Grow Smart BusinessUMDNetwork Solutions

Small Business Success Index 4

Index Score*   Grade
73 marginal
Capital Access 67
Marketing & Innovation 65
Workforce 76
Customer Service 88
Computer Technology 73
Compliance 92
*Index score is calculated on a 1-100 scale.

Search Articles

Posts Tagged ‘Generational Marketing’

When It Comes to Marketing, Baby Boomers Still Matter

November 24th, 2010 :: Rieva_L

By Rieva Lesonsky

When you think of baby boomers, do you think of gray-haired fuddy-duddies who probably don’t know how to turn on an iPod? The oldest boomers are over 60, and suddenly, in the eyes of many marketers, this once-golden group has been dropped like a hot potato. But if you think of baby boomers as irrelevant when it comes to consumer spending, think again.

There are still 78 million boomers in the U.S., and their purchasing power has not dwindled. In fact, boomers account for 38.5 percent of spending on consumer packaged goods spending, and dominate 1,023 out of 1,083 consumer packaged goods categories, according to Nielsen data reported in Marketing Daily. What’s more, they often purchase products for their children—“double-dipping,” as Nielsen SVP/research and development Doug Anderson calls it.

According to Nielsen’s research, boomers are far more “wired” than they’re given credit for. They are significant purchasers of all types of technology, including computers and cell phones. They account for one-third of all TV viewers, online users, social media users and Twitter users. They watch more video than any other age group (9.34 hours daily on average). They’re also far more likely to have broadband Internet access than are other age groups.

Surprised? You’re not the only one—apparently, many marketers don’t find this market worth their time. According to Nielsen, a mere 5 percent of advertising dollars target adults aged 35-64 years old. This means marketers aren’t just missing out on boomers, but on the older part of Gen X.

Yes, boomers’ purchasing power may have been hurt somewhat by the recession—but so has most other people’s. And as a result of the recession boomers will be working longer—meaning they’ll need technology tools and services to keep current in the workplace. For those boomers who aren’t working, they’re spending money on travel, downsizing and redecorating their new homes, or on their children and grandchildren. That’s lots of money being spent, and if you’re smart, your business will grab a piece of it.

I’m a boomer myself, and one thing I can vouch for: We boomers have never responded well to being ignored. If you ignore us in your marketing, do so at your own risk—because you’ve got lots to lose. Your business success depends on it.

Image by Flickr user Jeremy Carbaugh (Creative Commons)

Hot Market: Singles

November 5th, 2010 :: Rieva_L

By Rieva Lesonsky

Are you missing out on a lucrative consumer market? You could be if you’re not targeting singles in your marketing materials. Never-married singles now outnumber married couples 46 percent to 45 percent within the 25-to-34-year-old age group, according to an analysis of new Census data by the Population Reference Bureau, reported in Advertising Age.

What does it mean to your business? Today’s singles aren’t necessarily straight out of high school or college. And they’re not delaying major purchases like travel or even homes. According to statistics from the National Association of Realtors, single women accounted for 21 percent of all homebuyers in 2009, and single men accounted for 10 percent.

What else are singles spending on? Ad Age cites Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that they spend more on alcohol, clothing and shoes, and tobacco, but less on insurance and housecleaning supplies.

Single women in particular are a hot market. A study earlier this year from strategy and research firm Reach Advisors found that single, childless women in their 20s who live in big cities and have full-time jobs earn an average of 8 percent more than men the same age—and in some cities, the pay gap is as high as 20 percent. The Reach study showed healthy foods, sporting goods and (again) homes are hot purchases with this market.

Coldwell Banker Real Estate and Norwegian Cruise Line are among the big companies reaching out to singles with products targeted for them. If you’re ready to target singles, keep these tips in mind:

  • Don’t stereotype. Singles are as diverse as any other group and like to see themselves portrayed realistically and sensitively.
  • Don’t assume they all want to get married. Many singles are quite happy as they are, so marketing messages that promote matrimony as a goal may not resonate as well as you think.
  • Appeal to their sense of adventure. Singles have more freedom than married couples or parents. Offering last-minute deals or hosting events they can take advantage of on the spur of the moment is smart marketing.

