Existential Crisis: Why Are We Here?
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I’ve been working though Google’s Digital Analytics Fundamentals workshop. It’s a free online course that is designed to help you use and understand Web traffic data better, and I highly recommend it.
One of the repeated themes is that you need to know your business objective(s) before you can implement intelligent data tracking. And that’s where I came to a bit of an existential crisis: What is the business objective for my webcomic?
It sounds funny… do be doing something for this long and to be unable to easily answer the question, but to be honest, I was a little torn between two choices. On one hand, the easy answer is that my business object should be that of a typical content publisher: Encourage frequent visits from new and repeat users. On the other hand, it’s very tempting to say that my business objective was that of an eCommerce site: Sell products — in this case, printed books and digital downloads.
My core business revolves around the former, but expanding the latter would definitely be a good thing.
It’s not such an easy answer, is it? I mean, the knee-jerk response is to define oneself as a content publisher — and for good reason… that’s exactly what we are. However, it’s very tempting to see the effect of considering one’s site as an eCommerce site, with the objective becoming using that daily comic to drive sales of books, T-shirts and other merchandise.
I’m not sure that there’s a right answer — and I’m not sure that the two are mutually exclusive. In other words, I believe one could have an objective of a content publisher and track sales of merchandise as an indicator of successful audience conversion. Conversely, you could think of yourself as an online merchant and think of the comic as a way to attract potential customers, tracking those metrics accordingly.
In the end, I’ve decided that the objectives of a content publisher better suits my business, but I’m throwing the discussion out to the group:
What’s the better description for your webcomic — Content publisher or eCommerce site?
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