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Statistics provides a powerful means by which to understand the makeup of various populations and the chances, or probability, that a given event will occur. In terms of law firm marketing, statistics provides a valuable way to understand target demographics and to boost the efficiency of advertising efforts. In order to use statistics effectively, it’s important to understand how statistical measures have been used to track populations and events over the course of history.
Some of the earliest tracking statistics were used in 17th century Europe. This first use of population-oriented statistics was generally referred to as political arithmetic. This arithmetic was used to calculate the value of land, people and animals. It was considered politically useful because it provided a means of predicting how given sets of people would react to certain political movements. These statistics were also used in efforts to control diseases and crime in society.
For a group of corporate law attorneys, the importance of political arithmetic to today’s marketing landscape may not be clear. However, the way that statistics tracking evolved over the following centuries offers a powerful understanding of how statistics are used today. While they were often used as a means to control populations, many public figures also used statistics to influence populations. They used gathered statistics to make predictions about different demographics and to sway them to vote a certain way, support given laws or even buy specific products.
In the next quarter, this series will cover how statistics are used in the modern era. We’ll take a closer look at how tracking statistics has changed over the years and how this practice is used by marketers today. Remember that solid statistics are one of the most powerful tools in a law firm marketer’s arsenal because they help to define demographics and predict outcomes.