As web 2.0 matures there are many companies looking for a method to measure the results. For business, measurable results is a way to gauge the success or failure of a product, service, advertisement, marketing campaign or promotional initiatives. Web 2.0 started out the same way web 1.0 did – so new and different it was difficult to measure the ROI. Some folks have said that Web 2.0 marketing ROI is a Return On Influence . . . influencing and encouraging external communities to influence your brand placement in the market. Is there a new ROI in Web 2.0? The Returns On Ignorance…what you don’t know won’t hurt you?
Consider what the world thinks of your company and products and services. What do they say about you out in the world of the web. If they write you a letter condemning your shoddy products or march in-front of your offices with placards and bull-horns you would do something about. But how about what they say out on the web? Do you even know what they are saying? Maybe you should find out. You can do it yourself or hire someone to crawl the web looking for references to your company – good or bad.
If you do find negative comments about your company out on the web, how do you respond? Ignore them and (hope) they’ll go away? Take it to heart and then blame someone within your company? How about if you engage them in conversation? Find out what ticks them off and do something about it. If it’s a legitimate complaint – it would serve you well to talk with them online and offline. If it’s broken – fix it. If you fix it in public with everyone watching (and who knows who is watching) the PR, good will and positive market impressions will give you a new ROI – return on influence. Ignore it and you might just get that other ROI – return on ignorance.