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Many marketers struggle to connect their content marketing programs to revenue, according to a study released last month by the Lenskold Group. The solution goes beyond the mere adoption of marketing automation tools, writes Debbie Qaqish, principal and chief strategy officer at The Pedowitz Group, the revenue-marketing agency that sponsored the research.
“Buying a piece of technology is not the answer,” she writes. “It is only part of a larger ecosystem including goal alignment, people, process, organizational structure and compensation.”
Qaqish shared insights from the “2013 Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study” with BMA Buzz.
BMA Buzz: How are the most effective content marketing programs set up?
Qaqish: The most effective content programs are set up as being measurable. Period. You can’t be effective if you don’t have something to measure against.
In the study with the Lenskold Group, we wanted to answer two questions: Is content marketing effective? And is it measured?
The unfortunate response is that little measurement of content is being done beyond creating awareness as measured by click-throughs and downloads—and even that was light. Only 28% of marketing automation users measure content ROI.
BMA Buzz: Marketers can measure at many different levels. What do they stand to gain as they move from measuring customer interactions, for example, to more sophisticated models that reflect impact on pipeline and ultimately, revenue?
Qaqish: They stand to gain credibility as a business driver, and they get to keep their job.
Ask most CEOs and sales organizations to define the role of marketing, and you’ll get a wide variety of answers. Few will focus on revenue. Yet, if you look at the role of today’s B2B marketer, how buyers have changed and new technologies, revenue is the role of marketing.
Those organizations not yet stepping up to the plate to proactively own revenue will do so in the future. The average CMO has 50% less tenure than any other senior executive. One of the reasons is the inability of marketing to act like a productive business unit. For those companies that have stepped up to the plate by having marketing play this role, I’m seeing a huge competitive advantage.
BMA Buzz: What steps should marketers take as they evolve their content marketing programs?
Qaqish: Focus on content that matters, and focus on measuring the performance of that content. We see marketers drowning in content and the content development process. They are not focused on which personas need which messages or respond to which kind of content, and at which stage of the buy cycle. Taking the time to build this content map with these key elements creates a focus on results.
Improving outcomes has to do with testing, which means measuring. You also need to be smart in your content development. Develop content that can be syndicated across multiple channels, multiple ways.
Finally, please use imbedded links and calls to actions in your content. This is an invitation to demonstrate a deeper level of interest.
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