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What should business leaders expect from a B2B content team?

Posted by John Hatton on 17 Feb 2015, 17:57:00

A lot is written for marketers about how to align a content strategy with business objectives. But not a lot for the actual business leaders.

Are the metrics any different? Of course they are.

Measuring B2B Content ROI

For example, at some point it’s likely that your marketing team told you the latest campaign raised brand awareness by so much; or an email had a click-through rate of X%; maybe the most recent campaign resulted in Y amount of pitches.

These metrics all work great for marketers who want to analyse a campaign’s reach and understand topics of interest amongst their audience. They also - particularly the last mentioned - contribute to revenue.  

But they don’t measure the most important metric to the business… ROI.

97% of marketers are unable to measure ROI all of the time – B2B Marketing’s Content Marketing Benchmarking Report 2014

The problem is that a lot of companies don’t know how to measure the ROI of content. But the bottom line is that you shouldn’t be doing anything you can’t measure the results of. At the end of the day it could be costing your company money rather than generating more. Sure, you may have gained two new customers because of the last ebook. But how much did they cost to research, write and distribute? How much are the new clients worth to your business?

These are the answers you need from your CMO (or equivalent).

Fortunately, as I’m sure you know, calculating ROI is simple. The tricky part is attaining the initial data for the equation. This might be the CMO’s job but it won’t hurt for you to have an idea.

Once you have worked out how much a piece of content cost to produce – including staff wages and the cost of images rights etc. – you need to calculate the revenue it generated. This is the (relatively) hard bit.

A content strategy nurtures a lead with various pieces of copy. Each of these has its own role to play in the sales journey without necessarily resulting in a direct sale. Therefore, your marketing team needs to have some sort of attribution model in place – enabling them to determine what content led to each sale. Based on the principle that each piece of content a customer ‘touches’ before converting is of equal importance, the value of the sale should be divided evenly between each one.

Now you have all the information you need to calculate ROI – no more excuses for the CMO to feed you click-through rates etc. without monetary substantiation.

Note of caution: this isn’t a case of forgetting about the metrics I mentioned at the start of this post. It’s about linking each of them to ROI. Our ebook, on how to measure B2B marketing ROI, will help your marketing team to justify their spending, not just on content but on all of their activity, by proving it’s generating a return. Good for marketing. Good for you. Good for the business. 

Read our new ebook: B2B Marketing ROI - Measuring Success

Topics: B2B Content Marketing, B2B, B2B marketing, B2B Marketing ROI, B2B ROI, content marketing, B2B Content