Are we giving you your money's worth?
I swear we are not being vague to just get your money. It really can be complicated. The good news is we have found that once you understand the systems, the issues, the questions, surrounding Return On Investment (ROI) you no longer have to ask if you are getting a good one.
Lately, we have had a lot of discussions about ROI. Listen, as someone who has a degree in business and has spent the majority of my career in the "corporate world" I get it... money in money out. You are looking for ways to evaluate the effectiveness of our work. To see if you are getting our "money's worth".
But rarely, especially in the world of "marketing" is it as simple as money in and money out. We cannot answer your question until you have had an effective conversation. Hopefully with us.
At a minimum, we should know what you are trying to accomplish, how much you "get" when we accomplish that, how much time you have to accomplish it, and what we have to "spend". (Side note" do not forget what they say about minimum efforts?)
Think of ROI as a series of actions, questions, or processes. The more of them you are clear about or have answered the more effective your process and efforts will be and the greater your ROI.
For the sake of brevity and to keep everyone's head from spinning we will start at the beginning or probably better stated at the end and work our way back or around. We can and will expand on this in other ways and in other conversations. We are currently working on a class to expand on the topic.
ROI is a formula, a calculation that you have to clearly define and work upstream to get an accurate answer. You need to be able to speak to as many of these questions and points as much as possible
Some of these questions included, what type of campaign are you running? Do you have your global business goal clearly defined? Do you have the goal for your current marking effort clearly defined? Do those goals support each other? Do your current efforts effectively stimulate the action you want? What does a "conversion" look like for you? How much do you get per conversion? How much time and money do you have? Is your current marking effort entertaining? What platform are you using? Is that the right platform? Do you have an effective conversion funnel? Etc, etc, etc...
We get it, that's a lot and sometimes not easily answered. The good news (#shamelessplug) we can help answer those questions too. It's a bit self-serving to say but it's true that the more involved we are the more likely we all are to get better results.
But let's start at the beginning or probably more accurately stated the end. Let's clear up two very important things. Return and Investment...
Return - a lot of people think of this as money. How much money am I getting back (returned) in relation to how much money I put in (investment)? However, return is not just money, sometimes it is not money at all. This is where upstream matters. For example, your goal might be to be top of mind provider, perceived as an expert, give back to the community, etc. If this is the case those cannot often be measured in a dollar amount. Although, admittedly they should assist your bottom line.
Investment - although this can typically and ultimately can be measured in a dollar amount. For small to medium size businesses this is rarely as simple as the amount you spend. Are you doing it? Are you paying someone to do it? How much time is it taking? How much of that is your time? Are you currently time-rich or time-poor? Could your time be better spent elsewhere? Are you using other business assets on the project? Are your employees distracted from more profitable activities? Do you enjoy the project or efforts? Do you hate them? Is there any associated pre or post work? Etc.
Sometimes your return can be something like, "We want to make a difference" "We want to give back to the community" "We want to make someone's life better." "... get attendance up" "... want to be famous" Although those things can be measured they are rarely measured in dollars.
I could go on more about return and investment and expand on the questions above and more but I will stop there. Understand that it is rarely as simple as I spend this and I got back this. Anyone that tells you it is either isn't being honest or doesn't really understand it themselves.
Understand that value is not always measured in dollars and that ROI can sometimes be complicated. The more you know the better you will do, and the greater your return on your investment