I had an interesting chat with a friend the other day about an internet advertising startup.  The underlying premise behind this startup was that it would be beneficial to accurately calculate ROI for internet advertising and social media.  That would be a good thing, of course, because everyone wants to measure ROI right?

Not so fast my friend.

Measuring what happens in any form of Internet Marketing is critical — be it the basic cocktail of site metrics, social media metrics, paid advertising metrics, etc.  Without it, a practitioner is flying blind and spending money in ways that are not necessarily optimal.  So far, so good right?

ROI measurements are one way to tell how effective your plan is and how well it is being executed.  But how many Internet marketers really want to be held to that standard?  I'd suspect the number is a lot lower than you'd think.  ROI tools bring a level of accountability that a lot of people don't want to face.

If you're building tools or products that help expose ROI of any type of Internet advertising, you have to consider that your biggest objection in the marketplace may come from the very people you are trying to help.  Maybe folks don't want to know their Internet marketing ROI — because once you expose ROI, you put that person up to scrutiny from their boss… you put their budget at risk… or you put them in a position to kill a particular Internet Marketing initiative that may look *really good* on their resume'.

All of this is why I think that winning Internet & Social Advertising tools will be evolutionary and not revolutionary.  They'll show a taste of what is to come, but they won't change the game overnight.