The ROMI of Employee Brand Building

Marketers are under increased pressure to demonstrate a return on their activities. This enhanced scrutiny often leads to budgets being invested in near term, high impact tactics. 

It is also critically important to focus on creating value through long term investments. One example is the value created through the development of a social training program focused on employee brand building. Over time, such employee skill set investments lead to employee advocacy, increased brand awareness, brand consideration and purchase intent. Social media trained brand ambassadors can also lead to incremental customer acquisition and reduced churn rate.

ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment) Definitions

  • Return on marketing investment (ROMI) is a metric used to measure the overall effectiveness of a marketing campaign to help marketers make better decisions about allocating future investments. ROMI is usually used in online marketing, though integrated campaigns that span print, broadcast and social media may also rely on it for determining overall success. ROMI is a subset of ROI (return on investment). (Tech Target)

  • Return on marketing investment (ROMI) is the contribution to profit attributable to marketing (net of marketing spending), divided by the marketing 'invested' or risked. ROMI is not like the other ROI metrics because marketing is not the same kind of investment. Instead of money that is 'tied' up in plants and inventories (often considered capital expenditure or CAPEX), marketing funds are typically 'risked.' Marketing spending is typically expensed in the current period (operational expenditure or OPEX). (Wikipedia)


  • 90% of customers trust product or service recommendations from people they know. (Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey)

  • Brand messages are re-shared 24x more frequently when distributed by employees vs brand. (MSLGroup)

  • 52% of customers say they trust content created by employees of a company. (Ciceron)

  • Leads developed through employee social marketing convert seven times more frequently than other leads. (IBM)

  • 77% of buyers are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media. (MSLGroup)

Take Aways

Marketers should present both short term and longer term ROMI metrics when positioning their annual marketing plan. 

Investment in employee brand building yields increases in employee engagement, employee influence, and long-term ROMI metrics. Employ training resources to assist employees in optimization of their social profiles, growing and deepening their networks, becoming original content creators and engaging in communications that expand the brand influence online and offline.

Make employee engagement a priority and employee advocacy will naturally follow. Higher employee engagement leads to improvement across service, quality, and productivity. The cascading benefits of more engaged employees result in higher employee retention, higher customer satisfaction, increased revenues, higher profits and greater shareholder return.