feedback

Help me first – more meaningful ROI

By James Caldwell | Published: June 19th, 2010

Businesses always want to increase their ROI. This is a pretty straight forward statement and one which no one ever argues against. The question of “How do we, as a company, increase our capital within the confines of our set marketing and advertising budget?” is an issue every company has.

But very few companies see beyond these statements of the bottom line. They ask the ROI question from their perspective and often only pay lip service to their clientele. I am not suggesting the companies don’t want the best for their consumers; it’s just that the consumers are relegated to the second part of the equation. For all the common jargon used, companies want to sell you a product or service first and then help you second. And this may be a great strategy for the quick buck or impulse buy, (i.e. the Slap Chopper – can you still hear him yelling at you?) but it can be vastly improved upon by integrated services delivered via the internet.

One of the most frequently used statements I make to clients is that they must deliver a memorable user experience to their clientele. And along those lines I also state that they must increase the user’s ROI through greater relevance to receive more business. And here is the catch, companies must first increase the user’s ROI and in turn the user will increase the company’s.

Traditionally companies handed out promotional literature that contained their product or service information, the value proposition, the technical information and testimonials. This brochure was great propaganda for general usage and could be given out at any event. But times are changing and people are experiencing their first glimpse of products and services online.

However many companies are not changing their attitudes towards their clientele and are still delivering a sales approach to an online audience. For example how many online ads have you seen in the last weeks which interfere with your browsing? With so much more potential these companies are still yelling at you to get your attention in an increasingly crowded online atmosphere. And guess what? This tactic has become the digital version of static background noise.

“Buy me” instead of “Let me help you” is too often the message. But the internet allows one to ignore the shouts in ways the consumer could never do before. There is so much more potential to be had on corporate sales sites in which the products and services are pushed on the users with only basic information, i.e. description and price. Companies need to take advantage of simple tools to help their potential clientele:

  1. Teach them how the product or service can help them solve an existing problem
  2. Allow them easy access to any helpful internal training material
  3. Explain everything in plain, every day English, not hyperbole marketing speak which only creates more confusion and sometimes distrust if the product or service doesn’t work as they imagined
  4. Showcase ways in which others (professional or amateur) have solved their problems
  5. Allow individuals to showcase their unique view on problem solving or allow them to ask questions of the community
  6. Explain potential issues that may be confusing to the consumer (I cannot overemphasize this one; time and time again people have questions about the product or service because it is written from an advanced perspective)
  7. Connect the dots to other products or services which may have to be used with the one they are about to purchase (again it may be obvious to your company but not to the individual; besides this is a wonderful opportunity to cross-sell)

As a side note, I purposely left off the content point which explains why this particular company’s product or service offering is better than an other company’s for the very simple reason that I know companies will always include this information in the basic description.

Depending on your company’s situation this list can be improvised and expanded. But what is important, is that the creation of content that pertains to your products or services should be tuned towards creating a more helpful and memorable experience for your potential clientele rather than the spec sheet and list price approach. Give your clientele something useful, create a community of knowledge around your offerings and invite them back to comment on their experience.

Your clientele should become your focus. Although it may sound old-fashioned, if you keep them happy they will keep coming back.


Share this article
    Related articles
    Thoughts on “Help me first – more meaningful ROI”
    ( One comment )
    1. GeorgeBeck says:

      Couldn’t agree more with your article, btw, found your site by mistake but I will now have a read through.

    Leave a Reply to GeorgeBeck