No, it’s not a white paper or any other type of wordy missive. Rather some observations from 40 years in the marketing arena, specifically industrial and technology products and services rather than the consumer arena.
The most important thing to understand is the strategic value provided by various marketing elements even though they may not be easily quantified. Although it is not easy to figure the exact percentage Content Marketing may have on the bottom line, there are indicators that can attest to the success or failure of a specific program.
From the launching of a new product to the focused promotional efforts of another, neither would be successful and able to contribute to the bottom line without the application of specific marketing tools. It is oversimplification to say check your revenue before such a promotion and after. This does not give you statistical numbers, however, if revenue has increased, you must admit that the promotion was a success and likely contributed to an acceptable ROI.
How much such actions contribute to the bottom line are not clear since the bottom line is affected by many things such as margins and special sales. To try to tie actual sales, in person or on-line to a website, content marketing, or other marketing tool is difficult at best. As intangible a factor as marketing may be, it is nevertheless, the glue that holds together revenue and profits. Marketing is not a feature, it is a benefit. Since one of the results of using marketing is the creation of value, we should be aware of outside influences that can alter it.
Outside influences such as Change, the creation of Alliances (that can provide an immediate solution to business expansion and ensuing value creation), Market Research (to help validate goals, direction, and define your audience), and company policies (that can impact the creation of value).
The creation of a marketing strategy that supports value creation, can be helped or hindered by how well management leads the process; the financial situation of your company and its ability to fund such an undertaking; the culture of your company and whether there is a positive employee attitude.
Content Marketing is often a difficult sell to the C-Suite because the projected results are not immediately evident and may be difficult, but not impossible, to quantify. Content Marketing has been described this way. “Your customers don’t care about you, your products or your services. They care about themselves, their wants, and their needs.
Content Marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about, so they actually pay attention to you.”(1)
Additionally, the flexibility of Content Marketing allows it to divide a market of potential customers into groups, or segments, based on different characteristics and interests. This type of targeting increases the opportunity to promote the product or service directly to the interested parties, and often can result in successful sales.
Company executives must appreciate and understand that all these areas are necessary for a healthy bottom line. They must be diligent in the hiring of marketing personnel who understand how to effectively use these tools and who understand their relationship to the bottom line. Marketing is not done in a vacuum. It touches all other aspects of a business.
Franklin Cooper © 2019