Companies are reluctant to make an investment, to allocate capital or spend expense dollars in an area they can't quantify.
Accountants are especially good at this. No payback, no dollars. Yet taking this stance makes us lazy. If the investment doesn't fit into a nice box, that we can measure, then in the name of ROI, don't do it!
But with a rigid framework you walk away from opportunities that are company changing.
Apple didn't. In 2000, on the edge of bankruptcy, they decided to develop the iPod. How did that turn out?
Like your website.
Should you have a budget? YES. Do you need an website ROI model? NO.
Websites are a proven commodity. They are low risk. You aren't an early adopter. Developing, expanding and improving your online marketing takes time and money. It's crucial to your business, but sometimes the payback is hard to measure. The most important measurement is the opportunity it provides your business. The opportunity to target your ideal customer, generate leads and convert more prospects into buyers.
1 | Do You Need More Customers?
If you don't need more customers then maybe online tools aren't for you. But unless you are one of those fortunate few companies, consider this:
- 84% of American adults use the internet
- 80% of enterprise purchase decisions start with search
2 | Offline Works Fine
Cultivating current customer relationships, networking and seeking referrals are all important business practices. Working exclusively offline limits your opportunities. Do you ask your sales team to call on only a portion of your client base?
Plus, new connections and referrals look online. A mediocre experience turns your prospects into someone else's customer.
3 | Your Website Hasn't Delivered Results
Do you believe that effective sales reps benefit your business? If you hired a rep that didn't succeed would you abandon direct selling? Probably not. If you haven't achieved online success it's not because the channel doesn't work. Instead, you need to assess and improve.
Maybe you lack the internal skills or have budget restrictions that encumber your progress. But just like a new piece of equipment or a sales rep focused on a new territory, online marketing is an investment. Prioritizing your site and executing over the long term will pay dividends.
4 | Who Are Your Competitors?
If you’ve been reluctant to adopt an online marketing strategy, how about your competitors? Vistaprint captures business that previously went to a local printing company. Local and regional businesses have expanded their footprint and sales through effective online marketing. Companies that weren't competitors yesterday are today. Don't fall behind by standing still.
5 | Accelerating Change
- 79% of U.S. households have broadband
- 279,000,000 internet users in the U.S.
- 64% of U.S. adults use smart phones
Are there areas where measuring ROI is important? Absolutely. But when thinking about the need for online investment, don't let a website ROI drive your decision. Embrace the opportunities to reach an impress audiences you otherwise will never see.
As Albert Einstein said, "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."