Often thought of as the best measure for town centre performance, footfall is both relatively easy to count and easy to draw conclusions from, but is it really the most effective method available?
Here’s a challenge. Find a book you’ve never heard of. Flip straight to page 10 and read it. Read page 50 as well. Now put it to one side and tell me what the whole story is about (don’t cheat and read the cover!)
You might have the gist but chances are you’ll be off the mark. There might be a few hints on the pages you read, but it’ll be far short of the full story.
Footfall counting is not too dissimilar. Here you set about counting the number of people who walk past a point. It might be by camera, by a beam of light or a team of people. The fundamental effect is the same – you’re trying to build an assessment of your district by measuring in tiny slices.
When measuring your district’s performance it’s important to get the whole story. Footfall cameras alone will never give you this, which is why performance data is best augmented, taking in measurements from a wide variety of places (transaction values; traffic; wifi usage, etc.)
Join the dots, and you start to see a complete picture. With this, you can make decisions more confidently, and demonstrate the true value of your work. It’s a story that’s well worth reading from cover to cover.
This post was originally published on LinkedIn in 2015.