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Digital Romi: Measure your Rate of Social Media ROI

February 8, 2009

Judging by the conversations that have taken place over the past few months on social media, the general consensus is that the there is no clear ROI (Return on Investment). Typically and importantly, the ROI is correlated with revenue. However, in marketing, despite the use of marketing metrics, there is not clear ROI, and various methods must be utilized to maximize the effectiveness of certain media.  However, with the advent of the social web that engages the public about your product or service a transition in the thinking of ROI should take place.  Web 2.0 is all about building relationships and metrics should be developed to effectively measure relationships.

Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) and Marketing ROI are defined as the optimization of marketing spend for the short and long term in support of the brand strategy by building a market model using valid, objective marketing metrics. Improving ROMI leads to improved marketing effectiveness, increased revenue, profit and market share for the same amount of marketing spend.  As for social media, there are no clear models that say, “if 10% of our consumers are having conversations on our products, 25% of the people that they reach will convert (buy a the product). This definition simply equates to revenues, and it should not be used when it comes to social media; it demands its own terminology.

Digital Return On Marketing Investment (Digital Romi) is new term that I believe most effectively measures social media usage.  Digital Romi is the measure of the overall digital impact as a result of online marketing methods.  The major maketing investments here is the time it takes to provide knowledge and awareness on a product or service through social media, and the time it takes to analyze the resulting conversations and traffic.  The are two types of Impacts: Qualitative and Quantitative.  Qualitative Impact measures the relevancy of the conversations and the contributions made to the processes and ideas to the company.  Quantitative Impact measures the number of memberships, mailing list , social network followers, business network connections, inbound links, unique and returning visitors, etc. These digital impact metrics will give you further insight to your digital romi.

Measurement

Forrester research as described by the book Groundswell, measures the social technographics of online consumers. From their research they have formed six type of consumers: Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators, Inactives. Digital Romi methods measure the impacts of creators, critics, collectors, joiners.  Spectators can be measured through the number of unique visitors and returning visitors to company web pages.  So it is safe to say that approximately 100%  will contribute to your Digital Romi in some form or another and will be a useful metric.

Analysis of Qualitative and Quantitative Impacts should be measured on a daily basis. An added benefit is there will be quicker response time to consumers. The data should be aggregated on a monthly basis and compared at every three months to see trends.

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