Much has been written about the concept of ROI (Return on Investment) within the marketing process. It seems as though marketers want to know even more about how their efforts are impacting customer relationships. And while ROI has dominated the conversation for decades, it has consistently fallen short of what marketing is really about.
In the March 2015 edition of Ad Age, Andy Frawley touched on the idea that maybe ROI has seen the end of the road. In his article, “ROI Is Dead. A New Metric Is Needed for Customer Relationships and Why Brands Need to Measure Customer Experience and Engagement”, he proposes a new idea for our complicated landscape. He calls it ROE² which stands for return on experience and engagement and provides an in depth look at the artistry of our brands.
While ROI is a short-term measure of specific, individual campaigns, Frawley believes a more comprehensive and longer-term look is what defines a real brand. Either way, the debate between the art and science of marketing still exists.
Some believe that the type of discipline needed to measure campaigns is required to validate activities and keep people focused. In turn, if the executive order is to use ROI to manage people properly rather than simply validate marketing, you would have a great many people embrace the idea more completely. However, if the ROI is simply about spending some dollars and guaranteeing a return, most marketers will exit stage left.
Whether it is ROI or ROE², it doesn’t matter. They are financial terms that were invented on Wall Street, and what company CFOs and shareholders live and die on. It was not invented for digital social metrics, which have no measurable value on any global trading market – unless you’re Facebook, Twitter, or Google.
Marketing minds simply want to get back to the basics of brand marketing financial yardsticks … sales, market share, and profits. In other words, at the end of the year, hopefully the company made more money, the level of engagement is high, and the brand has the kind of persona that makes you proud. That is the artful science of marketing.
Tom Moe, President
“If you are an artist, learn science. If you are a scientist, cultivate art.”
– Karin Timpone
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Consistent and continuous experiences only happen when marketing goes beyond marketing, and the reality is that brands have to earn it every day, with each experience. With each touch point, we either win or we lose.