It’s time to think about marketing ROI in a new way.
Even today, marketing ROI remains based on the concept of “spending something to make something”.
Some (CFOs maybe, perhaps through gritted teeth) might say it’s more like “spend a lot and hope to make something”.
It needs to change, to “spend just the right amount with exactly the right individuals, to make something”.
And to this we might add “continue to do so”.
Knowing who those right individuals are is the first step. And that’s where social media analysis (not measurement) comes in, hooked to back-end systems so that the marketing process can be managed.
The signals are out there on the social web. Their relevance and power come from the fact that it is individuals who choose to make the comments.
Social media will never completely replace other marketing tools, processes and concepts (nor should they). They do provide new ways to invest and to measure the returns on that investment, ways that are powerful, direct and immediately accountable.