Please join Zoetica in celebrating the release of two books, Katie Delahaye Paine‘s Measure What Matters and Olivier Blanchard‘s Social Media ROI. Zoetica is giving away five free copies of each book today to the first 10 people who answer the question, “Why will ROI never die?” If you want to win a copy, please leave your answer in the comments section (responses that do not address the question seriously will not win). Congratulations, Katie and Olivier!
[…] Paine‘s Measure What Matters and Olivier Blanchard‘s Social Media ROI. Zoetica is giving away five free copies of each book today to the first 10 people who answer the question “Why will ROI never die?” on our […]
FJ Glynn says
ROI will never die because of wonderful competition. Pure and simple.
Andre Blackman says
ROI will never die because there will always be a need to prove the worth of a new way of doing things. Bottomlines are still here and here to stay. If people don’t see a value, they are less likely to adopt.
Jason Dsouza says
ROI is what drives online marketing. No ROI measurement – no marketing
Nick Peetz says
ROI will never die because those who pay the bills will always need to be convinced they are getting “bang for their buck” – especially now when people are more selective on spending.
Gary Lee says
Because compared to lots of “new” and twisted ways to measure various things (ie: the clients who have 5,000 KPIs; PR execs who swear by Ad Equivalency Values; RO Engagement; etc) ROI as a concept has proven to stand the test of time.
ROI is something the C-suite and board room understands conceptually. It will never go away — just evolve gracefully depending on what “I” is being measured and how.
As long as we can identify what we are measuring (ie: the Return) and can accurately capture the ” cost” or measure of investment, we can use ROI as part of our baseline measurement.
It will never die.
Amber Wilson says
ROI, is what drives social media on the business level. Without ROI there is no investment at all for a majority of the time, which translates into weak or no social media. It is what people need to see, plain and simple!
Patricia Ratulangi says
ROI will never die because “What gets measured gets done.” It defines value from both a business standpoint and customer’s perspective– defining priorities and focusing efforts on the critical few that provide the highest returns.
Zoetica Media says
@FJ, Jason and Nick: Thank you for your responses. In the above contest description, it does say we expect the answers to be serious, and while none of your answer take a tone of humor, they are short one line or one sentence answers. We were hoping for more substance. Perhaps you can show us a little more?
@Andre, Amber and Patricia your answers do qualify, but again seem short. If some else leaves a deeper answer it’s going to put us in a tough place. Please come back and add a little depth if you could.
@Gary: Thank you for the true , serious answer of the lot. We appreciate your time and thought!
Geoff on behalf of Zoetica
Steve Woodruff says
ROI will never die because of the “I” – no-one makes the risk of Investment without assuming the probability of Return. Otherwise, it’s not an investment. “ROI” = inseparably linked acronym letters. The only question is the what and how.
Waqas Ali says
ROI will never die,
Because ROI shows what worked and what not. And by measuring the ROI one finds out that if the Return is worthy of the time, tools and money.
Since social media is not play, you’re doing it for outcomes (in your business / non-profit / brand etc). So at the end of the day you are using it for results which can only be measured through ROI.
Then you change or continue according to the results. Results matters to everyone and will always, so will ROI be.
MICHAEL HILL says
Today’s landscape demands a strong ROI component to the work of any non-profit. We are operating in an info-saturated era, where breaking through the noise and clutter is essential for success. Traditional media and communications are less and less effective, and social media has transformed the way we communicate on a personal and professional level. For non-profits, most of whom have scarce resources in which to get out their message, ROI sets metrics for success and refinement. It justifies expenditures to nervous board and key staff leadership, but more importantly, it continues to teach us as practitioners how to refine our craft and ability to communicate in an ever-changing medium. When we measure the effectiveness of key tools and strategies, we not only learn about our organizations and the way we message, we learn about those with whom we wish to communicate, their habits and patterns, and what works and what doesn’t. This enables us to refine our methods to achieve our ultimate goal: talking to one another in a meaningful way.
Susie Cambria says
ROI will never die as a concept because, as others have said, what gets measured gets done.
In my experience, however, nonprofits need significant assistance with the idea of measurement of all kinds. This is particularly the case with social media. I see folks jumping in with no plan. Perhaps I am more critical (as in critical thinking) than others, but I see the mere presence as a bad thing. True engagement and participation is a much better thing. Better because it demonstrates an understanding of the value of social media. Better because it shows external stakeholders that the organization understands the value and is using the tool to further its mission.
