The ROI of Being Included in the Conversation

Metrics… Data… ROI… Within business and marketing circles, we’re all looking for ways to measure the success of our campaigns, our social media and email marketing investments, and every other piece of content we produce. We want to connect the dots between the dollars we put in and the dollars we get back out. Fortunately, today there are ways to track marketing ROI and connect those dots.

One of the areas where ROI gets fuzzy, though, is in the area of driving awareness. Unfortunately, brand awareness is also one of the most important keys to driving growth, engagement, and sales. How will they buy from you if they don’t know you exist?

Right about now, I’m always reminded of the movie Field of Dreams. In this film from 1989, Ray, a farmer in Iowa, is walking through his cornfield one night and hears a voice say, “If you build it, they will come.” In the movie, “It” is a baseball field, and Ray ends up plowing up his corn to build that field in the middle of farm country – frankly, in the middle of nowhere. Everyone thinks he is crazy, and with no crops, he is about to lose his farm to the bank. Fast-forward to the movie’s end, and we see a line of cars approaching the field, all showing up to watch baseball in Iowa. Ray built it, and the people came.

Too often, we see our businesses like that. We built it, and “it” is awesome. But where are all of the people? Shouldn’t this work like the Field of Dreams?

Unfortunately, no.

Much of the work that’s done in marketing is tied to driving awareness. What works in the movies doesn’t work in real life, which is why it’s so important to invest in letting people know your business exists. Social content, blog posts, email marketing, website development, videos, print, direct mail… For people to show up and for them to include you in their conversations when they’re making purchase decisions, they need to know you exist.

The line should have been, “If you build it, AND you drive awareness, you’ll get included in the conversation.”

That’s the key. We want our brands to be included in the conversations. Sure, we want our products and services to get picked and chosen. It feels good, helps us grow, and we can measure that. But, before that even happens, we need to position ourselves to be included in the list of viable options. Awareness does that for us, and although it can be harder to assign metrics to, it is powerful.


Keep investing in your content. Invest your time, energy, and marketing budgets into letting the world know you exist and being included in the conversation. Then, when it’s your turn to bat, show them why they should choose you.

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