Doing Business with Santa Math

By Noah Graff


I spoke on a panel about the power of social networking and blogs at the Precision Machined Products Association tech conference on Monday. My specific segment was on how best to use videos to promote your business.

The presentation seemed well received by our good sized audience, and at the end we fielded some questions. Someone in charge of marketing at a company attending the conference asked us, “How do I justify to my boss the ROI on having a blog?” We all responded by saying that your ROI from a blog isn’t easily quantifiable, yet that doesn’t mean it can’t be a powerful tool for self-promotion.

Seth Godin’s blog April 27th summed it up in an astute way. Godin says that ROI from having a Blog or Forum is like “Santa Math.” It’s not a normal investment like paying for a college degree that could lead to a high paying career.

You have to do a blog because you genuinely want to give to a community of people.  Having a great blog or publication takes dedication, care and heart. Those efforts have to be genuine in order to create something that people love and value. This he compares to the way Santa Claus operates. Santa flies everywhere, giving presents and good cheer to people and doesn’t ask anything in return. Doing this he earns trust, friendship and gratitude. Maybe one day he can license his image and make a chunk of change to feed the reindeer and elves. But Santa wouldn’t be the loved icon he is if he was expecting money in return for giving presents to kids and brightening people’s lives.

Share this post

One thought on “Doing Business with Santa Math

  1. Dan Vespa

    Noah, I agree. The problem is a lot of people in the manufacturing industry in North America are still very old school and have to quantify everything in a very objective way. Social Networking, as you have shown, is a new way of doing business and it requires that you share knowledge with the community (and yes that might even mean sharing information with your competitors). In the long run, everyone is better off. This goes against a lot of the business acumen of the old way of doing things. This industry already moves a little slower than other industries and not embracing social networking will get you left behind.


Comments are closed.