5 ways to measure return on engagement

ROI has its merits, but your brand outreach calls for different metrics. Here’s what to gauge, and how.

Move over, ROI. There’s a new metric in town that’s much more powerful for today’s brands.

Here’s how to track your success.

Return on investment (ROI) is measured mostly in financial and economic ways; today’s brand managers want something grander. That’s where return on engagement (ROE) comes in. ROE is the overall brand strength gained from a particular action, strategy or product.

Here are key indicators of success:

Time spent on page, video or ad

The longer consumers want to interact with you, the more they’ll warm up to your brand. Brand managers investing in good content marketing, native, and storytelling see higher levels of time spent with their content and, hence, the brand message. This is wildly more important than clicks and impressions, and it has the added benefit of increasing brand strength (ROE).

Number of fans transformed into loyalists

Brand loyalists are the Holy Grail of customers for any company. Marketing efforts aimed at increasing your ROE are much more likely to transform brand fans into brand loyalists. Display ads and other similar advertising efforts help create awareness, but they usually don’t sway consumers into becoming advocates.


Apps and games increase ROE. There are lots of metrics you can track in such products to determine whether you’re succeeding, but when it comes to ROE, the amount of downloads can be one powerful indicator that you have a horde of fans willing to give your efforts a try.


Shares are among the most important indicators that you’re succeeding at increasing ROE. When a consumer shares your content (especially on personal social media outlets) it’s a big sign you’re grooming a brand advocate. Work backward from the goal of getting people to share, and you’ll avoid wasting your time creating boring, lifeless content.

Positive interaction with your brand (comments and outreach)

Every brand gets regular amounts of negative feedback. People love to complain, and when a brand is a faceless entity, it becomes easy for a consumer to vent.

If you’re seeing a rise in positive feedback, it’s an indicator that you’re building a face and personality for your brand. This is very important, as it leads to ROE based on conversation, rather than having your brand end up a punching bag.

Western Union’s senior vice president of marketing, Laston Charriez, discusses how his renowned brand measures return on engagement and why it’s so important for today’s marketers to value:

David Zaleski is the senior media producer of iMediaConnection, where a version of this article first appeared.


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