Tag Archives: ROI

Innovation Metrics that Matter

Measuring Success beyond ROI

Innovation Metrics that Matter

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

Innovation is the lifeblood of any successful organization, driving growth, market competitiveness, and industry disruption. Traditionally, Return on Investment (ROI) has been the primary metric used to assess the success of innovation initiatives. However, as innovation evolves and becomes more complex, relying solely on ROI as a measure of success may hinder organizations from realizing their true potential. In this thought leadership article, we explore alternative metrics that capture the multifaceted impact of innovation, presenting two case studies that highlight the importance of measuring success beyond ROI.

1. Beyond Financial Metrics: A Holistic Approach to Measuring Innovation Success
Innovation initiatives extend far beyond the financial aspect, encompassing elements such as market reach, stakeholder satisfaction, brand reputation, and employee engagement. Organizations committed to achieving long-term success must adopt a holistic approach to measuring innovation, going beyond ROI. By leveraging a range of metrics, organizations can gain a comprehensive understanding of the true impact of their innovation efforts. Let us delve into two case studies that exemplify the power of looking beyond traditional ROI metrics.

Case Study 1: Airbnb – Establishing Trust and Experience

Airbnb, the disruptive hospitality platform, revolutionized the way people experience travel accommodations. To gauge the success of their innovation initiatives, Airbnb moved beyond ROI to measure metrics such as customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and community engagement.

By tracking Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer feedback, Airbnb discovered that building trust and ensuring positive experiences were crucial aspects of their innovation strategy. These non-financial metrics correlated strongly with increased bookings and customer retention, validating their focus on establishing trust as a key driver of success. By incorporating trust-building initiatives into their metric framework, Airbnb elevated their innovation outcomes and solidified their position as a market leader.

Case Study 2: Tesla – Shaping an Eco-Friendly Future

Tesla, the renowned electric vehicle manufacturer, disrupted the automotive industry with its commitment to sustainability and renewable energy. While financial success is vital, Tesla recognized the significance of measuring metrics that reflected their overall mission.

By capturing metrics related to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the number of miles driven using electric vehicles, and customer testimonials about their environmental impact, Tesla highlighted the broader societal benefits of their innovation initiatives. By showcasing their influence on reducing carbon footprints and contributing to a greener future, Tesla not only attracted investors but also cultivated a loyal customer base. This validation propelled their innovation endeavors forward, reinforcing the importance of considering impact beyond financial returns.


Innovation cannot be adequately captured through a single metric like ROI. Organizations must adopt a more holistic and inclusive approach to assess the true success of their innovation initiatives. By incorporating metrics that delve into customer satisfaction, trust-building, social impact, and employee engagement, organizations can harness the full potential of their innovations. The case studies of Airbnb and Tesla illustrate the power of these alternative metrics, which not only drive sustainable growth but also shape industries and create positive societal change. As businesses focus on measuring success beyond ROI, they can unlock innovation’s immense potential and achieve lasting impact.

Bottom line: Futurology is not fortune telling. Futurists use a scientific approach to create their deliverables, but a methodology and tools like those in FutureHacking™ can empower anyone to engage in futurology themselves.

Image credit: misterinnovation.com

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

Innovator Lifetime Value

Innovator Lifetime ValueBy now, if you’re in marketing you’re probably familiar with the concept of customer lifetime value. Put simply, it’s the idea that a customer is worth to the organization not just the value of a single transaction, but the collection of all of the transactions that they might make during their relationship with you. And when speaking of customer lifetime value, we generally don’t talk about any single customer, but speak about their value in aggregate, averaging out the high value (many, many purchases) and low value customers (one or a few purchases).

The concept is usually linked to discussions of how much you can afford to spend to acquire a customer and whether a particular advertising or marketing effort is worth undertaking.The concept has been even applied to non-profits (lifetime donor value) and even to social media ROI.

But what’s a good outside innovation partner worth?

As I was speaking with several of the innovation leaders at Intuit on their campus in Mountain View last year, it came to me that organizations should be seeking to build and strengthen relationships with their customers, suppliers, and other potential innovation partners in ways similar to their approach to traditional relationship marketing.

Having helped several clients with their relationship marketing strategies, it seems to me that there is no reason why the same principles can’t or shouldn’t be applied to your potential innovation partner community.

After all, as more and more companies begin to understand and engage in the practice of open innovation, then there will be an advantage accumulated by the organizations that do a good job of building strong and profitable relationships with the most passionate and prolific suppliers, customers, academics, etc. over those organizations that don’t.

What organization out there wouldn’t want to accumulate an innovation advantage, a growth advantage, a relationship advantage over their competitors?

But the real questions are of course:

  1. Do you have the required internal innovation capability built already to support open innovation?
  2. Are you engaging in open innovation already? Or are your competitors?
  3. What are you doing to build strong relationships with you potential innovation partners?
  4. Are you tasking skilled relationship marketers with creating and maintaining these conversations and building these relationships?

So, do you? Are you?

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.