Where's the ROI?
As principal of WordsWork Communications, I am frequently asked by prospective clients to justify the expense for marketing. After all, can't everyone write a press release (no, but this is a subject for another time). It is right, though, that clients expect some return-on-investment for hiring our firm. With so many channels, both new and traditional, and so much clutter for people's attention in the marketplace, what value does WordsWork, or any firm for that matter, bring to the table?
I am grappling with the new rules of delivering on a promise to clients. The burden of proof falls on us practitioners now, more than ever, to substantiate the effectiveness of the marketing, communications and public relations we create for clients has been an integral component of what we deliver. Only natural, you might guess, if you were looking for a consulting firm to create your identity, to deliver sales, get you on The Today Show or to bring in donors, but after all, there are so many other factors involved in the dynamic of your success, particularly in the current economic cycle, that no one in this business can guarantee such outcomes.
In the emerging world of traditional and social marketing, how do we deliver? When you can't control all that is said - the good, the bad and the ugly - via blogging, online posts, company Intranets and all the derivatives is it still true that even bad press is a good thing?
What about the brand? Does style, consistency, medium and message still matter?
Talking about clients today in a way that yields the desired results is no longer about control of the message, or relationships with gatekeepers. WE are the gatekeepers, as is everyone else with a computer and an interest - or a vendetta.
How do other people in the marketing/promotion/advertising/brand-building business answer the question: in the current Web 2.0, how do we get our clients the results they are looking for?
Looking for how clients are choose the firms that deliver - and how fellow practitioners are proving to their clients that they do, in fact, deliver.