In our first post, we offered up our belief that ROO and ROI need to be measured separately because they provide different data about different aspects of the event.
In our second post we began by stating that ROO is best used to measure how well Marketing executes against their objectives, while ROI is an appropriate measure of how effectively Sales leverages the investment.
Here’s another way to think about how to use ROO and ROI together.
- ROO tells you how to improve your event.
- ROI demonstrates the value of the event to the company. It also provides a way to compare events against other marketing tactics.
Return On Objectives (ROO) is a forwards looking model that is based on understanding what an event must accomplish.
TIP ONE Effective objectives can only be set if the needs of both the attendees and the sponsor are both considered. This is especially true in the area of content development.
Successful events recognize that people attend to optimize their existing investment, to see new products, technologies and product roadmaps, improve their own skills and expand their professional networks. Failure to address these core interests almost always results in low evaluation scores and over time, falling attendance levels.
TIP TWO Effective objectives must reflect the role that the event plays in the sales cycle. A Product Introduction or Product Launch event that is intended to drive new orders has different objectives then a Roadmap or Technical event that is intended to foster brand loyalty.
Return On Investment (ROI) is a model that is based on determining the effect of the event on increasing revenue or profitability.
TIP THREE If, as is generally the case, you need to report metrics shortly after the event is over, we advise not using ROI.
There are two reasons for this and they are found on both sides of the ROI equation. The first is coming up with a dollar figure for the Investment. It takes time to wrap an event, and there is no point in setting false expectations with the early – incomplete – returns. The second is calculating the Gain. On this side of the equation, it takes time for orders to enter the system. And even longer to track those orders and report them.
Because ROO is primarily measured before, during and immediately after the event it is better suited to early reports. As a general rule, we recommend that ROI not be reported for a full quarter after the event closes.
Inevitably there will be discussions of early cost estimates and sales returns especially when there is a need to juice the numbers, but practically speaking it is very difficult to get to hard dollar ROI more quickly.
TIP FOUR The most difficult part of calculating ROI is getting the stakeholders (often most of the C-Suite) to agree on what the desired financial outcome is and the specific metrics that will be used to measure it.
As we suggested previously, one often workable approach is to distinguish between events where customers are already in the pipeline and events where customers will enter the pipeline as a result of attending. Of course there are many events where both take place which places additional requirements on the measurement scheme.
TIP FIVE An increasingly wide range of metrics including PR mentions and social media activity are being reported to demonstrate the success of the event. Some companies will include this type of activity (value it) in an ROI calculation while others see it as being part of ROO.
It’s a good example of the need for both ROO and ROI measurement techniques.
Are you measuring both ROO and ROI? What are the biggest challenges you are facing? What is working?
Please subscribe to our blog. When you do, be sure to let us know what event measurement and market research topics you need to know more about to help you in your work