Beware: dodgy Blog ROI in circulation

February 16, 2007 at 8:32 am 1 comment

Forrester Research have published a new report on the “ROI of blogging” (at USD $ 379 a pop). And I’ve seen that many bloggers have jumped on this with utmost enthusiasm.

Well hold on….

Although Charlene Li of Forrester explains well the ROI model there are some fundamental flaws of the ROI calculation that KD Paine and David Phillips explain further. As KD Paine put it:

“The false assumptions and inaccuracies in this report are scary”

What is the main flaw? Well, the whole blog ROI calculation falls down as it is based on comparing purchased advertising to editorial content, which is a highly discredited way of measuring PR value (read more about comparing advertising to editorial content in this report (pdf) by some leading scholars).

The report does have some interesting points in that it attempts to pull out some of benefits of blogging (such as customer insights) and comparing this to the cost of market research). Certainly the idea of showing how visibility grows from a blog post (through generating comments, thoughts and referrals) to changes in attitudes and behaviors is heading in the right direction, as I’ve written about before.

And as for blogging ROI, I would look more at the cost of working hours in blogging and comparing it to working hours needed to mount a traditional campaign – and comparing the changes to behaviour and attitude using both methods (admittedly easier said than done). That would be more a measure of “efficiency” than anything else.


Entry filed under: Evaluation tools (surveys, interviews..), PR evaluation, Social media monitoring, Web metrics.

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