Image by Flickr user floodkoff (Creative Commons)

Why Does Gen Y Buy? To Show Off Status

November 2nd, 2010 :: Karen Axelton

By Maria Valdez Haubrich

While there’s lots of data showing that Generation Y consumers are more socially conscious and less susceptible to advertising than many other generations, when it comes down to making purchasing decisions, they’re still motivated by an age-old factor: showing off their status.

According to new data from online advertising company Resonate Networks, the 18-to–34 age group is more passionate about social issues like energy (36 percent more than the population age 35 and over), climate change (48 percent more) and animal rights (24 percent more). However, in general Gen Y consumers are 15 percent to 25 percent less likely to make purchase decisions based on the social issues that they care about.

Instead, Gen Y looks to products for external validation, buying products that convey their success and personal achievements. Compared to the 35-plus population, 18-to– 34-year-olds are more likely to buy based on the following brand attributes: innovation, looks, popularity and prestige. They are five times more likely than older consumers to purchase a product that is considered prestigious, and more than twice as likely to buy a product considered popular or aesthetically appealing.

Like older consumers, Gen Y does buy products based on considerations like value, function and quality. But at the same time, they want these products to help them project the desired image.

Going forward out of the recession, Gen Y is an increasingly important target market, as many of them are affluent and have discretionary income to spend. How can you target them successfully? Here’s what Resonate recommends:

  • Align your brand’s values with the values of the various subsegments of Gen Y.
  • Your primary messaging should focus on personal achievement attributes and value, not price point
  • If possible, your secondary messaging should mention socially responsible values and actions of your company.

Together, we sell.

June 1st, 2010 :: Jessie Newburn

Noticing the word “together” showing up in advertisements and newly crafted company slogans? If you haven’t yet, put some attention there, and I’m betting you’ll see this theme popping up.

Come + Together – Macy’s

Let’s Build Something Together – Lowe’s

Build Together – Lego

Come + Together, says Macy's (via AGrinberg on Flickr)

And there are many, many others.

But the questions to ask are why is this happening now, what does it speak to and where is the opportunity to tap into this cultural shift?

See, about every 20 years, a new generation is born. And when this happens, it naturally becomes the new generation in childhood. That means the prior generation in childhood is now the generation rising into young adulthood. And connected to that, the generation thathas defined “young adulthood” for the most recent 20 years, now starts to define what it is to be in mid-life. And so on.

Millennials (born 1982 – 2002ish) are rising into young adulthood and bringing their core personality traits into America and the markets that wish to serve them. Who are these Millennials and why are they so different? Where their predecessors, GenX (born 1961-1981), were hardscrabble, pragmatic free agents in young adulthood, Millennials are team-oriented, achieving and confident. For a deeper exploration into what makes this generation tick, I recommend going straight to the source of generational theory and read, Millennials and the Pop Culture, by Neil Howe and William Strauss.

Another cultural pressure on this “come together” thing is that GenXers, “their fringes more powerful than their core,” (Strauss and Howe) are now in mid-life. And if you failed to notice the profound hypocrisy that Boomers (born 1943-1960) displayed when they hit mid-life and created “zero tolerance” for drugs and kids, and other such things they’d have rebelled against in a New York minute in their own youth, GenXers (as all generations) have to shift as they grow up. GenXers, by archetypal definition “the nomad,” now has to reverse their isolation and pull tighter together their tribe. GenXers will aways be more powerful in their fringes than in their core, but the X in their X-treme behaviors shifts direction in this era, which runs approximately from 2005 – 2025 (ref. The Fourth Turning).

So, if you’re still waiting for The Recovery (cue: angelic trumpets) and for things to go back to how they were, go ahead and wait. But, if you’re looking to tap into the natural energies of cultural change and the deep, archetypal forces of generational marketing, I say, “come together, right nooooowwwweehhh … ” Oh, and make it snappy.

Your Customers May Be About To Move – Are You Ready?

January 26th, 2010 :: Tobias Bray

I read a short article by Steve Rubel over at Advertising Age about the future of Internet access that made me stop what I was doing and author this post. He thinks that facebook will enter the cell phone market. Why not? Google did right after releasing Wave.  This move has less to do with Google than the size and potential of the mobile market.  Let’s explore this and other data points –

Market Size – From the Ad Age Article sighted above “According to Morgan Stanley, more people will connect to the internet via mobile devices than PCs in five years. Meanwhile, Forrester reports that 17% of U.S. consumers have smartphones. This means that 83% currently don’t.”