Nonprofits would benefit from more attention to ROI from all in their sphere from the board to consultants to staff to donors. Without a better understanding, those who pay attention get the resources and media hits while those who don’t (many of which do very good work), muddle along.
Finally, I think we need to find ways to talk about ROI and like concepts in different ways so that nonprofit staffers more easily understand. I also think we need to get others on board with funding ROI work — namely foundations and other institutional donors and supporters. Foundations, again in my experience, talk ROI they just do not financially support it or provide TA to help nonprofits achieve it. It has to be more than a buzzword but a way of life.
Because ROI is practically what measures the legitimacy of our efforts towards an organization’s goals whether for-profit or non-profit.
Some consultants consider this a question of virtue too. Tools and technologies change and evolve and so must concepts of ROI adapt. There are still some Cs who abide the traditional short-term thinking of ROI being revenue generation only, especially with, say, social media ROI. Folks new to SM either confuse it, missing the point, or just dismiss it as being irrelevant to their business. ROI can also mean costs saved in the long run.
Steve Pike says
Simple. Those who do not measure ROI will die first.
Brad Boyd says
ROI is all about accountability. It relects progress towards reaching goals, and serves to track moving ahead and getting things done. It measures momentum.
In this day and age, it is so easy to confuse activity with accomplishment. That is why I am interested in learning more about measuring what truly matters. I hope to develop a dashboard or barometer on our web site home page, so we can track key indicators and demonstrate to our members, community partners and funders that we are accountable and committed to being good stewards of their support.
Zack Wragg says
ROI will never die because organisations will always have to maimise the use of their scarce resources. Measurement of the effectiveness of that use will always be required for improvement and growth.
Fabian A. Boehm says
ROI will never die because you have to know where you are going and what has worked for your company!
Beacause we are moving into “the new normal”.
Its just as simple as that.
Phil Gerbyshak says
ROI will never die because metrics are scoreboards that indicate whether we’re doing something that gets results. Without a metric, there’s no way to judge business success.
Jeff Esposito says
ROI is something that will never go away, especially in conversational media and PR. The reason being is that there are factors that cannot be traced. So you need to look at other value outside the dollars and cents.
Plus if you aren’t looking for a return on the investment, well just recycle the return on ignorance.
Kate Robins says
Because showing customers what can get for their money and then giving them that is indisputable accreditation for a PR practitioner.
Ami Kim says
ROI will never die because it’s a metric that people who are not non-profit insiders understand, and it’s a metric that can make major donors and other stakeholders comfortable with making large contributions. ROI is a broadly understood measure of value.
Brent MacKinnon says
ROI will never die because people (especially those who live in tight budgets) by nature are careful with their spending. Organizations involved in social causes are often top heavy with emotional reasons for supporting their cause and reach out to donors with similar emotional appeals. This does not mean that organizations have forgotten to be prudent in their allocation of financial or human resources in pursuit of their cause.
That said, non profits are increasingly recognizing that it takes money to drive causes and enable the myriad number of solutions their charity is trying to achieve. Knowing how much money they need to stay alive or sustainable is a bottom line matter so measuring how they are going to stay alive is a matter of survival.
ROI is like an oxygen tank when your diving in deep waters. You need to feel somewhat confident that your oxygen tank (or ROI system) will keep you in the water. So it’s an integral part of an organizations operations to have an ROI system. It’s integral because they need a means to navigate (or breathe) so they can handle the many other complex factors affecting their operations.
With a well planned ROI metric system, the organization can move forward confidently in the path they have created. They can measure their progress so they can stay on their path, learn from their milestone progress or lack of progress and determine if they are achieving their non financial relationships etc.)and financial goals – that enable all the wonderful things the non profit set out to achieve.
Another loop in the ROI cycle is the value ROI plays when the non profit demonstrates its business acumen to their donors, be they government, foundations, business or private citizens. When the ROI metric system is showcased to external partners, it adds credibility and respect for role of the non profit in the community. This can result in increased donations and closer partnerships with financial resources that can further the Mission of the non profit.
So in a nutshell, ROI will never die because people and organizations have learned that ROI is the primary tool that will keep them sustainable, focussed on results and an integral pillar for the organizations success.
