June 20, 2011

ROI: Are We Focused on the Wrong Letter?

Anytime After Now

You run a business, you have expenses, you have revenue and you want profits. You want to see measurable growth in your overall business this fiscal.

Your time is tighter than ever, you are distracted by all of the outbound marketing choices and there doesn’t seem to be one clear cut way to go.

You know you should examine your current business development and perhaps dump some stuff and incorporate some new stuff and that’s about as far as the conversation has gone. In this case, your business is anything from a part-time interest to a publically traded multi-national in the Fortune 500.

Of course the “you” in this story is a composite of any business owner and manager because these are issues faced every day in companies small, medium and large. We all struggle with striking a balance between working in the business while trying to work on the business and ultimately find our why business.

Busy Busy

You could freshen up the website, add another Twitter stream, begin blogging, put out a direct mail piece, create a Facebook group, buy some radio advertising, develop a mobile application, slap up some billboards, create a YouTube channel and take out full page ads in the daily newspaper.

All this activity will take time, resources and cash. There will be creative meetings with your agency or internal team. You will need to decide on the content and artwork. And then there is production and upkeep. You’re in business every single day so these activities certainly can’t be haphazard.

Proof Meet Pudding

If traction isn’t realized in quick order you may be concerned it didn’t work. There hasn’t been an increase in blog readers, the radio campaign hasn’t garnered enough sales leads and all that Facebook stuff seems a waste of time. You may claim you don't need more marketing, you need more sales. Egg meets chicken.

Have a close look at you investment and effort. Are you committed to it? Are you aware of the expected results of each tactic? Or are you hoping to throw money at an eternal solution then get back to work so all those new sales leads will pour in? Traditional, digital and mobile media are no longer places to buy but rather channels to engage. We have to look at the return of our social investment.

Before we measure our return, perhaps we have to be honest and clear about our actual investment?

Kneale Mann

image credit: abcnetau
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