Monday, October 27, 2014

Is Content King? Measuring the ROI of Content Marketing Programs

Key terms: content marketing, ROI, Web traffic, return-on-marketing
The world of marketing is evolving once again as sellers shift from traditional product-centric pitches to sophisticated customer-centric content that appeals to the most pressing concerns of buyers. There is a good reason for the change: According to Forrester Research, 62% of senior-level business and IT decision-makers find that much of the marketing materials they receive from vendors are useless. In fact, almost 60% say they usually scan the materials and then “throw them in the trash.”
Yet many organizations still market the old way: randomly bombarding customers and prospects with generic brochure-ware, product pitches, and banner ads. Increasingly this strategy is falling short. Marketing materials are routinely ignored, and companies continue to miss critical customer-growth and return-on-marketing targets. Marketers must move beyond traditional models or face tougher management scrutiny or worse.
The failure of traditional product-centric marketing has spawned a new approach called content marketing. The idea is to create consistently valuable, relevant content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action. When done right, content marketing matches the company’s message with the buyer’s needs during each step of the selling process  —from generating awareness to building qualified leads to closing sales.
In recent research by Mainstay, [] we found that content marketing yields better results — more traffic, leads and customers — in today’s multi-channel, social-mobile world. More and more, buyers want to be informed, educated, and even entertained about topics that genuinely interest them. Less appealing are all the unsolicited product pitches and company ads devoid of relevant content. As the VP of marketing for a multi-billion dollar scientific equipment maker told us: “Content is king.”
Among the eight companies studied, Mainstay found that the move to content-based marketing – as well as solutions that automated this function – drove:
• 133% increase in return visitors to their Website
• 253% increase in online engagement (downloads, blog reads, etc.)
• 200% increase in email open rates
• 75% increase in Web traffic
• Six-fold revenue lift from content marketing activities
• 30% reduction in asset production cycle time

Ready to transform your marketing? Mainstay believes content marketing should be a cornerstone of your strategy in the new social-mobile era.


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