I think that ROI measurement is suffering from a phenomenon that I’d say it’s similar to the so-called ‘green washing‘. According to Wikipedia, green washing refers to the ‘deceptive use of PR in order to promote a misleading perception that a company’s policies or products are environmentally friendly’.
In the ROI case, I’d say ‘ROI washing’ is a new ‘dangerous‘ trend. At my new role as Marketing Manager of the Event ROI Institute, I’m paying close attention to every mention of ROI. And what I’ve been finding is that ROI is being used as an equivalent of ‘value’. Obviously the ROI Methodology is about increasing value, but also much more: evaluating impact, setting objectives, benchmarking, and so on.
I’ve seen so many companies just mentioning ‘by using our product, you’ll increase your ROI’. But are they assuming the client is measuring the impact? Or are they providing any kind of metrics?
I expect that every for-profit company provides an increase of my ‘ROI’, if not why are they doing business? However, I think this wording is misleading and it’s ultimately a shame if this means they’re not going to take advantage of all the other benefits that ROI measurement has.
Do you also think ‘ROI washing’ is a new phenomenon, or this is all non-sense? Is it good or is it counterproductive that ROI is included in marketing communications in such ‘unconscious’ way? Or is it me that I’m making false assumptions?