Thursday, January 17, 2013

Is ROI The Nemesis Of Creativity?

In an article that ran last week, it was suggested that ROI was the nemesis of creativity. 

The reason?

ROI looks only at immediate results.  And some brilliantly creative, brand-building ideas take longer than a financial quarter to have impact.

The question that needs to be asked is, will this thinking change anytime soon?  Or, should we change the definition of ROI?

It was ten years or so ago that I suggested ROI stand for Return on Involvement rather than investment.

The reason was that involvement could be measured immediately on the digital platform.  Someone opts in to watch a spot and the data would tell us how long that viewer stayed involved in the spot for.

It’s not difficult to argue that the longer someone is involved in a spot, the greater the chance of that person being persuaded by that piece of advertising.

Which means more involvement offers a better return on production dollars spent than less involvement.

The problem people have had with this argument is that they look at ROI as a measure of overall marketing dollars.

They are not accustomed to separating out ROI’s for media (distribution) and creative (production).

But digital data now makes separate ROIs available and measurable.

They just need to measure different things.  For media – ROI should measure the return on impressions.  For creative – the return on involvement.

Rather than a nemesis to creativity, this new definition of ROI enables it to work as a defender of great creative.

The more engaging the creative, the more involving the creative, the more rewarding the creative.

Not just for those who make it (which has always been the case).

But now, also, for those who buy it.  

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