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Why Measuring “Return on Investment” is Irrelevant for Today’s Small Business Marketers

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April 13,2016

By Claire Holland, agencyEA  


For any small business marketer today, measuring “return on investment” is an undoubtedly daunting responsibility. We might aspire to keep up with brands such as Apple, Disney or Under Armour, yet operate with incomparable investments, or rather, budgets.


As a result, when evaluating the success of a marketing campaign, small businesses must shift from measuring “return on investment” and instead focus on “return on innovation.” This means evaluating success based on how innovative strategies deliver more impact, increase engagement and inspire strong connections. Brands must dive deeper beyond the traditional, post-campaign numbers to better understand their audience and the value of a memorable, innovative strategy. When evaluating return on innovation to maximize the impact of your next marketing campaign, consider three key factors:



  1. ENGAGEMENT - The number of people that exercise a heightened level of participation. They attended and actively engaged with the brand, maybe by requesting information or sharing the brand message through social.
  2. MEMORABILITY - Building buzz leading up to an event is one thing, ensuring that buzz shifts to long-lasting memorability is another. How did the experience make a positive impact? How does the strategy engage the audience before, during and after the event? How does the brand experience differentiate from the competition?
  3. BRAND PERCEPTION - The brand love and likeability factors act as the ultimate culmination of an engaging, memorable experience. How well did the brand experience develop an emotional connection with the audience? How did it encourage the audience to truly believe in (and love) your brand story?


To guide your ROI approach when building small business marketing strategies, download agencyEA’s free ROI Checklist here.





About the Author
Claire Holland is the Director of Marketing Communications at agencyEA, a brand experience agency specializing in experiential, digital and traditional engagement in Chicago. She guides the strategic vision of the company’s brand, messaging and voice, while supporting and evolving brand strategies for clients. Holland also oversees all of agencyEA’s internal and external marketing communications, including digital marketing and public relations.



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