The vast majority of agencies and clients are simply playing at content marketing with few seeing any benefit in terms of increased sales and return on investment.
And while many in the industry are falling over themselves to embrace the discipline, a lack of proper measurement metrics means most are clueless about whether the content they are working do hard to produce is making a jot of difference.
These are just two findings of a study by content intelligence platform Idio, which quizzed a cross-section of senior B2B and consumer marketing decision makers across the UK and US, and discovered most are jumping on the bandwagon without truly considering how it supports their core business results.
The study – which asked the question: What is your biggest digital marketing pain point? – demonstrated a clear message from the sector that, although content marketing is a widely recognised and respected approach, the connection to sales and ultimately the bottom line is still not being established in many businesses.
At recent summit held by SiriusDecisions, revealed that up to 70% of content produced by b-to-b marketing organizations goes unused, sitting on sales portals and website shelves.
Rob LaGesse, vice-president of social strategy of cloud computing firm Rackspace, said: “The truth is that I just don’t know how to measure what we do (in content marketing). I can pay some vendors and get the numbers I ask for, numbers they think please me so I keep buying from them. Numbers that the bosses might like. But it is hard to really get numbers that are trustworthy and actionable – and that concerns me.”
Idio co-founder and chief marketing officer Andrew Davies reckons that in order to see the right results from a content strategy, businesses need to have clearer ROI metrics in place from the very beginning.
“If early results are weak, the business case is further undermined, meaning that marketers often don’t get the time to reap the benefits of a test-and-learn approach.
“We see the biggest success when there is a top-down commitment to content – when it is seen as a fundamental shift in how the business engages, informs and serves customers. It’s not about instantly proving ROI – as returns by their nature always lag behind investment. It’s about knowing what you want to achieve, getting buy-in across the business, and winning time to build a culture of content that moves the metrics towards those goals.”
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