Wednesday, November 30, 2005

You can't spell resolution without ROI

I've been thinking a lot about return on investment lately. It makes me feel like I know something about number crunching. Marketers and businesspeople talk ROI to death, holding it to the gold standard of successful decisions. I agree with them and agree with focusing on ROI. But I think there’s a bigger return to be had when you follow the ROI model. Earlier this week, I talked to a friend about ROI – but not in the financial sense. We talked more about emotional ROI. Not monetary compensation, but compensation in inspiration, satisfaction and heart-hopping damn-good hell-yes happiness.

Makes you think. We deal with emotional ROI in every part of our lives. From relationships to jobs to hobbies and even dining. We constantly are asking “Is it worth it?” For instance, I just took a cold, cold run. Stupid? To some, but the 45 minutes I spent jogging with the yellow dog reaped renewed clarity and released the day's stress. That's a good return on my investment.

When you think in emotional ROI terms, you are forced to reckon with yourself. You can take calculated risks – just as a business-minded ROI decision would be made – and come out the other end with a measurable success.

The bottom line? Most people invest much more than they get back. It's almost become a norm. We work more than we are compensated for. We plug on in relationships that give little back. We sink energy and passion into activities that rarely qualify our efforts. We walk down roads our rational minds know lead to disappointment. We all do it. Then we do it over and over again. And that’s pretty close to the definition of insanity.

In the marketing world, clients currently are reviewing 2006 plans – plans that certainly include at least four million references to Return on Investment. And as we plug through the year’s end and reach New Year’s Day, resolve to improve your emotional ROI. You’ll be more successful. Happier. Your stock will go up. You’ll log a record quarter of heart-hopping damn-good hell-yes happiness.


Blogger Olivier Blanchard said...

Great post.

ROI is about focus and context. One of the first things I always ask my clients is "what do you want to accomplish with this?"

Sometimes, the answer is along the lines of "increase sales". Okay. Sure. But there's an intermediate step that needs to be identified first.

"What do you want to accomplish with this?"

- Help people discover our stores.
- Make people want to check out our website.
- Make people experience our incredible customer service.
- Make people fall in love with our products.
- Make people talk about us with their friends.
- Make people watch our show every week because it's THAT good.
- Help our brand become a vehicle for inspiration.
- etc.

ROI always ends up with greenbacks, but that is never, ever, ever where it starts.

9:51 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home