Margaret Egan says
ROI will never die…I cannot imagine ever posing a business opportunity whether as a provider or investor when ROI isn’t a given. I’ve yet to engage a client who doesn’t want to know their bottom line … deliverables relative to costs whether human or monetary.
Thanks and I greatly admire all those who have (taken the time) and have contributed so much but these two books along w/ the Netwk’d NPO are formative to anyone’s library.
Pamela Pacelli says
For nonprofits, ROI is part of stewardship. If the money comes from grants, it is likely to be a required component of the grant: effectiveness with the money. For individual donors, (who also may require ROI too!) it is part of a solid cultivation and trust building. The intention behind measuring ROI can never die.
ROI needs to an easy part of the lexicon of any nonprofit.
Beth Harte says
Crap! I should have gotten up at 7am. Ah, well… I’ll still leave my two cents.
Let me count thy ways ROI will never die…
1. From a B2B/B2C perspective, ROI will never die because shareholders and VCs want a return on the money they give to companies to operate. VCs often want up to $10 return (or more) on every $1 they give. VCs are spending other people’s money, so they must justify a return as well. When you work in a public company there is no way around spending marketing budget without showing a return in sales and an increase in profits. It’s as simple as that.
2. From a client perspective, clients want to know that if they are paying an agency to drive leads (that hopefully lead to sales, donations, etc.) that they are getting their money’s worth and some. Client’s that don’t demand an ROI might just end up with a handful of creative ads that are worthless.
3. Long-term branding must also be valued. It’s something that isn’t often done (it never picked up as a trend here in the US as compared to Europe), but is absolutely do-able.
4. Smart marketers will realize that by providing value (i.e. ROI) their chances of being led to the chopping block are minimized.
What drives me nuts is this notion that ROI is only for capital expenditures or figuring out should I purchase X or Y or do nothing. NO, no, no! Marketing and communications are expenditures that must be justified with a return. CFOs are hip to the fact that marketing, communications and PR dollars are being wasted. That is not going to go away.
While I argue that the ROI trend won’t last (from a social media perspective anyway), it’s not because it shouldn’t. It’s because marketers are using it as an excuse and I would venture a guess they haven’t sat down to figure out the ROI of their billboards, radio/print ads, etc. If they did, they’d be shocked at how much money was wasted and so would their CFOs, shareholders and VCs (hello Facebook!).
Michelle Brinson says
ROI is always going to be important and necessary because if you cannot measure the success of your efforts, those efforts are pointless. I know many companies don’t realize the value of measuring ROI, but that does not make it any less important. For those of us who are true marketers, we will always understand this is a valuable instrument to measure the success of our efforts.
I have a slightly different take that puts more emphasis on the investment side of this equation. Recently, during a conversation with our marketing department, I was told, “Social media is the last thing we think of when it comes to promoting our stuff.” Suddenly, my struggles to get anyone to send me updates on our conferences so that I even *could* promote them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like made total sense. I hate to trot out hackneyed terms like value proposition, but even our marketing director noted the irony of her having that position and not understanding why she should invest time and resources in these tools.
I’ve been working on explaining this value–the potential ROI, as it were–in very specific “play the market” language. If you don’t play, you can’t win. Investment requires understanding of your risk tolerance, and in our case, it’s been about clinging so tightly to tools that have performed solidly for us (email marketing) that we haven’t even adequately invested in other methods.
So I will say I would get a lot of value out of putting these books in front of the people who are now very tentatively trying new tacks. Because they need to understand that ROI doesn’t die, that they too can have a piece of this pie, that it’s valuable if done well; Olivier and Katie can show them why, and I can show them how.
And that is why ROI will not die. Because when people realize results after taking risk, there’s a tremendous sense of “Well Done!”
Danielle Brigida says
As people trying to spend resources and money wisely, we want to be confident in the decisions we make.Hard data or any validated return can prove that a person has good judgement and is worth investing in.
Alan Weinkrantz says
Because management teams who don’t understand that some elements of Social Media can’t and should not be measured, need to measure, so they can rationalize that they are measuring.
The trick is not “measuring” or “ROI.” It’s asking the right questions and seeing what the right ROI might be for a company. Each company, each project, each solo-entrepreneur is different.
Part of my personal ROI is to have fun.
Another part of my personal ROI is to be challenged.
For clients, it may be having an analyst say good things about a client.
For another client, it may be a content population strategy that enables them to be found by journalists.