Cost of Devices – According to, Moore’s Law the power of electronic devices will increase, the size will decrease and the price will fall so we will see a sub $150 carrier independent smartphone in just a couple of years.

User Behavior – Yesterday The New York Times ran an article that pointed to research showing children 8 to 18 years old now spend 7 1/2 hours with media devices on a daily basis absorbing 11 1/2 hours of information by multitasking. The majority of the devices they use are portable in nature.

Conclusion – At the confluence of demand and the affordable device lies your customer. In five or fewer years, you company will need to be fully engaged with a mobile site that fits on a screen roughly 2″ x 3″ and supports bi-directional connections to several communities.

Get the jump on your largest competitors – Large companies are still struggling to figure out social media. The inertia of complacency in these firms will cause them to show up at the party late and under dressed. There are some very good research papers on the internal issues these firms struggle with such as this Master Thesis pointing out the three reasons why large companies fail at incorporating community driven innovation into their plans.

So be nimble and start figuring out your strategy now. Chances are good you will get the jump on the big guys.

We have an entire organization at your disposal Stop by our site or give us a call. We understand sales, marketing and media.

All Good Things Must Come To An End…For Now

December 31st, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

In his post “Going, Going, Gone Social in 2009”, Joe Loong started with  “The end of the year is as good of a time as any to look back at what you’ve done, and this is triply true for bloggers.” I can say with full certainty that he’s absolutely right.

As I look back on my 2009, mainly on blogging for Network Solutions, it is with a bit of a heavy heart that this is my last post with GrowSmartBusiness, and for blogging for Network Solutions as a whole. It’s not for a lack of want on my part, but my focus is in one thousand places at once. Thanks to Shashi and Steve, I get an opportunity to explain what I mean rather than fade off into the background.

During the entirety of this last year, working with Steve, I’ve been working on a passion project that merges all of my loves (story telling, marketing, design, social media, movies, and science fiction (look…if you didn’t know I was a geek by now…)) into a great philanthropic adventure by creating a not-for-profit independent feature length film, “Browncoats: Redemption”. The focus of that film is to create fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness for, for five charities (Equality Now, Kids Need to Read, Dyslexia Foundation, the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center, and the Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation) to date we have raised over six thousand dollars and brought people from all over the United States together for some amazing volunteer work. I’m proud to say Network Solutions has been behind Steve and I from the start and is one of the sponsors of the project. Their hosting package and domain help has been critical for a website about the film,

Also back in June, I accepted a full time position at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as their Emerging Media Manager. This is going to give me a great opportunity to roll up my sleeves and show them the enthusiasm, passion, and knowledge of marketing, design, and social media that I talked about here. It’s a great organization and I am truly excited. I will have a lot to do, but some of the fun is that I help raise awareness of their actions, and cause, on their Twitter account @chesapeakebay and other social media avenues, as well as assisting with the technical side of their website

As you can imagine all of this has taken up a huge amount of my time and, more than once, caused me to miss some critical deadlines with my postings here. Like I said, I’d rather make sure someone that can be a bit more diligent than I try to be greedy and just take this spot. I would rather leave a door open to come back and guest post than wait till I’ve pushed it too far and have burnt a bridge. I also know that the content here on GrowSmartBusiness is solid and will continue to grow under Steve Fisher’s watchful eye.

I hope to connect with you sometime down the road and here your thoughts on my past posts. You might have learned something new, riff off of one of my topics, or even got inspired by one of them to do something new yourself. If you would like to keep following what I’m doing, you can reach me on my website, on Twitter @wickedjava, or on Facebook at

And one last thing, I am asking you to make me a promise. In 2010, do something, just one thing, you’ve all ways wanted to accomplish and see it through to the end. Regardless of what people say (please make sure it’s legal), win or loose…I can’t begin to tell you how great a feeling that is.

As all ways, if you have been reading, thank you and stay wicked.

Once, Twice, Three Times Trackable

December 29th, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

Whether you’re creating a marketing piece/strategy, or getting into social media, you need to be conscious of how you will measure the success, or failure, of your endeavor. Like sending a package through UPS or FedEx, you’ll want to know your items were received and arrived. It could be the amount of emails you collected, the number of page views you hoped to achieve, the amount of sales you intend to make, or any number of reasons, but you need to be conscious, as you start your efforts, that you have a way to track your leads back to its source.

