More than ROI: Tracking Your ROR

By Susan Tucker

return on relationships | get susan marketingThere is no doubt that figuring out your ROI (Return on Investment) is an important factor in determining where to put marketing dollars. If you’re not getting tangible results, why spend the money on it, right?

Well, not really.

As marketers wrap their heads around how and where social media plays a role in marketing efforts and budgets, there is a shift to start analyzing what really matters for long-term success: ROR, Return on Relationships.

The likelihood of having a client see you on Facebook, click a link to your website, and immediately become a paying client is pretty low. However, once they see that you are a leader and an expert in the industry (via content marketing) and your interaction with other clients on social interfaces, you begin to build an element of trust.

These are the first steps relationship-building process.

Traditional marketing certainly has a space for gaining exposure in new places, but it’s your social media and email marketing that will play a huge role in the continuation of relationship building. You may not be able to reflect on a spreadsheet how positive online interactions help grow your business, but your social proof will no-doubt play a role in keeping and attracting new clients.

As Pam Moore of Marketing Nutz so elegantly said, “Social media connects human beings so we can be part of something bigger than we are as individuals, not just so we can sell to each other!” did quick comparison, see below:


  • Traditional ROI
  • High up front investment
  • High on-going investment
  • High additional PR costs
  • Not easily measureable
  • No activity dialogue
  • High customer support cost
  • High market research costs
  • High product development costs
  • High customer acquisition cost

Social Media ROR

  • Low up-front investment
  • Low on-going investment
  • Low additional PR costs
  • Totally measureable
  • Active dialogue
  • Lower support costs
  • Low market research costs
  • Low product development costs
  • Low customer acquisition cost

When you take the time to let your clients know you care by listening, caring about what they say, and responding, the value of the relationships you are building begins to become invaluable. When you show authenticity towards your customers, and get to know them, they are no longer customers – they are evangelists!

“PATIENCE is the KEY to Social success. Patience is required to build Trust and Loyalty. ROR takes time.”
- Ted Rubin

What relationship building tactics do you have in place and what value have you gained from it either personally or professionally?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *