Adobe Digital Dialogue

Focus on what matters when tracking your content marketing

Mea­sur­ing return on invest­ment (ROI) is a sen­si­ble thing to do when you have to allo­cate scarce resources with con­stant­ly tight bud­gets. But in an era when no cor­ner of an organ­i­sa­tion is immune from demon­strat­ing the val­ue of bud­get spend, con­tent mar­keters often wres­tle with effec­tive­ly mea­sur­ing ROI and attribut­ing what they do to suc­cess­ful busi­ness out­comes.

Mea­sure­ment is not the ene­my

For­mer agency exec­u­tive and best­selling author Andrew Davis, a thought leader in con­tent mar­ket­ing, believes the abil­i­ty to mea­sure its effec­tive­ness is crit­i­cal to its suc­cess, but he also believes mar­keters should cut them­selves some slack.

“At the very high lev­el [of mar­ket­ing], mar­keters can increase the size of the mar­ket, but we’ve become a bit timid [about artic­u­lat­ing that]. Mar­keters have this unbe­liev­able and uncan­ny abil­i­ty to inspire peo­ple to buy the things they sell,” Davis says.

He adds that mea­sure­ment is not the antithe­sis of the marketer’s art, nor does it need to be a com­pli­cat­ed process.

“Even at a very gran­u­lar lev­el, I think mar­keters have a real prob­lem under­stand­ing the dif­fer-ence between report­ing on the right things and mea­sur­ing the right things. At the end of the day it boils down to mak­ing very sim­ple assump­tions.”

Davis is con­cerned that in try­ing to demon­strate ROI some mar­keters find them­selves caught in an unfor­giv­ing report­ing and mea­sure­ment loop and even­tu­al­ly lose sight of what they are try­ing to achieve. And he’s not just point­ing the fin­ger at oth­ers.

“I find myself spend­ing hours analysing reports on all sorts of stuff and won­der­ing what they’re telling me,” he says.

“You can very eas­i­ly com­pile a 10-page report that shows all of the things you’ve done, and even pokes at the impact it’s had, but you’re doing your­self a real dis­ser­vice if you aren’t won­der­ing how you can tie it to rev­enue. If you start with a real­ly sim­ple assump­tion, like every blog I post is mak­ing an impact on the rev­enue we gen­er­ate, then you will actu­al­ly start report­ing on the right things.”

See­ing val­ue beyond the sales

There’s no doubt con­tent mar­ket­ing presents its own dis­tinct chal­lenges when it comes to meas-uring ROI. The most obvi­ous one is that there is no direct cor­re­la­tion between tac­tics and reve-nue. What if, for exam­ple, you are pro­vid­ing con­tent for a retail chan­nel and your job is to cre­ate demand in the mar­ket­place but you’re not direct­ly sell­ing the prod­uct? How do you quan­ti­fy that con­tri­bu­tion?

Davis says it is not unrea­son­able for a mar­ket­ing team to incor­po­rate assump­tions in its ROI cal­cu­la­tions. If the assump­tion is that con­tent mar­ket­ing impacts rev­enue this can be legit­i­mate­ly incor­po­rat­ed in an ROI doc­u­ment based on over­all rev­enue.

“Con­tent mar­ket­ing can have a huge impact on fos­ter­ing the rela­tion­ship with exist­ing clients and cus­tomers,” he explains.

“Every time you tar­get and win a new niche you need to have an ongo­ing strat­e­gy that’s de-signed to fos­ter that rela­tion­ship, up-sell or cross-sell those clients, as well as find your next cus­tomer and client.”

Davis says research can ensure that con­tent mar­ket­ing tac­tics remain rel­e­vant and well tar­get­ed.

“The hard­est part of mar­ket­ing today is try­ing to fig­ure out what to stop doing so you can start doing some­thing that has a big­ger impact,” he says.

“We need to stop doing a lot of the things that are burn­ing our mar­ket­ing ener­gy, whether it’s dol­lars or resources or time, and rein­vest in smarter research so the stuff we do exe­cute has a much greater impact.”

Adobe Ana­lyt­ics is help­ing over 50% of the For­tune 100 define and tar­get their audi­ences. Find out how.

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  • By Akshay Raghav - 10:48 PM on October 18, 2017   Reply

    Real­ly an awe­some arti­cle, con­cept in the con­tent on ROI and Con­tent Mar­ket­ing is quite good. Thanks for shar­ing.

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