Invisibility And The Road To ROI
Category: Blog - November 22, 2010
A few weeks ago I wrote about developing an effective understanding and approach to ROI related to our work in partnership with our clients. It's a topic I've been thinking about non-stop and that is part of every client engagement. I'm not alone as the animated discussions regarding ROI continues unabated on Twitter and at conferences around the country.
One of the challenges our clients face at the outset with ROI is invisibility. Despite their desire to demonstrate strong and immediate ROI, the reality is that most are totally INVISIBLE to their key audiences. Their first real challenge is to become un-invisible, or to focus on LOSS OF INVISIBLITY (LOI). Being unaware of this doesn't reveal a lack of knowledge. It illuminates how quickly the playing field for brands has changed. I have enjoyed following the conversations about LOI, as I believe it is a great way to frame these challenges.
In the last few months we have seen several instances of organizations that are simply not showing up where their key audiences – those they seek a deep and meaningful connection with – are already active. In many cases, this begins with the new reality of search: if you are not among the top results across critical search keywords, you’re totally invisible to those audiences. There is a proliferation of stats related to how we engage with brands online, and it is a hard reality for many companies that the most critical first interaction is in search engine results. There is a whole host of other activities that contribute to losing invisibility, search being perhaps one of the more visible and painful with regards to realization for clients.
So, how does this relate to ROI?
It’s simple, really. It is profoundly difficult to speculate on when to begin measuring ROI when there are critical issues related to findability in play. If you’re not showing up where people are looking for information, it puts laser-like focus on building a strong foundation for findability and working towards losing invisibility to audience, or LOI. It is at a point when the foundation has been put into place and you are beginning to show up in those critical areas where your audiences are actively looking for information and connection that thought can be put to measuring the ROI of those efforts. It’s not an end point, though, and once that findability foundation is established it is absolutely critical to seamlessly move focus to activation in order to truly deliver on the demands of ROI.
Group Director, Digital & Social Strategy