What’s the ROI of a Changed Mind?

We 21st century marketers have metrics for everything. Open rate. Conversion rate. Click through rate. ROI. But there’s no uber-metric that tells you every growth-focused decision you should make.

For example, what is the value of a changed mind?

The great majority of our marketing and fundraising goes to converting people’s beliefs into actions based upon pre-existing propensity. But what about all those people who don’t yet care about your cause?

Well, here’s a simple “practical” exercise: What’s likely to be a bigger number?

A. The number of people who already care about your cause

B. the number of people who already care about your cause + the number of people who don’t currently care about your cause but are winnable to it

I’m pretttttty sure the correct answer is B.

What would it look like if we tried to find the “winnables” from scenario B and, well, win them?

Using digital strategies, this is more feasible than you might think. 

Changing the minds of “Maybe Moms”

As any homeschooler knows, HSLDA is the leading homeschooling organization in America, and their mission is to make homeschooling possible. We came alongside HSLDA last year to help them change the minds of “Maybe Moms” — mothers of school-aged children who liked the idea of homeschooling but perceive regrettable barriers to homeschooling their own children.

First, we met with Maybe Moms to understand how they think.

We discovered that their perceived barriers to homeschooling were (1) “I’m not a teacher” — a fear that they can’t do it themselves, (2) “My kids won’t learn enough” — a sense that homeschooling doesn’t work well enough academically or socially, and (3) “But I work” — a feeling that homeschooling is infeasible for working parents.

Then, incorporating ongoing one-on-one input from Maybe Moms, we built a digital journey that started with a fresh, new two-minute advertisement custom-built for this audience. Called “Make The World Your Classroom,” and served up to Maybe Moms via digital ads in various runtime lengths, this video ad fired the imagination about what might be possible for any family. 

Having intrigued the audience, the landing page provided initial answers to the barriers perceived by the audience.

Finally, we sent Maybe Moms follow-up resources via email that dove into their concerns more deeply. We also sent many of them a surprise-and-delight Interest kit that included a special mug for the campaign. 

We reached a lot of Maybe Moms. A lot. 39 million impressions. 8 million video views. More than 100,000 clicks. Like I said, a lot of Maybe Moms.

Reaching our goal

Of course, while impressive, these numbers are, in the end, simply activity. They don’t tell us if we achieved our purpose. They don’t tell us if we changed Maybe Moms’ minds about their ability to homeschool. And the goal is to change their minds.

Well, we built this campaign with that goal in mind.

Prior to our campaign launch, we surveyed the same audience we were going to be reaching with an instrument designed to measure their intent to homeschool. Then we measured test versus control after being in market for several months. 

Given the tumultuous post-COVID period for parents of school-aged kids, there was some increased homeschooling intent for all parents. But for those reached by the campaign, we saw roughly twice as much intent to homeschool. 

Maybe Moms were changing their minds. They were seeing that, actually, homeschooling was more of a possibility for them than they’d thought.

And each changed mind cost us just 63 cents. 

Was that a good investment?

Well that depends: What’s the ROI of a changed mind?

I’ll take a stab at answering that question. What’s the ROI of a changed mind? Well, for our homeschooling partners, changing people’s minds about homeschooling is why they exist. Their purpose is to make homeschooling possible for every parent in the United States. So many parents report to them that homeschooling is hard but so, so worth it, in terms of family freedom, shared wonder of learning, unique parent-child experiences, socially healthy environments, and much more.

The ROI for the campaign, then? How about: incalculably high.

The ROI of a Changed Mind

Our vision is for many more organizations boldly choosing to use proven marketing methods to change people’s minds about the causes they are called to address. The few ministries that take this bold step are at a great advantage. Not only do they have fresh ways to carry out their mission, but they also increase the size of their own markets. They are increasing the size of their market.

That’s pretty smart.

I bet if you think about it, your organization would like to change people’s minds in some important ways about your own cause. 

If you would like to explore such possibilities, let’s get together and talk about your hopes and hypotheses.

If you disagree and think this is all nonsense and that we ought to stick to the tried and true, then let’s get together and talk about it (reach out here). We’ll make my ability (or inability) to change your mind the first test.