ROI, or Return on Investment, is a term every business owner and communicator should know. While its intricacies are best known and practiced by investment professionals, it still has relevance when it comes to communications. Many organizations look at communications as an expense, but it’s really an investment. The money you invest in a website, video, event, or brochure should yield some noticeable, and hopefully, measurable result. Good communication should start with a goal. Are you trying to get more visitors to your website? Are you trying to get people to take some action on the website? Are you trying workforce engagement? Would you like to get new employees up to speed more quickly? Using that goal, a strategic communicator can create a plan and tools to move the needle on that goal.
Understanding what you are trying accomplish and what you could potentially save or earn as a result aids in determining what kind of investment to make. As a very simplified example, let’s say you want to create more awareness of a new product aimed at teens who skateboard. The ultimate goal is more sales. The product sells for $10 and is sold exclusively on your website. If the goal is to increase sales by 10%, how many products would you need to sell to not only recoup the costs of a communications tool or plan, but to get, in this case, a financial return on the investment you’re making in that tool? Another way to look at this is that spending $5,000 on a tool that can only net you a potential sales increase of $3,000 may not be a choice in this situation. And yes, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration, but the basic concept holds. These are things a strategic communicator can help you think through.