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Are You Measuring the Right Things? [The Weekly Wrap]

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And that’s a wrap of the week ending June 19, 2020

This week I’m wondering if we’re measuring the right things. Marketing leader Adam Helweh and I talk about the trends Google thinks will stick with consumers even when stay-at-home orders relax. And I point to an article that asks whether marketers should even care about engagement anymore.

Listen to (or watch) the Weekly Wrap

Our theme this week is measurement. As Marty Rubin once wrote, “Every line is the perfect length if you don’t measure it.”

If we are what we measure ourselves against, then shouldn’t the things we take the time to measure be what we want to be? That’s what you might call our measured response.

Listen to the episode (time stamps apply to the audio version):

Watch it, too:

One deep thought: Making a big thing out of measurement (3:56)

One of my favorite business thinkers, Eliyahu M. Goldratt, once wrote, “Tell me how you will measure me, and I will tell you how I will behave. If you measure me in an illogical way … do not complain about illogical behavior.”

We humans adjust our behavior to the measurements we’re held to – no matter how illogical they may be. One of the most common examples in B2B content marketing is the debate over whether to put content behind a registration gate.

When I’m asked to help decide, one of my first questions is why they want to gate the content. The inevitable answer is “because we’ll get more leads.”

But are all the people downloading that content leads? When you’re measured by the number of leads you produce, you’re probably more than willing to redefine the concept of a lead. This flawed behavior sometimes leads to different definitions of a qualified lead for each team (demand gen, marketing, sales). Then teams spend their time debating the adjudication of how each lead matches each team’s qualification.

The behavior you measure is the behavior you get.

The behavior you measure is the behavior you get, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

I believe classical marketing measurement can be made more logical. But what intrigues me is how the concept of marketing measured may be completely rebooted.

Interest in sustainable investing and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) funds has more than doubled over the last seven years. And that’s changing the way Wall Street thinks about value.

CEOs are redefining the purpose of successful corporations to include investing in employees, protecting the environment, and dealing more fairly with suppliers. And, while lagging, even venture capitalists are finding a strong connection between doing social good and financial performance in emerging markets.

As these trends spread, these measurements will influence the way we market products and services as well. I believe marketing is on the cusp of finding new ways to measure performance that go beyond the standard of how much revenue we can drive against how little we can spend to do it.

#Marketing is on the cusp of new ways to measure performance that go beyond revenue and budget, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

This week’s person making a difference in content: Adam Helweh (11:50)

My guest this week, Adam Helweh, is CEO of Secret Sushi Creative Inc., a strategic design, digital, and social media marketing agency. He specializes in the convergence of design and technology to provide businesses with more intelligent and interactive ways to connect with customers and grow. His clients have included Edelman, Broadcom, Stanford Federal Credit Union, the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, Bunchball, and others.

He’s also the host of a marketing podcast. We talked about a recent news article on emerging trends Google thinks will last beyond the stay-at-home orders.

Here’s a peek at what Adam had to say:

The chasing of the new, new, new all the time is so much harder to do just to create content for the sake of creating new content. If you want to fill in gaps in your customer journey, that’s great – that’s probably the best place to prioritize new content. But you’re probably missing a huge opportunity to repurpose and blend together existing content that has a lot of value already.

Chasing new all the time means you miss a huge opportunity to repurpose valuable existing #content, says @adamhelweh via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Listen in, then learn more about Adam:

One content marketing idea you can use (31:42)

The one post on CMI’s site that I’d love for you to take another look at this week is Should Engagement Really Matter to Marketers Any More? by Jodi Harris.

“On the surface, engagement seems like an ideal goal for content marketers,” Jodi writes, “but when you take a deeper look at how difficult it is to determine its value, you may want to rethink the role it plays in your strategy.”

Think of engagement as a functional tool, not as proof of #marketing performance, says @joderama via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

My favorite part of the article talks about how she engages with companies’ blogs and social media when she’s researching topics for articles – but all that engagement doesn’t mean she’s a lead for the company.

It’s a great article to help you think about what your measuring really means.

Love for our sponsor: Sitecore

As the well-known marketing saying goes, “Content is king.” And with organizations having to rely on their digital channels more than ever these days to reach customers, creating and publishing effective and engaging content has taken on a whole new level of importance.

Sitecore recently held its inaugural Virtual Marketer Day, and one of the tracks was dedicated to helping organizations better manage their content – from beginning to end.

There is a new post-event guide titled “Understanding the end-to-end content lifecycle,” with practical steps you can take to optimize your content engine and personalize digital experiences for your customers.

Download the guide today.

The wrap-up

I hope you’re all well and taking care of each other. Rethinking what we measure ourselves by in the new or next normal will be important. One thing important to me is that you took time in your day to listen to this show and/or read these show notes. I hope you’re digging it.

I’m always striving to improve it. If you have ideas about what you’d like to hear or guests you’d like to hear from, let me know in the comments. And if you love the show, I’d sure love for you to review it or share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

To listen to past shows, go to the main Weekly Wrap page.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute