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What Is The New ROI?

Bob Costanza By Bob Costanza

Every day – every minute – from the moment I get out of bed, I feel responsible for something. Responsible for my wife, my family, my pets, my friends, my company, my staff, their families, my clients, my clients’ brands, my clients’ companies, my clients’ families, my clients’ pets, my golf game (whatever), my health, your health, my Aunt Ann, and on and on. Damn that’s exhausting, considering I have yet to have my morning bagel.

To quote Bob Dylan, “The times they are a changin’.” Change is good. So let’s think differently about how we evaluate ROI and, more critically, how we evaluate what’s really important.

I’m just a creative guy, so take my story with a grain of salt. I have yet to finish writing my book on world economics, which, by the way, I plan on dedicating to my parents. I’m thankful I had great parents. Not good parents, great parents. They sacrificed everything for my brothers and for me. Unconditional love. They cared, really cared.

You might say, “Of course they did,” and you might be asking, “Where’s this going?”

It’s simple. They cared, really cared. They weren’t worried about ROI, MBA, SEM, or CRM. They just cared about me, and I am forever grateful to both of them. They won me over for life.

Next time someone asks, “What’s the ROI?” I will ask, “What’s the ROR?” Return On Relationship. As much as I appreciate and respect a 4%, 9%, or 14% ROI, it’s not the only thing that’s important.

ROR means doing the right thing, even when you can’t directly measure an economic benefit. It means understanding what people are buying, not what you are selling. It means being relevant and truthful toward their livelihood. It means listening to people. It means taking the high road, even when there’s a tempting opportunity to do otherwise. It means taking care of the people who take care of your business.

Simply, people need to believe… you care.

This is my story. The new ROI should be ROR.

Embrace it, or RIP.