concepts to my blog. I know I don't do well at repeat customers!

    It was really great to meet you at BlogHer, by the way. :-)

  4. Catherine Taylor Says:

    Test to see if ID is delaying comments for logged-in users only…

  5. sarahdopp Says:

    testing my comments… are they being weird?

  6. sarahdopp Says:

    worked for me..

  7. whittles Says:

    Going to bookmark this one, Sarah. Really useful summary.


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