I have to start by emphasizing this:
no direct business results ≠no business results ever ≠ not measurable.
There have been a lot of people on LinkedIn saying not every marketing campaign needs to have an ROI, hopefully, what they meant was ROI in terms of quantitative measures or direct $$, which I completely agree. A marketing campaign should either have a direct business impact (lead-gen) or provides leverage for future business results (brand awareness). The goal of a campaign is not to do a campaign, it is to achieve something that matters to the business.
A goal needs to be measurable, even if not immediately. If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it. A measurement can be multifaceted, the number of views is a measurement, anecdotal feedback from customers is a measurement, I will even concede by saying that making your boss feel happy is a measurement as well if the goal is that (I’ve never experienced myself but I read in one of my favorite newsletters that it’s a real goal in some businesses.)
Enough rambling, I want to share some campaigns that have no direct business results but you can clearly see the leverage it provides for the business through engagement.
Ghia — Spotify Playlists
Drift — CEO’s Newsletter
Gong — Where’s Waldo spinoff