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2015 Digital Challenge: The case of content marketing spends and measurable ROI

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2015 Digital Challenge: The case of content marketing spends and measurable ROI

Most powerful and influential content marketing platforms are used to channelize native advertising campaigns at present. However, many market reports suggest that these types of campaigns have been treated as brand campaigns in terms of the metrics of success used to measure their impact, including page views, retweets, likes, and other standard metrics.

In 2015, market experts state, that if data is channelized effectively, the industry will begin seeing more sophisticated means of measuring the impact of content marketing campaigns, leveraging multi-attribution techniques to understand the downstream impact on conversion caused by these higher-funnel marketing activities.

Setting priorities

Most content marketing teams are still struggling to justify spends through content marketing ROI, and as a result, their performance is suffering.

According to PR20/20’s 2014 Marketing Score Report, which compiled the results of more than 300 assessments taken by marketers, executives, and entrepreneurs, respondents’ highest priority goals were focused on the bottom line: generating leads (86 per cent) and converting leads into sales (85 per cent).

However, when asked to rank overall marketing performance, scores on factors critical to leads and sales were weak. For example, on a scale from one to 10, lead volume scored an average of 3.7; lead quality, 3.1; and lead-to-sale conversion rate, 3.9.

Unfortunately, content marketing was the lowest rated among the Marketing Score’s 10 sections, with an average section score of 25 percent. Of more than 130 factors ranked, six out of the 10 lowest ranked fall under content marketing.

The struggle

Marketers have more tools and technology at their disposal than ever before, and digital has paved the way for measurable marketing. In spite of this, it seems that content marketers may be failing to connect their activities to desired outcomes — even if those activities actually are achieving these positive benefits.

This is because most marketers in India haven’t even taken the first step. In today’s global marketing landscape, creating a performance dashboard, or scorecard, is essential to aligning expectations and delivering a successful, bottom-line-focused content marketing strategy.

In 2015, marketers will have to become more interested in correlating their spend on content marketing to a more measurable impact on overall sales and ROI, as technology partners will begin offering the means to measure that impact.

Experts speak

Leroy Alvares, President, Rediffusion Digital, says, “Anything that is being paid for by a client, needs to have a measurable ROI. While content marketing has come a long way from John Deere introducing its magazine The Furrow way back in 1895, as digital marketing grows, content is only going to go bonkers from here on. It’ll soon mutate into a million ways and means. So just judging it on consumption metrics like number of views and shares isn’t going to help. Subscriptions, leads, sales, and even brand loyalty will have to be measured. It’s not easy, but we need to find ways of doing it.”

According to Suresh Eriyat, Founder and Creative Director – Eeksaurus, content marketing will definitely lead to a more measurable ROI impact, but it will be much more focused. “One has to be well aware of their target audience in order to reap the benefits and therefore the content of the programs will become very important aspect. I am not sure if media agencies will be well equipped on their end to deal with this however, for certain if they do get it right, it will deliver a much more measurable ROI impact,” he said.

“Content Marketing is the art of having a conversation with potential and existing customers without actually selling or interrupting them,” says Shikher Gupta, ‎Head of Digital Marketing at Videocon. “Very few brands have yet made an earnest effort on Content Marketing. A half hearted effort will surely not result in a ROI. The products/ services which are new or need some education to be imparted result in a clear ROI. For existing products/ services getting to an ROI figure is indirect, it's about being in touch with your customers just like a nearby shopkeeper says "Hi" to us daily,” he added. 

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