So having fun, being challenged, winning new business or being found are different ROI’s.
If I dont get the book, can I have the Amana Washer/Dryer Combo?
Ansley Phillips says
ROI will never die because it’s illogical to physics. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. As advertisers, marketers, strategists, copywriters, and designers, our goal is to translate that reaction into return on investment.
Maddie Grant says
ROI will never die, it will just continue to be ignored in favor of programs and services we care about (rightly or wrongly, because we put time and effort into them) regardless of whether they have positive ROI or not, and programs and services that matter (to the world) regardless of whether they have positive ROI or not. ROI is a zombie that eats brains.
Mindy Finn says
ROI will never die because running an effective organization or campaign requires setting priorities. We need standards to assign values to priorities, and ROI provides that standard.
Why will ROI never die? Because no one should invest time or monies into a project without expecting a return on that investment. Measuring that return against expectations will always be the determining factor in any decision made for future investments.
Olivier Blanchard says
I rushed back to the office just now to try and win my own book (and thank you for this kind gesture).
ROI will never die because it constitutes the most basic measurement of profit for an organization, and as long as capitalism exist in any way, ROI will be one of its cornerstone. In that, every business activity requiring the assignment of resources and whose goal is to aid in the maximization of profits will, sooner or later, find itself measured in terms of ROI.
In a very real way, it is to business what the golden ratio ((a+b)/a) is to mathematics and structural design.
Thanks again! 🙂
Haha, Maddie. It will never die because it’s already undead, undead, undead. (To the tune of Bela Lugosi’s dead.)
Kevin Dugan says
ROI will never die because in business growth without profit is cancer.
Brittany Wright says
It is vital to gauge the success of a marketing campaign – it’s the only way to know you’re engaging your stakeholders.
Gordy O'Connor says
ROI is what the car Industry is all about(Super Bowl Ads). With the right set of tools at a nominal cost those BIG BUCK spends can be blown out of the box.
The onset of social media turns those spends upside down in dollar terms. With these tools we rode the
new wave to a 75/25 shift at 1/10th the previous cost.Works dynamite for Non-Profits too.
Patty Constantin says
People want to know that what they are doing is of some value to their customers. They need to know that the money they are spending and hours they are putting in to succeed in their business are not futile attempts but worthwhile endeavors that will make them money and gain them customers.
Josie Jenkins says
It won’t because it is part of the most elemental natural law, cause and effect. Creation of everything is due to cause and effect. We take it farther by wanting to know exactly what caused what effect. To utilize our resources well we must be able to measure cause and effect.
Leigh Green says
ROI will never die for a couple of reasons. One is that a lot of the old guard refuses to step away from it, even in circumstances where it is not measurable in the classical sense. ROI, however, does have its place and its uses, but we need to find new and different ways to define it in this changing world where products change hands without ever having a physical form.
Courtney Maki says
Um, the real question is how are you giving 5 free copies to the first 10 answers?
You can never get rid of ROI so long as investors and stakeholders hold dear their ‘solid’ ground. It exists solely as a quantification of risk and reward and since our world seems to hold more trust in numbers than people, I find it unlikely we’ll ever see an end to it.
As we begin to expand our communication back to a more organic sense, that is, without having to operate within the confines of a binary universe, we’ll lose the accuracy of ROI once enjoyed and instead have to rely on ‘fuzzy’ data. We’ll have to learn to trust people again.
Mike Driehorst says
Okay I’m past #10 but here’s my $0.02 regardless:
ROI will never die because….it’s the proverbial pot at the end of the rainbow. That mysterious goal that most try to achieve — AFTER they’ve started a campaign or project or when their boss asks them for results.
ROI is best determined what the “return” is at the BEGINNING of project. Set objectives and how they will be measured, and then you’ll have your ROI.
Plus, ROI is the currency of surviving for an employee or an agency. That’s also why the numbers in many ROIs (or is it RsOI?) are manipulated.
Take care and congrats to the winners!
Judah Johns says
The measure of your return on investment, though sometimes hard to measure, is a variable that cannot denied in the most basic of business equations. Without ROI, you are DOA; with decent ROI, you can break even; with great ROI, you can be sure that you are on the right track and have a winner on your hands. ROI will never die because it is the metric against which we measure the success of our business endeavors.
ROI will never die because it’s the best way to determine if certain business practices are financially advantageous.
