People use to sit around the campfire. Now they sit around a bar or a dinner table and tell stories.

As advertisers and marketers our job is to create passion brands. To not prioritize metrics over a connection and a bond. To realize that ultimately the relationship clients have with brands is not rational, it’s emotional.

Digital marketing space has to shift from a rational, transnational relationship to an emotional relationship.

Here are 3 examples of misuse of metrics in current marketing landscape.

1.Don’t look at Keyword Rankings! Measure traffic and conversions from organic search instead.

Be carefull with absolute rankings because every single person’s search engine rankings are unique. Search engine rankings are personalized by:

Past browsing history

Physical location

Social media connections (Google+ is now heavily integrated with Google Search.)

Most smaller companies should focus on a long-tail SEO strategy. The traffic they will get will be more targeted and will have a better chance of converting it into customers.

2.Don’t focus on Followers & Fans. Focus on growth rate over time instead

Number of Twitter Followers or Facebook Fans aggregate number is meaningless. Often it sounds good but it doesn’t translate to actionable metrics.

Focus on your niche and put all your resources into that.

Then track your growth rate from month-to-month and try to have a consistent growth.

Figure out try to figure out an average value of a Facebook Fan or Twitter Follower. Then get creative and use coupon codes or special promotions with only that network.

Measure social media traffic, conversions, and the lifetime value of a customer. Figure out how many customers are coming from social networks, and how engagement drives the lifetime value of that customer up.

3.Don’t focus on Email Open Rate. Focus instead on the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) and conversion rate.

Email marketing should still be your number one priority. According to a recent study by MarketingSherpa B2C marketers report an average 256% ROI from the channel – pulling in $256 for every $1 invested.

But amazingly, when asked if these companies had a way of quantifying the ROI of email marketing, 59% said NO!

Not only is it the highest converting marketing channel, but you also own all that data. – unlike Facebook or Twitter.

However the people who do track email marketing commonly over-emphasis the open rate. Knowing this range is important, because typically only 15 – 30% of your emails will ever be opened at one time.

But here’s the problem.

An email is only counted as ‘opened’ if the recipient also receives the images embedded in that message, and a large percentage of your email users likely have image-blocking enabled on their email client.