Posts Tagged 'ROI'

June 29, 2011

Visualize ROI: Tech Partner Spotlight

This is a guest blog from Mike Genstil of Visualize ROI, a SoftLayer Tech Marketplace Partner providing a flexible platform for enabling sales and marketing professionals to place ROI models on the web in an engaging format.

Don't Tell Me ... SHOW Me the Numbers

We are living in a new world of increased corporate accountability and frugality. Thanks to unpredictable markets and unscrupulous leaders, the stakes have been raised in corporate decision-making. We have entered an "ROI revolution," where CFOs, CMOs, and CIOs are demanding detailed business cases before they will make a purchase. Questions asked of vendors by executives are, "What is the Return on Investment?" and, "What is my Total Cost of Ownership?"

Based on our research, less than 5% of companies that sell into B2B environments have an effective and efficient way of creating engaging, credible business cases for customers. Most companies that sell to businesses have developed some type of spreadsheet-based "ROI calculator" to help salespeople and customers understand the ROI. Best-in-class companies often have created multiple models – one for a "business case," one for "a competitive comparison," and one for "persona-based selling." Unfortunately, these spreadsheets are not effective for several reasons:

  • They are confusing and not easily modified
  • They suffer from version control issues
  • They don't integrate with existing CRM and marketing automation systems
  • They don't easily enable the creation of scenario comparisons
  • They can't create professional looking reports

VisualizeROI solves these problems ... and more. VisualizeROI is the first SAAS-based approach to business-case selling. We launch web-based Visualizers in days, integrate with existing systems and capture a rich set of prospect data that allows management to do analysis of customers and prospects that just isn't possible today. Salesperson customization options are available, and salespeople can be notified when customers do their own analysis. It's addictive.

To get an idea of the flexibility and functionality a "Visualizer" can provide, check out the Drive vs. Fly? Visualizer I mentioned in the video with Kevin. To see business examples, you can head to www.visualize-roi.com/examples/ to see a few of the Visualizers we created to feature the platform.

If you already have your ROI model and you want to make your own Visualizer, we're ready for you: www.visualize-roi.com/create/!

-Mike Genstil, Visualize ROI

This guest blog series highlights companies in SoftLayer's Technology Partners Marketplace.
These Partners have built their businesses on the SoftLayer Platform, and we're excited for them to tell their stories. New Partners will be added to the Marketplace each month, so stay tuned for many more come.
March 16, 2011

Everything Counts - Social Media Measurement

Here I sit on another flight back to Dallas, and I just finished my movie. What's the best way to spend the rest of the "air time?" Viola - another blog! Your heart is likely aflutter as you wonder what on earth I've come up with to post this time.

After rummaging through the topics bouncing around in my head, I figure it's time for another Social Media blog. I've been tasked with defining the ROI for our social media strategy. Sounds easy, right? You'd be surprised.

Sure, our social media work is well planned out. Our team includes one full time ninja and a few other utility players that span other departments. Our strategy includes all kinds of tactics which we use to let the world (or our corner of it) know about speaking engagements, conferences, new product releases, updated product releases, changes to our website and portal, maintenance windows, outages, etc. (I'd get into more specifics about the tactics, but they are so classified that even I don't know many of them).

So with something so defined and so well thought out, it must be really simple to see if we are #Winning, right? Well not really. Just the other day at the IDC Directions 2011 in Boston @erintraudt, used a great quote from Einstein to explain exactly how difficult it can be to quantify your results: "Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." Every good marketing boss would love to be able to say, "We tweet this, we Facebook that, and we get this and that out of it every time," but as you know, it just doesn't work that way.

I will say that after listening to the panels and hearing how the big companies are attacking social media, I think we are years ahead of them in the game. The big ideas they are coming up with are things we tried two years ago, and we already know the pros and cons of those approaches.

I might not be able to hand you a spreadsheet with exactly how many sales and a given social campaign will have on our brand, but we're starting to use a lot of pretty cool tools (some from our customers) to start figuring it all out. Maybe the ninja should be put on the case too.

What do you use to measure social media impact of your campaigns? Do you have a product or service we can check out?

What I can tell you is this: Our first concerted twitter campaign went much better than expected, and while I'm not at liberty to share many details, we think reaching a lot of relevant people who engaged with our content is a distinct measure of success. Even better: We paid less than $2.00 to do so!

I'll take those kinds of results any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

-Skinman

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