‘Tis the Season…for reflection and planning


It is Labor Day weekend. The kids are all back in school and soon the leaves will turn. For many of us, these changes trigger business planning for the coming year. Our marketing teams are examining “what worked and lessons learned” and as a leadership team, we are updating our expectations for campaign review metrics. The age-old question rears its head: what was the ROI for our marketing investment?

I am of the opinion that if the same question emerges and we continue to struggle with an answer that is based on solid analysis and confidence, then let’s examine the question. Is ROI the best measure for our marketing efforts? A better measure may be ROO, or Return on Objectives.

Return on Objectives requires marketers to establish specific and measurable objectives during the campaign planning process. The definition and process are well described by Newt Barrett on Content Marketing Today. Barrett’s focus is Content Marketing and I would contend this process can apply to any campaign type. Barrett encourages marketers to ask themselves these questions during the planning cycle:

  • What is the true purpose of the (content) marketing effort?
  • What are the underlying marketing objectives?
  • What do you really want to tell your customers?
  • Once you have their attention, what do you want them to do? What is the desired behavior?
  • What vehicle best meets the needs of your customers?
  • In order to meet your customers’ informational needs, how should you integrate your (content) marketing efforts with other media?

And what about other marketing channels?

Augie Ray, of Forrester, exchanges thoughts and ideas with @CarriBugbee in the comment section of a recent Social Intelligence blog post. @CarriBugbee makes the point that marketers throw around the term ROI without the ability to accurately measure, and Augie Ray agrees!

“Return on Objectives means that as marketers we set a goal (lifting unaided awareness, generating increased NPS, improving purchase intent, etc.) and then invest towards achieving that goal. If the goal is achieved, then the investment was a good one.”

Implementing ROO in marketing campaigns is one way to create increased accountability and ultimately credibility, as evidenced in the ANA whitepaper, A Guide to Measuring ROI and ROO Across Media.

ROI, ROO and other measures of accountability are critical to our ultimate success as a marketing discipline.

What will you do to measure effectiveness?


About Author

Deb Orton

Senior Marketing Director

Senior Marketing Director responsible for US focused Field Marketing campaign teams.

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