Russell Parsons: Be clear on content marketing objectives to determine your ROI

There comes a point in the life of all marketing channels where the question is asked – ‘great, but what’s the ROI?’.

Russell thumb

Content marketing for a long time was considered by many to be the silver bullet solution to a major problem – marketing to the world-weary who are sick and tired of being sold to.

Content is a valid and potentially effective way of marketing. It is not, however, free and with cost comes accountability. Our report concludes that content marketing is at a crossroads with an immediate need to determine what the ultimate aim of it is – selling without, err, selling, or a brand building tool that is about delivering information that is relevant and will reflect well on the brand behind it in the long term.

The report is full of worrying research that concludes there is little tracking against objectives and perhaps a complete lack of objective setting. Of particular concern is the finding from a report for the Content Marketing Institute that showed 10% of marketers do not track ROI.

It doesn’t have to be a choice between branding and sales. Social media is several miles ahead but has been on a similar journey. Social loving brands have concluded that there is a need for a clear definition of objectives against business strategy in exactly the same way the success of all marketing should be measured; otherwise return cannot be determined. Content marketing should be no different.

Content marketing is very much part of Ann Summers’ ’Fifty Shades of Grey’ themed campaign, with ‘how to’ guides that promise to take the reader on an “erotic journey”. CEO Jacqueline Gold is clear on the objectives of this and other activity – female sexual liberation. Her story is not all about riding crops and cuffs, however. Read how Gold is setting about the not insubstantial task of empowering women in the boardroom as well as the bedroom.

The ‘Fifty Shades’ campaign has been launched to coincide with Valentine’s Day as has the publication of our trends article, which details the rise and rise of the online dating industry.

From content to bondage and the search for love, there’s plenty to love (and learn from) this week.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here