ROI: Can You Really Measure the Power of Experience Design?

This is part eight of 13 in the Experience Design 101 series. For links to all the articles in this series, click here.

 67 % of all consumer decisions are primarily influenced by word of mouth (McKinsey, via Buzz Canuck blog) (See Part 1 of this series)

 69 % of small business owners involved key friends and partners extensively in developing and marketing their products and services (National Federation of Independent Business) (See Part 2 of this series)

 94 % of the top 50 Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America 2007 have been in business less than 10 years (Inc. online) (See Part 3 of this series)

 well over 100 % increase in interest in Experience Design over the past 3 years (as measured by Internet search frequency) (Google Trends, which does not yet give exact numbers) (See Part 4 of this series)

 6 % of the top 50 Entrepreneur Hot 100 Fastest Growing New Businesses in America 2007 have a Vision Statement on their company website (Entrepreneur online) (See Part 5 of this series)

 28 % of Internet users click on the first organic result that comes up in a search for their term (University of Utah) (See Part 6 of this series)

 48 % of small business owners still do not have a website (National Federation of Independent Business) (See Part 7 of this series)

Can you measure the power of Experience Design? Lots of marketers don’t want to do it, citing “brand equity,” “goodwill,” “share of mind,” and “raising your profile.” Don’t fall for this. What you want to know is, Will we make more money?

If you are willing to control for variables you can measure the Return on Investment of Experience Design, and you and your design firm will benefit from the scrutiny. (It helps to have definite implementation dates for the stages of your design, rather than a trickle of smaller changes.) If you already keep a close eye on your books, watch these key metrics to see the impact of Experience Design:

Top line:

Number of leads generated

Quality of leads

Time from lead to sale

Acquisition rate

Average number of contacts needed to close sale

Total sales revenue

Average dollar amount of sales

Customer satisfaction, loyalty, repeat business



Internet/ Lead gathering:

Clickthroughs from email campaign or other advertising

Homepage visits

Average number of pages visited

Average time on site

Leads per (thousand) visits

Sales per (thousand) leads


Bottom line:

Cost per lead, cost per sale

Employee turnover, productivity, attendance, satisfaction


(See Part 4 of this series for definitions of these and other key terms.)

If you don’t already track these numbers, stop and immediately implement a system for tracking number of leads, close rates, and costs in your traditional and online lead generation. There are many relational databases designed to automate this tracking for you. You’ll save time, eliminate guesswork, and be able to quickly spot strengths and weaknesses in your marketing and sales efforts.

Measure these numbers at three and six months after implementation of your new Experience Design plan. It may take time to see the improvements, but many firms can start seeing improvements even sooner.

Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson


Next up in the series: Part Nine: Firm growth (not) guaranteed

P.S. If you’re enjoying the Maximum Customer Experience Blog, subscribe today (at top left) and get updates delivered by email or RSS. It’s easy and it’s free!