Emily Dooley says
ROI will never die because it is the most efficient way to find out if your plan/program/organization will be profitable, and consequently and make the difference that it is designed to make. It’s the only way to estimate your effectiveness, as well as keeping your accountants happy 🙂 It’s vitally important to have them on your side!
ROI will never die because without it, your business dies.
Nancy Jacobs says
ROI is our instinctive measurement for EVERYTHING in life. What will I get out of this? Is the risk worth the potential reward? Isn’t everything a risk to some degree? What certainties are there? (Okay… death & taxes but beyond that)
To not have ROI is to not be human. If you think you may not have ROI ingrained in your being, please contact me as I have some land to sell you.
Nancy Jacobs says
What’s the ROI on writing these responses? I believe the investment is thinking long and then writing it concisely in the fewest words possible. Which response am I going to remember? I’m with:
@Steve Pike “Simple. Those who do not measure ROI will die first.” [Because it IS the bottom-line]
@ Helcat “Haha, Maddie. It will never die because it’s already undead, undead, undead. (To the tune of Bela Lugosi’s dead.)” [Funny, true & memorable. I forget a lot yet this statement I will remember]
@ Courtney Maki “Um, the real question is how are you giving 5 free copies to the first 10 answers?” [She’s a thinker & not afraid to put herself out there. I will take the time to invest a little time in finding out more about her.]
Lisa Colton says
ROI will never die because we all have limited time, energy and resources, and we need a method to determine where to allocate our limited resources.
Shelly Kramer says
Funny how people so easily forget that ROI isn’t a new concept. When you did TV, outdoor or print campaigns, you tracked your ROI on each particular initiative or campaign. Social media is no different – and in fact, it’s MUCH easier to track in today’s Web 2.0 + 3.0 world.
I am prone to say “If you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing” and that is always, always, always true. But, you also need to know what you need to be measuring based on the goals you establish at the onset.
I would have never guessed I would love stats, analytics and ROI as much as I do now, but it’s the thing that entices my clients to hire me. They want results. And I speak a language that they can relate to the marketing and comms budget.
I will take Katie’s book, please (should I experience “winner winner, chicken dinner”) … if I make you cupcakes will that help?
…will never die because nobody pays for a glass of milk if you are not sure of thats its milk in the glas. Real milk.
Dave Tinker says
ROI is more than a French king. Without measuring what you do you might as well be the tree falling in the forest that no one hears because you will never know if anyone is around to hear and what they took from your sound.
It provides proof that putting resources into social media or marketing in general is worth the effort.
Norman Reiss says
ROI won’t die because most organizations – both profit and nonprofit – don’t have a better way to measure that something is working and won’t trust their ‘gut.’
Chris Eh Young says
See the Geoff Livingston blog for my answer.
Barbara Kelly says
Like Geoff stated in his blog post, ROI will never die because the people who do the hiring legitimately require some specific form of evaluative data for whatever project or effort. A project or program isn’t complete without EVALUATION.
Stephen Blyth says
Time. Time is short. Time is precious. I want to know where I can put my organisation’s limited time, effort and resources where they’ll have the biggest impact. In the absence of useful intelligence about what I’m doing I could be wasting time. There are so many ways of sharing, digging, stumbling upon, etc that I could be barking up a tree where no one is listening. It’s not only numbers as quality counts too. So, ROI is not rarefied but practical: it’s about deciding what to tweak and what to discard.
Julie Pippert says
Thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts about why ROI will never die. I will forever now envision a Zombie as the mascot for ROI (thanks Maddie and Helen). Jokes aside, there were a lot of truly thoughtful and insightful answers submitted. After deep, careful consideration we selected the following winners of the books:
Congratulations! And congrats and thanks to all who submitted!
If you were selected as a winner, please email me at email@example.com and tell me the details we’ll need to ship the book to you:
Please also share your email in case we need to contact you.
Beth Harte says
YEAH!!! Sweet, I won. I can’t wait to dive in, learn and write a review of Katie and Olivier’s books.
Thank you Team Zoetica!
Lenny Dubler says
I had yet to consider the naturally uncomplicated methods a research engine enjoy Google worked in. The matter is that Google indexes your page numerous occasions, it will take a ton of do the job on your element to get your web page to become interesting to the spiders. I guess this lends to my knowledge of search engines.