My client at JNJ sent me this article from Brand Week about the clamoring for ROI metrics around Word-of-Mouth marketing (WOM).
We both agreed that it was over the top and silly. His initial position (and he’s a REALLY smart guy) was that WOM and Social Media consultants are trying to put metrics on top of something that “we all know” can’t really be measured.
As the conversation progressed, however, we realized that the consultants are simply responding to market pressure. Namely, direct marketers who are demanding ROI so they can “sell internally” a WOM initiative.
Now, I’m not saying that ROI isn’t important. After all, we’re all in business to make money. I’m just saying we need to think in a different paradigm…and we’re not there (though at Bunko, we’re trying) to figure out what really moves the revenue needle.
There are going to be a lot of “social media” consultants coming online soon (and this could hurt the industry), so when you ask them (or me, hopefully!) about ROI, really listen to the response.
After all, as Seth might say, the DM tactics that yield ROI are interactions and we spend too much time there. Not enough time on the other 4 components.
But that’s a post for another day.