Guest Post – Gina Balarin: What’s the ROI on Fun?
The strangest ‘thank you’ gift ever
Recently I spoke at the BrightTALK and Spiceworks Technology Marketers Meet-Up. They gave me a dinosaur to say thanks. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cool dinosaur, but what exactly is the purpose of a bright orange T-Rex?
Inspiration from an orange dinosaur
Its purpose, as it turns out, is inspirational. It struck me that, as marketers, we’ve started to take ourselves so seriously – with metrics and ROI on every piece of activity we do – that sometimes we run the risk of forgetting how to have fun. We all know that motivated employees are likely to work harder and be more productive which, in turn, not only builds a more efficient and motivated workforce (which allows for greater inspiration and, quite frankly, more work done in less time) – but motivated employees also help create a unique culture that makes people want to do more, be more, achieve more.
So why aren’t more businesses letting their employees have fun?
There’s a simple answer. It’s called the Fun Police.
Apparently this is a conversation one of the marketers at the event has actually had. It went something like this:
Marketer: “Let’s do this cool thing!”
Fun Police: “Why?”
Marketer: “Because it’s fun!”
Fun Police: “What’s the ROI on fun?”
There is no ROI on fun
Well, if we’re honest, there is no ROI on fun – just like there’s no ROI on brand awareness, employee and customer engagement, community building, brand loyalty, and good feelings. But that hasn’t stopped us marketers from doing fun things in the past. And it shouldn’t stop us again in the future. The ROI may be intangible now, but it can become exponentially valuable if it’s done right. Coca-cola built brand love with ‘Content Marketing 2020’ but that’s unlikely to have made them sell more Cokes. Dove build brand love with ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ but it probably didn’t make people buy more soap. Brand awareness is hard to measure, but even harder to live without. You see, it turns out that actually there IS an ROI on fun! It’s just practically impossible to measure.
Take a risk: have some fun in your marketing
Today I challenge you: do something fun for a change! Take your team out for a walk around the park (it’s free – but you get bonus points if you buy them an ice-cream too). Or try something cool and innovative (and dare I say it, fun!) in your marketing. Take a risk. If you’re clever, you can squeeze the money out of a budget item somewhere.
You might be surprised at how far the ‘fun’ feeling can go – if you give it a chance. It could be your next orange dinosaur. Because SpiceRex fans definitely know the value of good fun when they see it. And the chances are your team (and possibly even your brand advocates) will too.
This is a guest post from Gina Balarin, Content Manager at Concur. Hear more from Gina in the recording of the June Technology Marketers Meet-Up Group.