This week I got an early draft of the GTIN Toolkit intro documentation. In this latest version of a work in progress there’s a table of contents placeholder headed ROI. But there’s no copy yet. Well, its understandable. Everyone in marketing knows how tricky and elusive those numbers can be, especially when finance needs the ROI justification ASAP for some marketing spend. Finance doesn’t find the answer, “Humina, humina, humina,” all that amusing.
But meanwhile, the old-fashioned ROI got me to thinking about a new kind of ROI: Return on Inspiration. Are there not things we do, things we implement, even before all the formulas are done because these things are so obviously for the better? Turns out, as usual, I’m not the first one to think of this. Do a search on “return on inspiration” and you’ll find that the basic business idea of “doing well while doing good” seems to be quite well-represented on the Internet. A year ago, even the New York Times was writing around the fringes of this idea, with an emphasis on the possibility of making money while doing good things.
Eventually, in this instance, everyone is going to want or need the good old-fashioned hard numbers. But in the meantime, doesn’t it seem obvious that a global product identification standard, especially when it comes to health care products, just makes good sense?