There are tons of ways you could to track your efforts. You could create specific urls to direct people back to a page on your website they could only reach by that marketing piece/effort, a phone number that is only used for that marketing piece/effort, or by the number of physical bodies that show up on the scheduled day. Whatever you choose, decide on what it will be before you get started. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked people how they determined the success of their piece only to hear “We didn’t think about that until after we printed it”.

I am not suggesting, in any way, that you should throw out everything you’ve created till now if you can’t track them. If there are pieces you have that don’t have a way to be tracked, find a creative way to make them so with the resources you have at your disposal. Here are a few creative ideas:

  • Use mailing labels on your brochures/postcards to update your information.
  • Call the places you’ve placed advertising with to see if you can alter the type in the next edition.
  • Place analytics tools, like Google Analytics, on your site to see where people visiting it are going.
  • Use sites like to shorten, and track, the website links you put out in social media.

Once you’ve got the means in place to track the items, you need to determine what success means to your project, strategy, or piece. I’m going to ask you exercise some patience when it comes to tracking your success. Overnight success or an instant explosion of interest is not, and I repeat not, likely. It will take time, but you should determine what timeframe you are comfortable with or accepting of.

A little thought on how to figure out what success will look like. Please understand that it might take a few days for people to get a hold of your effort and that you can’t factor for people who many not be interested in your effort sharing it with others. There are multiple theories of success that you could use to determine your final outcome. One theory of success is the Pareto principle, often called the 80-20 rule, states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. The 1 Percent Rule is another, and Wikipedia defines it as “the 1 percent rule or the 90-9-1 principle reflects a theory that more people will lurk in a virtual community than will participate. This term is often used as a euphemism for participation inequality in the context of the Internet.”

Lastly, please don’t think I’m saying tracking your items is a quick thing to do. Tracking your efforts is a task unto itself. You’ll need to set aside some time to review your statistics and outcome as they come in. This could be day to day, month to month, or an accumulative total in a year. It’s best to take a step back and remember it’s not personal, but in these numbers you can find what works and what doesn’t.

The last thing you want to do is feel like any piece you’ve created was out there with no means for you to know it works. I hope this post has inspired some ideas of how you could begin to track the success of what is working and what doesn’t. This is me giving you a bit of permission to experiment with what works and what doesn’t, but always give each thing you choose to do a way to measure it’s success.

I would love your thoughts on today’s post here in the comments or you can reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at

As all ways, if you have been reading, thank you and stay wicked.

Eight Things to think about before you use Social Media

December 24th, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

Every day, more and more people become aware of the possibilities, successes, and capabilities of using social media as part of their marketing strategy. Some take the time to learn how to use the tools. Some will start blindly, get frustrated, stop using, and cry of it’s a failure/waste of time. Others will create accounts on the big social media sites, be less than passively involved, and ultimately forget they have them until someone asks a question.

With the people who are looking to get started using the tools of Social media, or are in the early stages of using them, here are Eight Things to think about before you use Social Media:

