ROI – Return On Investment, Involvement or Ignorance?

Speaking with my Financial Director several years ago about my thoughts on an acceptable ROI for our paid search campaign, he thought we could probably go to 3.2:1 whereas I was more ambitious and having diced and sliced the numbers, felt we should push for 3.7:1.

I feel embarrassed recalling this now, but as someone brought up on direct marketing and crunching the data until the pips squeaked, it was (and is) in my DNA.

Social media experts I met back in the day used to shy away from my final question to them; “What is your projected ROI for this activity”. I was secretly sniggering as I asked, knowing that they’d struggle and squirm to avoid answering.

Recently however, I’ve heard some more experts talk about not even pretending they could measure this thing they were about to charge me the world for – felt refreshing.

But my DNA keeps nagging away at me. The bottom line is that, although you can’t measure ROI in the way you can a paid search campaign, a direct mail campaign or an email campaign, you can make some pretty good assumptions and track results from the impressive set of ‘listening tools’ available now that will report on spikes in discussions across the web.

For example, hotels can listen for people looking for stay in a particular city, offer them a discount and hey presto, a highly profitable Return on Involvement!

What gets measured, gets improved. Was always the case, will always be the case.

What do you think?

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