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Breadth vs Depth

Jan 5, 2020

Last month I ran a campaign on some social media for traffic for my website. It ended up bumping my traffic hugely. And also improved what they called engagement. Probably meaning the likes or comments on a page or post.

If I were an employee in the marketing department of an imaginary company named ranjitkulkarni.com, this would seem like a successful metric.

But I don’t know if any of these visitors really read what I wrote. Nor do I know if they understood any of it. Most importantly, there’s no chance to evaluate if it changed anything in their lives.

Breadth can be a lousy and misleading indicator of success.

And today’s world is full of breadth indicators.

Visitors. Views.
Readers. Subscribers.
Friends. Connections.
Impressions. Clicks.
Likes. Comments.
Number of emails opened.
Number of footfalls.

But when it comes to depth, there seem to be none.

How many of those friends and connections actually care?
How many of the clicks really will be truly satisfied and happy?
How many and to what extent will their lives or thinking be impacted?

Just because we can measure breadth easily, it does not mean it is important.

Just because we cannot measure depth easily, it doesn’t mean it is unimportant.

Today it is easy to build breadth in anything. Broad pipeline. Thin trickle. Huge breadth but no depth.

Not just in business but in life in general.

We can spend all our life increasing breadth without depth and feeling successful.

Water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink.

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