  1. Will this be a marketing tool or a customer service tool? People have a wide range of reasons to start using social media for their business. Often it is to promote themselves or their business, but companies, like Comcast and Zappos, have found that Social Media can be a great tool for improving customer service/experience.
  2. Are you the best person to take this on? Speaking of Zappos, their CEO Tony Hsieh, is their voice on Twitter. Not every CEO is the best person to be the online face of the company or organization. Chris Brogan, in his post “Develop a Strong Personal Brand Online Part 1”, wrote that you should “…remember that branding isn’t playing a role. Be yourself. It will become apparent rather quickly if you’re being someone that you’re not.”  This is the same whether it is a personal or professional brand. Deciding if you, or your boss, are the right person to be on social media is hard choice to make, especially when egos are involved, but depending on how you decide to use social media could make that choice for you.
  3. Do you have people around you that can teach you? Or is there someone in your company/organization that is already passionate about social media? Like Zappos, Comcast uses social media as a customer service tool, but instead of their CEO using it their Twitter account is maintained by Frank Eliason, Senior Director for Comcast National Customer Service. Because of Frank and Tony’s efforts, there have been a lot of companies following their format and finding success, and failure, in social media.  These are just two examples, but make sure that whatever your choice that the voice you choose fits the overall tone and attitude of your company.
  4. Are you willing to listen more than you talk? A big part of making social media an effective tool for marketing/customer service is the ability to listen to what your audience has to say as much as you intend to talk. People want to be talked “to” not “at”, so make sure that you find a balance between reviewing, responding, and posting.
  5. Do you have the time to focus on social media? Social media, like any other marketing/customer service effort, will take time out of your day. But, like checking your email or attending a meeting, if you believe it to be important to the success of your business, or your personal brand, you will find the time. A rule of thumb that works well for me is, and I can’t recall where I first heard it, “If you have time to schedule and attend a meeting…you have time for social media”.
  6. What social media tools will you use? Whether it’s wiki, blog, Twitter, Facebook, or any of the other avenues you could choose from, you need to decide which will be the best one for you depending on who your intended audience is. Take a little time and do some research to see just where your intended audience is, and they may not be using social media yet, to see if your choice is worth the time before you jump head first.
  7. Are you patient? Just like finding the time for social media, you need to understand that it will take time. Unless you are already a well known individual in the public eye, and being a legend in your own mind doesn’t count, then it will take time to grow your audience. You are also going to have to live with some people either not buying into your idea or talking negatively about your company, or personal brand. Don’t try to judge your success by the successes of others, but don’t throw in the towel early because it’s not doing what you think it should. You didn’t start a company just to quit did you? Treat your social media the same way.
  8. What will you determine as success? Will it be number of follower (which I don’t recommend)? Will it be how often your messages are shared? Will it be how many of your followers take an action on your behalf/request? That is really up to you, but I implore you to be realistic about your goals. Remember, you will need patience, clear intentions, and an ability to weather the storm as it comes, but success is ultimately determined by you, your efforts, and your choices.

What I can tell you is that if you are looking for a quick solution, or instant boost in sales, then social media is not for you. There, I said it. I’m sure you’re expecting me to say that no matter who you are or what you do that you should jump on the social media band wagon, but I’m sorry that’s not true. It has to make sense for you, your brand, or your company.

I would love your thoughts on this post or if there are other things you think people should keep in mind in the comments below. You can reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at

As all ways, if you have been reading, thank you and stay wicked.

The Beauty of Keeping It Simple…

December 22nd, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

In my last post “What is this ROI thing” I posted that “…marketing really comes down to the simple questions we learned in school. Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.” Did I shock and offend a few people by simplifying that? More than likely I didn’t, but I have found that people who get easily offended by someone exposing the initial simplicity of something are ultimately trying to keep everyone else from knowing how simple it is as well.

There is no reason, in my opinion, that someone should just put a shingle on their door and expect customers to expect to know they are there and open. There are a laundry list of reasons that most businesses don’t make it past the two year mark and over all I see that as poor planning across the board. I have known more than my fair share of start-ups or small business owners that have forgone a marketing strategy in their first year or two because they have viewed it as too costly, confusing, or complicated. When in reality, that fear kept them from reaching a wider customer base or audience.

You need to know how you are going to get people to learn about your great new product/service/Whatchamacallit. Simply just creating the same marketing pieces that everyone has (a website, a business card, etc.) won’t have your phone ringing and email box filled with orders. I wish I could say it was that simple, but it’s not. You first need to think of those six simple questions as you go into the creation of your marketing piece/strategy.

The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How will vary depending on what you want to do. Here are some great examples of starter questions for your next marketing strategy/piece, but feel free to come up with your own:

  • Who –Who will want this? Who do we want to know about our latest product/service? Who is going to purchase our [insert item/service]? Who will carry our message for us?
  • What – What will we use to reach/tell people about? What will we use to measure who successful this is? What will separate us from all the other daily noise that our audience receives? What will we use to track it?
  • When – When will we be putting this out? When is the most effective time for us to launch this? When will use to track the success? When do we review on how well this is doing?
  • Where – Where are the people we want to reach with this? Where will be put this that people may not expect? Where will we announce the product/place/thing/event? Where do we want this to take our business?
  • Why – Why are we going to do this? Why will the audience we are trying to reach care? Why are we using X over Y? Why aren’t we using multiple opportunities for people to reach us?
  • How – How are we going to create this? How are we going to measure the success? How are we going to get this out to our chosen audience? How often are we going to try this to see if it is successful at different times of the year?

