Olivier Blanchard (the brand builder) has been rocking out on social media ROI lately with some some awesome content. One of my favorite topics that he has addressed is the difference between ROI and Impact. As Olivier clearly explains, ROI is a financial metric…aka dollars and cents. Impact is what can be measured with comments, followers, page views, etc. I wanted to reference a recent real life example to help explain what ROI and Impact look like for a business. Let’s take a look at some results for an Adobe campaign.
According to an imediaconnection article this was Adobe’s challenge:
“The business problem Adobe was addressing was very clear: It wanted to increase awareness of Adobe discounts for college students. We wanted students to know that Adobe offers college students up to 80 percent off the full retail prices of the Creative Suite 4 products with Adobe Student Editions”
The goals of the campaign was to drive page traffic and overall awareness (notice there is no mention of money). Adobe created a game on facebook that challenged participants to discern between fake and altered photos. So what were the results? Well the campaign ran for one month at the end of last year and here is what was reported:
- the game was played over 14,000 times including 5,469 in the first week and 6,160 in the second
- During the first week, 40 percent of players returned to play again that same week
- 22 percent checked out the tutorials
- 6 percent clicked the “Share” button at the end of the game
- 6 percent clicked “Buy Now” at the end of the game
- The Adobe Students Facebook page received 3,000 new fans and more than 53,000 page views that week (compared with an average of 5,057 views per week prior to the campaign)
- Numbers also remained high in the second week, with 21 percent of players accessing the game tutorials
- 4 percent sharing the game with friends
- another 6 percent clicking “Buy Now”
- Week two also brought in an additional 2,500 new fans to the Adobe Students page
- Week two also brought almost 50,000 additional page views
Before I go on, keep in mind that when I’m addressing ROI here it’s strictly for the one month period of the campaign.
Looking at the above results and using our definition from above we can begin to pull out the ROI of the campaign from it’s impact. I am making one assumption here though, and that is that the people who clicked on the “buy now” button actually purchased the product. In this case the amount of times the game was played, the comments, facebook fans, and page views, all fall under the “impact” category. Looking at those numbers you can see that the campaign had a pretty good impact during it’s one month period. In this case the ROI would be quantified in terms of the total dollar amount that those 6% spent on the product. That dollar amount is the only ROI from this campaign.
In reality the best way to understand the ROI from this campaign would be look at trends and to measure those trends. You absolutely must benchmark to really understand the ROI. Start from square one and track. This post is already getting long so I’ll make this brief and expand on this later, or actually I’m sure Olivier will cover this :) For Adobe to understand the ROI from this campaign here are a few things they need to know:
- Are the customers that purchased the products new customers? If so, this means that Adobe is effectively able to increase their sales i.e. last year they had 1,000 customers now they have 2,000
- How much do customers usually spend with Adobe? Did the campaign cause them to spend more money? i.e. they spent $100 per sale and now spend $150.
- What sort of products do the Photoshop customers usually buy from Adobe? Do they usually buy Adobe illustrator but now decided to buy Photoshop? This means that Adobe is increasing their product exposure.
- Did the customers purchase something recently? This is important because it’s looking at how often customers buy from Adobe. Did the Adobe campaign cause people to buy products more often from them? Maybe customers purchased a product once every year but are now purchasing once every 6 months.
Here’s the video of Olivier Blanchard discussing ROI vs Impact. Big thanks for starting this discussing which led me to write this post!