CAN YOU ALWAYS MEASURE THE THINGS THAT MATTER?
Ethos, mindset, small magic touches – What is the ROI of the intangibles that can make a difference?
Time is money.
We’ve heard it a million times.
So how does this mindset lead you to behave when it comes to ROI?
We believe every pound you spend should be accounted for… but we don’t believe that you should focus so closely on linking every action directly from a cost/reward perspective that you lose sight of the bigger picture.
Tangible benefits will always be traceable.
We will be able to pull the actions we take into what we deliver as a business.
But beware of tunnel vision.
Always looking for, recording, and aiming for the direct link to ROI might sidetrack you. We see this happening to people who are obsessed with a return (aren’t we all). But they have failed to recognise that the creativity that can take an idea from OK to amazing is rarely delivered through obsessing over ROI.
It is time to think outside the box and capture the opportunities that might be lying hidden with a slightly intangible or indirect ROI.
INTANGIBLES ARE THE INVISIBLE ADVANTAGE
How would your business benefit if you started thinking about ROI in a broader context? Here are a few examples of things you can be doing that aren’t necessarily measurable, but they definitely make an impact, for your business and your customers.
What will be the return of such creativity?
SMALL THINGS, BIG IMPACT
“IF YOU THINK SOMETHING IS TOO SMALL TO MAKE AN IMPACT, TRY SHARING A BEDROOM WITH A MOSQUITO”
Sending a birthday card, a hand written thank you note or a book is unlikely to be the one thing that lands a new contract … but does that matter?
Or is it the right thing to build a long-term relationship based on more than commercials?
Will they spend more money with you because of ‘the little things’? Maybe, or maybe not. But that isn’t the point. You should be looking at the big picture and become a company that is true to an ethos, not simply obsessed with a return.
What is the value of a Tweet?
Most ROI experts will tell you that ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.’ So why do we spend so much time Tweeting, pinning, posting, creating interesting content and generally being social?
“THE MOST IMPORTANT FIGURES THAT ONE NEEDS FOR MANAGEMENT ARE UNKNOWN OR UNKNOWABLE, BUT SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT MUST NEVERTHELESS TAKE ACCOUNT OF THEM.”
-W. Edwards Deming-
We need to emphasize control. It’s not always about creating and delivering monetary value. Being present in the conversation and making a meaningful difference is the ROI.
A local Metro Bank recently started running ‘Red Fridays’. When a customer comes into the store wearing red, they are immediately singled out and given some sort of small gift – a pen, a box of chocolates a stress ball etc.
It would be a very rare occurrence that someone chose to be a member of a bank simply because they received a free pen, so where is the ROI for Metro Bank? Exposure. Tweets, Facebook posts, and general chatter around a bank that is a bit different. Being present and part of the community.
CHASING YOUR TAIL TO FIND THE RIGHT CLIENTS
Do your sales and business development team go to events?
For some they can become a chore, but what is your reason for being there? Do you only attend events to try and meet a quota of prospects that will hopefully buy from you? Sure, that’s important, but what if you went to events to actually learn, to stay curious and to connect with a broad network of people?
What if you went to an event and met someone who wasn’t a prospect, but you could connect them to another contact of yours and they could do business… How do you know that doing them a favour and connecting them is going to pay back – the answer, is you don’t. And that’s OK.
The ROI is that you start to build a reputation for being a company who cares. One day that same person may send a contact your way.
PAYING FOR SALES, OR NOT…
Spending thousands on a PPC campaign may generate clicks, but no noticeable increase in sales. Was it worth it? If you said ‘no’ because you didn’t see an immediate ROI, you’ve missed the hidden benefit.
In the long run having that added boost of paid traffic will increase your organic traffic. Brand awareness is hard to measure, but vitally important to the growth of your business.
THERE IS NO SILVER BULLET
No single activity you do will guarantee you 20 new clients tomorrow.
Sure, focusing purely on the next sale and measureable ROI will get you some new business. But by doing the right thing, thinking of the intangibles, the generosity, the favours and the ‘little things’ will establish you as a business who stands for more than the obvious.
This will lead to more opportunities, introductions, positive word-of-mouth and a reputation that will precede you. All of those intangible or immeasurable things you did will find their way back to your revenue. You might not be able to say where they came from.
There might not BE a silver bullet. But there will be a business that is flourishing.