A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Content Marketing Still Stuck in the Middle

Friday, May 10th, 2013

A big tip o’ the hat to my friend, colleague and marketing maven Jane Tabachnick for turning me on to this MediaPost piece by Joseph Jaffe. CMO: The Chief Muddled Officer. It points out how marketing is still stuck betwixt and between.

The latest evidence he points to is a pair of studies (by Accenture and Spencer Stuart) that paint today’s CMO as being on top of the world at the same time they’re still running as fast as they can just to keep standing still. CMOs are getting more respect, but not necessarily more resources to match the expanded expectations.

Our own experience, though typically at organizations small enough so that “Chief” anything officer is a bit of overstatement, is that data is part of the problem. Gone are the days when it was OK to admit that only have your advertising was working, you just didn’t know which half. (Thank you, John Wanamaker.) But we’re not yet at a point where we can always determine what marketing has generated what leads accurately down to two or three decimal places.

We may get there, or we may not, but what’s important is getting expectations in line with reality. Digital gives us much more information. If we’re smart about analyzing it, we can be much quicker in adjusting our efforts in favor of the things that work. In the meantime, content marketers have to continue to push their teams to be rigorous in tracking and measurement – even if the news isn’t good – while at the same time resisting the pressures from their sales and management counterparts to be unrealistically accountable without the resources required to make it happen.



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