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Ideas are hard to trust. Tangible things like design, ads, copy, promotion, and user experience are easier to trust. You can see them, ask your friends about them, test them. “I love that logo. That ad brought in 100 new customers. My email campaign had a 1.25% click through rate.”
But ideas? You can’t scientifically parse and evaluate an idea. Brand strategies are ideas. Volvo makes you safer. Coca Cola refeshes. Cottonelle is softer. These brand strategies, like all good ones, are indelible. I’ve written a great deal about ROS or return on strategy. So far, ROS is just an idea. Though one can calculate ROI ( return on investment/tactic), return on strategy is much harder to calculate. Why? Because ROS tries to understand the value of an idea. When I sell “rebooting the phone business” to a VOIP client along with 3 organizing principles to support the claim, I’m selling an idea. This idea might be measured in year over year sales, but on paper, how it is dimensionalized and quantified is not easy. (I still have work to do.)
Because ideas are easy to understand but harder to trust, branding has lost ground in today’s marketing world. I joke that digital has created tactics-palooza and it’s true. The best brands are idea-driven. Tight ideas and tight supports. Ideas create new products. Ideas motivate armies. Ideas make you happy or sad.
Ideas are hard to sell but the top tier CMOs get them. And live them. What’s your brand’s idea? Peace.
Tags: Advertising, Brand Strategy, cmo, coca cola, cottonelle, email marketing, Ideas, ideas are hard to trust, return on strategy, roi, ros, tactics-palooza, trust., voip, Volvo, whats the idea, whatstheidea
I haven’t written about ROS (return on strategy) for a while but on the heels of my empanelment at OMMA Performance this week I’ve given it some more thought. One of the good things heard discussed at OMMA was the metric “intent to purchase.” As one person said, however, I may walk around the Jaguar dealership with an intent to purchase, but without consummation (check writing) it doesn’t makes the commerce world go round.
Another important metric discussed was the Net Promoter Score – scoring one consumer’s willingness to recommend a product. These two metrics are moving in the right direction and are good dashboard measures. Time on site, bounce rate, “like,” page views, are nice directional metrics but can’t always be attributed to a sale. The quants may disagree.
If you can’t create a value for an action, how are you going to create a value for a strategy? The strategy for a billion dollar health system was built upon the following brand planks: leading edge treatments and technology, information and resource sharing, and community integration. Combined, these 3 consumer care-abouts were projected as the business-winning marketing strategy. How do you measure the effectiveness of that strategy? Consumer attitude studies tying the brand plank metrics to KPIs such as beds filled, procedures completed, re-admits, profitability are certainly doable. But how might one measure the strategy effectiveness using the web? Thoughts? Einsteins?
Tags: health system strategy, intent to purchase, KPI, marketing kpis, net promoter score, omma performance, return on strategy, ros, whats the idea, whatstheidea
I read in the paper paper this weekend about O.K.R.s, which stands for Objectives and Key Results. The measures, espoused by VC general John Doerr, were developed by Intel and, supposedly, are used by Google. The idea is that “the whole company and every group has one objective and three measureable key results.” Whether the objective and results are the same across the company is unknown, but I’ll look into it. Focus is important. And strategic.
What I do know is that this O.K.R. approach nicely mirrors the schema I use for brand planning: one powerful branding idea, supported by three brand planks – the collective power of which is unique to the market and business-winning for the brand.
Return on Strategy (ROS) is the antidote for ROI. While the latter focuses on marketing transaction payout and marketing tactics, ROS works to measure strategy against key business indicators (sales, share, retention, quality, employees). As we enter the marketing landscape, here referred to as “tactics-palooza,” we need to more and more measure strategy. Peace it up!
Tags: google, Intel, John Doerr, marketing roi, okr, okrs, return on strategy, roi, ros, tactics-palooza, whats the idea, whatstheidea
Trust, Authenticity and Transparency are the three "pop marketing" words of the day. ROI was last year. Trust, Authenticity and Transparency can be found on every marketing blog and in every social media webinar worth their free price of admission.
Sound like I have a bug up my arse? You bet.
Here’s the problem with brands today: They don’t mean anything. Most brands are not imbued with an idea, but with many ideas. They are defined by campaigns, not a brand strategy. We, as consumer, are therefore so confused we default to the “is” of the Is/Does. Levy’s is jeans. Coke is cola. And with so many people managing these brand across so many silos we don’t know what the brands “do.” We can’t land on a brand value, because it is ever-changing.
That’s why everyone is talking about Trust, Authenticity and Transparency. Everyone is confused. And with social media added to the brand management fray, there’s even more confusion. Return On Strategy (ROS) is the most important brand metric there is. Not the ROI which measures tactics. Too much ROI leads to the need for? That’s right. Trust, Authenticity and Transparency. Peace!
Tags: authenticity, coke, Is-Does, levy’s, marketing blog, pop marketing, roi, ros, transparency, trust., whats the idea, whatstheidea
Measurement in marketing is the “only” thing. Are sales increasing? Where? Who’s buying? Who’s not? How are the ads communicating? What are the ads really saying to consumers about the product? Answers to these questions can help build effective programs. No doubt.
But then there is ROI. Return on investment. If you’re in a marketing or meeting and people are prattling on about ROI, you can bet they aren’t getting it. The whole ROI movement began in the 70s with the birth of direct marketing. Then promotion became the ROI pop marketing darling. Today it is pay-per-click and Internet marketing. But what often falls by the wayside while the Excel geeks are crunching the ROI numbers is the role of the strategy. More specifically, the brand strategy. This needs to be measured first and foremost. Return on strategy (ROS) is a marketing building block most overlook. And it is a long term recipe for failure.
Tags: pay-per-click, PPC, return on strategy, roi, ros, whatstheidea, “whats the idea”
Call the economy what you will, but it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize most businesses are retrenching. Businesses are cutting people, product, stores, distribution and promotion. One thing businesses will be dialing up, however, is assessment of strategy. The business of marketing has become so tactically focused that one is hard-pressed to look at a company’s consumer-facing efforts and identify a strategy. So, what business will improve during these doldrums? Consulting.
Companies will want to identify their best customers. Their worst customers. Their most likely new customers. They will want to know which competitor is the weakest and why. They will “follow the money,” and consultants typically can help with this. It’s great that the SEO program is improving click-throughs and that 8% of customers are finding the website more navigable, but in today’s market it’s about validating the business strategy, not the tactic. I call this ROS — return on strategy. ROI is so last year.
Tags: Brand Strategy, business strategy, marketing, return on strategy, roi, ros, whats the idea, whatstheidea