Typically, we think of returns on marketing spend as something we can measure in numbers. These returns are quantitative – the number of leads generated, conversion rates etc. But not all returns are easily measured, this is where intangible returns come into play. Intangible returns are qualitative rather than quantitative. Though they can be backed up by numbers, they are largely supported by anecdotal feedback from customers.

Some examples of intangible marketing ROI include:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Brand equity 
  • Brand Reputation
  • Business Relationships
  • Customer Information and Data

Though non-financial in their nature, intangible returns are equally as critical for measuring marketing performance and tracking the overall progress of your organization.  Focusing only on quantitative KPIs can put your organization at a significant disadvantage.

The Importance of Intangible Returns

  1. Intangible returns broaden your perspective by offering a fuller view of your company’s overall marketing and branding performance and direction. Tracking these intangible types of returns in your business ensures that your company has a full 360 view of its organizational landscape and a more complete analysis of its performance.
  1. Intangible returns empower companies to be proactive rather than simply reactive – While it’s important to track how far your business has come, it’s equally as important to understand where you currently are and where you’re heading.
  1. Intangible returns help build brand value by subconsciously instilling your brand at the top of your consumers’ minds. 

‍How to Measure Intangible Returns

‍Here are some valuable tools for measuring your company’s intangible marketing returns :

Surveys and questionnaires 

These are simple and inexpensive methods for gathering stakeholder and customer feedback.  An example of a  question to ask would be: How likely are you to recommend our service to a friend or colleague

Personal interviews 

Personal interviews provide more in-depth data and can lend valuable context that may otherwise go unconsidered. They are also a great way to gauge the body language of your customer 

Focus groups and workshops 

These are facilitated group discussions in which participants express and share ideas, opinions and experiences. Focus groups are helpful for assessing customer experience and engagement rate, trust and relationship building. 

External assessments 

Independent surveys conducted by external institutions can provide independent feedback regarding brand recognition, customer awareness or market share. 

Social mentions & Data tracking 

‍Tracking how people speak about your brand across different channels as well as data tracking can provide valuable market and performance insights. ‍

It is important to note that while reporting for ROI on marketing spend, not every marketing activity needs to have a clear-cut path to bringing returns, sometimes we also have to consider the intangible elements when it comes to growth and marketing.

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