Any successful organization, nonprofit or for-profit, needs to understand their return on investment (ROI) when it comes to their marketing strategies. To understand how successful their marketing strategies and support is from their customers, it is important to know their ROI. Whether it be the amount of people they reach (soft ROI) or the amount of money or change the organization brings in (hard ROI), these measures can help justify for a continued effort of a program or campaign, or show evidence that maybe it is time for a new strategy.
With such avenues as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, it has become easy for organizations to check their effectiveness and amount of people they reach. By looking at how many “likes”, comments, views, or retweets or favorites, organizations can see how successful (or not) their campaign has been. Even some of the newer social media apps are getting into the marketing game; a new source of marketing that I personally check daily is Vine. The next step after seeing how well the public is being reached is to turn that following into cash or in a non-profit, change in the community.
The earliest experience that makes me think of ROI other than commercials and billboards brings me back to my middle school days, with school fundraisers. The soft ROI would have been how many people I reached and who knew about the products I was selling where the hard ROI would have been the amount of money I received from the customers. ROI was kind of hard for me to understand without personally having a business now, so I made a presentation on how a mock sale for a fundraiser could have went with the technological advancements of today. As a male, I would not have been selling “girls scout cookies,” but for this example, and since most people can’t get enough of them, I will use them as my example.