I know I’ve kept this extremely simple, but the biggest reason for that is that the resources for you to create your marketing plan are already available to you on this site. Steven Fisher wrote a great piece that I view as a strong follow up to this post, the Guide to Writing a Killer Marketing Plan.

I hope you at least come away from this post with a sense that your first marketing strategy doesn’t have to be scary or overly complicated. When you are in your first year or two of business your time is very valuable, but by asking simple questions up front you save yourself some time and be better prepared for when you hire a designer, marketing firm, or whomever to accomplish your goals.

I am interested in Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How questions you’ve come up with. Please leave them in the comments below or you can reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at

As all ways, if you have been reading, thank you and stay wicked.

What is this ROI thing?

December 17th, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

I was considering calling this post “How much effort are you willing to be put into getting what you want”, but ultimately changed my mind because I wanted the people who have asked me the question in the title to dig a little deeper. Lately I’ve been having a lot of conversations about Return on Investment, almost always just called ROI, with people interested in consulting work or at my day job.  I’ve come to the conclusion that most people throw this term around without thinking about all the different possible ROI there actually is. To start us all from equal ground, let’s check out what our friend Wikipedia defines Return on Investment as:

“In finance, rate of return (ROR), also known as return on investment (ROI), rate of profit or sometimes just return, is the ratio of money gained or lost (whether realized or unrealized) on an investment relative to the amount of money invested. The amount of money gained or lost may be referred to as interest, profit/loss, gain/loss, or net income/loss. The money invested may be referred to as the asset, capital, principal, or the cost basis of the investment.”

I know a lot of people that use the term ROI for their marketing, but Wikipedia calls it Return on Marketing Investment and defines it as:

“Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) and Marketing ROI are defined as the optimization of marketing spend for the short and long term in support of the brand strategy by building a market model using valid, objective marketing metrics. Improving ROMI leads to improved marketing effectiveness, increased revenue, profit and market share for the same amount of marketing spend”

Since the same simple acronym is used for a multitude of purposes, and equations to determine it, I can see how people get confused, discouraged, or laser focused on one aspect of a larger whole. When it comes to your marketing strategy, pieces, or tactics, the ROI is going to vary with each effort. I know this may sound like an overwhelming concept, but it really isn’t as bad as it might seem.  It really breaks down to a simple statement, “Is the result worth the effort”. Is that oversimplifying it? Maybe a bit, but marketing really comes down to the simple questions we learned in school. Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.

I can hear the cries now, “Mike you left out the cost aspect of it.” No, I didn’t. There’s a cost to everything. Whether it’s the amount of money that’s being put out or the amount of volunteers or paid employees taking their valuable time to brainstorm, create, implement and execute the strategy or piece. That, to me, is all part of the effort. So, as I asked above, how much effort are you willing to put into getting what you want?

You can determine that with a few simple questions. What is your ultimate goal/end result? What resources will you need to accomplish the goal/end result? Is the goal/end result worth the resources used?

You can make the answer to those questions as complicated or as simple as you want. For example, “the investment of passing out six thousand invitations is worth the three hundred people who actually attend, because the people who don’t will ultimately learn more about our party/product/services when they go home, use the specific url we created for the postcard, and research it.” Or another, “the investment of having my team of employees strategize for a marketing pieces is worth it because when the piece comes to completion they will have a greater sense of ownership of it and then want to help see it succeed in getting the x number of emails/sales/donations/etc. we want it to achieve”.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

You can get a marketing genius to come in and tell you that the Return of X minus the Financial Investment of Y divided by the Time Investment of Z hours is what your ROI will be. Ultimately, it comes down to how important, or valuable, the return is to you, your organization or company, your strategy, or success of your ultimate plan of world marketing domination. So, I’ll ask you the same question I have before, but in a different way, when you sit down to decide on your next marketing piece/strategy/effort is the return worth the investment?

I would love your thoughts on what ROI means to you. Please feel free to leave a comment below or you can reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at

As all ways, if you have been reading, thank you and stay wicked.