Why it's time to rethink ROI

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Why it’s time to rethink ROI

How do you calculate the true value of your content – whether it’s an Instagram campaign or a blog post? Forget about ROI. There’s another buzzword on everyone’s lips.

ROI (‘return on investment’) worked for traditional ad media, where monetary returns were measured in the wake of ‘push’-driven campaigns. Then the digital revolution happened – and with it came social channels able to create highly personalised, emotive relationships between brands and consumers. A sole reliance on ROI suddenly looks old hat.

Brands are exploring new ways to track the success of content. As uncertainty looms in a post-Brexit Britain, digital has the ability to build relevance, revenue and results for clients. The secret to maximising return in the long-term is to focus on the customer experience, treating ROE (‘return on experience’) as the new ROI.

While ROI is a short-term, narrow measure of individual campaigns, ROE is a longer-term, more holistic measure – and a better reflection of how consumers actually feel about your brand. Eighty-nine per cent of businesses now expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience – up from 36 per cent just four years ago, according to Gartner.

Consumers interact with brands in a multitude of ways – by visiting the website, posting a review, opening a newsletter, mentioning it to friends, clicking an ad, or downloading an app, thereby deliberately inviting the brand to become part of his or her life. These are not one-off actions. Every experience – good or bad – can spread like wildfire across social.

As brands find new and innovative ways to captivate audiences, they are also struggling to effectively measure the business value of their content. How do you deduce a tangible sales return based on how many people shared that post? Unlike ROI, you cannot explicitly relate ROE to a single performance metric. A new mindset (and toolbox) is therefore required.

Firstly, look at whether your content is being consumed. How many people are viewing it? This indicates whether it’s breaking through the noise and making a connection with your audience. Then we measure how they’re engaging with it – whether they’re sharing it or following a CTA. Lastly, we look at how it’s impacting upon brand perception and influencing sales and performance over time. Platforms are making it easier to assess returns, too. Facebook’s Creative Hub, for example, allows you to create, share, review and test ads for levels of engagement on Facebook and Instagram.

At Digital Natives, we assess what types of audiences or personas engage with content alongside key metrics. This then enables us to create content that will resonate with them and improve their experience.

If you’re interested in seeing how we can revamp your ROE, get in touch here.