Carrying Your Weight: Marketers Talk Big Questions at B-to-B Roundtable
John Gibb—from the Connecticut chapter of the American Marketers Association—notes, "there are different ways, or different ends here. Do you want content that's a lead-gen tool, do you want it as branding, do you want it for awareness raising? Don't get in the position of saying, 'Oh crap. You know, we're not doing it. We have to do it and throw money at it' and expect results. It's really just things like improving content and messaging, and tying in and showing that you know from where you speak. And I think that's really kind of what the ultimate goal is. Whatever challenge, whatever way you want to use content—using it in that capacity."
Maura Packham, vice president of marketing and communications at Milwaukee-based printing company Quad/Graphics, agreed: "It's understanding your audience and what they are interested in reading. It's back to what we said about how the funnel is changing, and it's more about a focus on the journey and the type of content. [There are] three types of content: One is reach content, second is engagement content, and the third bucket is conversion content. Annd so it's understanding where your target is along that journey.
"Bring prospects to your brand with reach content and then it's about engaging them. You're still not selling them at that point, but you're pulling them deeper into the funnel, and then conversion would be like the whitepaper for example, where they have clicked and head further down the path to a converted sale."
Measuring Return on Investment is challenging for everyone, and working with different metrics of success often muddies the picture. "We evaluate ROI from an engagement and conversion standpoint," said Grdodian. "Because we recognize that typical purchases aren't that of impulse, it's more of a journey. Therefore engagement and awareness play a significant role in our ROI evaluation. The first impression will pave the way to our eventual conversion, but we realize that it's going to take more than just that initial impression. We focus on nudging our audience along the buyer cycle through multiple mediums so we've created a dashboard that combines statistics from opens and clicks, opt-outs, time on site, bounce rates, page views, referrer sites and phrases to understand the entire picture in a single view so we can evaluate and attribute properly."