We need to rethink the question of calculating ROI on digital and instead see digital as one of the components of a larger brand voice.
So, what is digital? Is it internet ads? Is it social media? Is it YouTube videos? Is it about forums and blogs? Is it the brand website? The point is that digital can be anything and everything, including our TV, radio or newspaper (If you watch TV programming or read your news or listen to your radio live or as a podcast using a mobile device, it is now digital).
Digital is only a format. The key is not whether or not the medium is digital. The question is: what is the content?
For your efforts (digital or traditional) to be effective, content is what matters: Are you saying something that is engaging and relevant, saying it in a way that resonate and through channels where your target exists, and is what you are saying consistent and in harmony with the broader message and branding cues that you are communicating overall?
The face of media and marketing has changed drastically in the past 20 years. Every signal is a touch point now. Because of this, “marketing” is no longer JUST a responsibility for your marketing department or communication team or agency. It is the responsibility of everyone – every member and department in your organization: from the CEO, to PR, to advertising, to customer service, to brand or product developer, to employees, to HR, down to your customers.
All communication or signals by a brand need to work harmoniously together to get across a consistent and compelling message to the world. The pieces should work together and reinforce each others’ impact. Focusing on which element adds how much value (ROI) although seems like an obvious question to ask, it may be the wrong question to focus on.
To assess the success of your efforts, have clarity on what you are trying to say, make sure it is consistent with broader brand voice, know your audience (who they are, what matters to them, where they are), and then find a cohesive plan that can reach them at the right time with the right message at the right place. The ROI is on the gains in the brand value among your target. They won’t remember where you reached them or how you said it, they will remember what you said. Hence spending time on measuring ROI on a specific channel may be futile exercise.
Written by Mahta Emrani, Vice President, Design Thinker, Added Value.