ROI is meant only as a direct monetary return, however, many activities in Communication Strategies have specific objectives not directly to be measured as sales (Visibility opportunities , Social Networks, Fairs and Expos), but ultimately these contribute to sales.
Therefore, the metric has become Return on Objectives (ROO).
But how do we measure objectives?
Not long ago, a way to measure Marketing Strategies was through ROI- -Return on Investment- which measures how much was spent and in the end, how much money was obtained through this investment. The ROO is much more than a monetary measure; it is a way to evaluate actions when it is not feasible to link them directly to a sale, such as brand awareness, intent for purchase, engagement, among others.
Measure Objectives, beyond simple translation
With the rise of social media and its increasingly strong presence in the communication strategies of the brands, the need arises for indicators that demonstrate the success of the actions taken, hence ROO (Return on Objectives).
This way of measuring, as its name implies, is assessing the achievement of a fixed set of objectives and their accomplishments. The most effective way to demonstrate that efforts are succeeding is through metrics; therefore, before implementing ROO as a metric, it is important to consider three key points that answer the questions What?, How?, When?
What to measure? – It is necessary to know in detail the proposed objectives, as well as the activities leading to their achievement, this in order to define the required metric for each activity. An example of this would be measuring interactions with Buyer Personas through their exposure to Content Marketing through the company’s Owned Media.
How to measure? – Determining the metric for each target could be a complex activity, so it is necessary to establish the required key performance indicators. For example, based on the previous example, you should define how many interactions should happen in X amount of time. Determining the number of entries you want in your blog through social networks, is another example of how to measure, provided that one of the objectives is to increase visits to your shared content.
When to measure? - An objective should be associated with an established period of time, that is determine the time period in which the actions will take place and set a deadline for assessing performance.
Separate goals, joint measurements
Having established the measurable objectives and the selected key indicators, a common error that occurs in determining ROO is to measure each objective separately. However, measuring a single objective by itself will be meaningless if it does not lead to another and so on, up to reaching the logical sequence of the strategy.
ROO is not an isolated metric exempt from profitability indicators of the strategies, but is a measurement that provides useful data for the analysis and diagnosis of weaknesses in the strategy and will give focus on the efforts required towards achieving success of the targets.
Now, ROO does not mean it is less challenging than sales generation, on the contrary, sometimes tends to be more complex due to the investment of time required to accomplish the objectives.
Attainment of the Business Objectives and aligning Content Marketing Strategies to them does not change, but obtaining the objectives themselves does.
When sharing content, ROO is an ideal metric. Traditional measures continue being important, but Return on Objectives provides a broader picture and includes other methods that track and measure content, reach, sentiments and interactions generated.
A successful implementation of a metrics program, a mixture of analysis and results, gives an important direction in channeling efforts to your strategies.
A successful implementation of a ROO metrics program depends in great measure on the strategies, tactics and objectives. Also, remember having a monitoring strategy leads to better results. In addition, to generate the desired chain of objectives you should ask several questions, among these: What is the purpose of your efforts in Content Marketing? What do you really want to convey to your Buyer Personas? What is your story and how are you going to tell it? What call-to-action do you want to generate? What is the best channel to spread your information?
Although there are several questions to be raised, these serve as indicators of the road leading forward and ROO, a mixture of analysis and results, will provide an important indicator in channeling efforts towards your strategies. So, are you ready to revolutionize your strategies and how to measure them?
About the author: Hector worked for IBM Mexico for more than 30 years, managing different functions and areas: Marketing and Commercial – Channel Sales, Manufacturing, External Relations, Human Resources, Legal, Education, IT, Foreign Trade and Security. During his career at IBM, he had two international assignments in charge of Marketing and Sales for Latin America. After his retirement as IBM's Executive Vice-President, he took the position as President and Corporate Director for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean for Motorola Mexico; he was also Vice-President for Motorola Corporation.
Hector has a college degree in Business Administration from Texas A&I University, and a Master's degree in Economics from Trinity University. He has also received intensive training in advanced business management, corporate strategies and international trade at IPADE; Pittsburgh University, IBM La Hulpe in Belgium, IBM Executive Institute in N.Y. and Motorola University.
Hector is also an Independent Consultant for Management, Strategic Planning, Human Resources and Marketing Communications and is a columnist for Forbes Mexico, Alto Nivel and Dialogo Ejecutivo. He may be contacted vía: Twitter: @HectorMezaC; Facebook: Héctor M. Meza; LinkedIn: Héctor M. Meza Curiel.