Interactive Content: The Importance of Balancing Effort and Value

Anna Talerico, ion interactive's EVP and co-founder

Anna Talerico, ion interactive's EVP and co-founder

In life, we balance effort and value. As we mature, we (hopefully) learn to invest the most effort into the things that will provide the biggest value to our lives. This is true across health, work, marriage and even child rearing (where we quickly learn the true meaning of “pick your battles”). So it probably goes without saying that with any digital marketing campaign or project, we should be considering the required effort and the anticipated value received.

Effort includes things like time, money and resources

Value includes things like brand engagement, shares, likes, follows, leads, customers and sales

Unfortunately, life isn’t perfect (profound, I know). We often under invest in important areas. And over invest where the value isn’t going to be great enough to justify the effort. Like, I totally under invest in working out, where the value I could be receiving would be huge, if I just put in the effort. And I totally over invest when I spend 10 minutes in the grocery aisle fretting over which spaghetti sauce will be the tastiest, healthiest choice. 

As you can see, effort and value judgements can be subjective. What’s important to one person or company might not be important to another.

But, there are some effort and value considerations you can apply to interactive content that are pretty objective. I’ve seen some marketers get off track in their effort/value ratio—spending too little on something that could really deliver value, or the inverse—spending too much on something that wasn't going to provide commiserate business value. So, I thought a few simple guidelines might be helpful. Here are some examples of how to apply the right effort for the anticipated value to your interactive content:

  • A sophisticated product configurator for a low priced, low value product for a small campaign or small target audience. This represents big effort for what is likely to be low value.
High_Effort_Low_Value
  • A quiz that provides educational or thought leadership content for a large audience or campaign. Little effort and potentially big value.
Low_Effort_High_Value
  • A complex configurator for a high price point product, regardless of audience size. Significant effort but high value return.
High_Value_High_Effort

As you can see in the examples, you are simply looking to invest the right effort (money, time, resources) based on the anticipated or potential value received to the business. Now, of course, these are just guidelines. What I hope for you is to launch a runaway hit where you invest very little and get maximum return. Your very own Blair Witch Project, with just $600,00 invested, and a worldwide gross of $250,000,000 and a 20,000% return on investment. That’s some effort and value I can appreciate—if only it worked like that for me at the gym. 

Do you love thinking about effort and value as much as I do? We have tons more to consider on this topic—check out the “Balancing your interactive content priorities” slideshare presentation to learn more!