Guest Column: These Are the Best of Times (Really)
Marketers are concerned with clients’ goals, and can design products around them and, most importantly, measure their effectiveness. They know how many impressions will produce a lead, what the true value of an e-newsletter ad is, how long someone read about the clients’ businesses online or how many times their sponsored podcast was heard. A good sales rep/marketer can figure out a client’s share of the market and who is most likely to buy based on the business demographics they received from the database managers. Producing a consolidated lead-generation report with reader-service inquiries, inbound-call activity, Web site and e-newsletter clicks, webinar attendance and digital-edition readership that views clients’ ads—or better yet, clicks through to their Web sites—that’s gold in a marketer’s hand.
The bottom line is that our actions in our daily work and the value we bring to our niche industries has never been so easy to measure. In 1980, our return on investment (ROI) argument was pretty simple. To begin with, we didn’t have digital concerns. Everything was print or face-to-face. And ROI measurement was determined by a Readex survey, bingo cards received in the mail or possibly telephone calls our advertisers received with a mention of “I saw your ad in … .”
Those things still have some value, but that really seems like a lifetime ago. As a publisher in the media industry, ROI has been the holy grail we all have strived to obtain. It’s here—or rather has been here for several years. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about ROI for editors or our advertisers. It’s all measurable, and it’s becoming easier every day—if you’re willing to evolve.