One of the best-known aphorisms in business is that effectiveness is about doing the right things, while efficiency is about doing things right. Effectiveness and efficiency are the yin and yang of high performance, and both are essential to produce superior long-term business results.
For the past several years, marketers have been working to improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing activities and programs. When it comes to content marketing, however, most of the attention has been given to the effectiveness component of the performance equation. Marketers have been primarily focused on dealing with issues like:
- What attributes must our content have to create meaningful engagement with our customers and prospects?
- What content formats will be most effective with our target audiences?
- What channels will best enable us to reach our potential customers?
Because content marketing is a relatively new practice for many companies, it’s understandable that marketers have concentrated mainly on making their content marketing effective and have been somewhat less concerned about content marketing efficiency. Doing the right things should take priority over doing things right, particularly when the activity or process is new and the requirements for success are not fully understood.
But now, B2B companies are making huge investments in content marketing, and the time has come for marketers to focus on making their content marketing activities as efficient as possible.
A new research study by Gleanster and Kapost reveals the economic importance of improving the efficiency of content marketing activities and processes. The study is based on a survey of 3,408 marketing professionals in US B2B companies having 250 or more employees.
Here are some of the major findings from the Gleanster/Kapost research:
- Large and mid-size B2B firms in the US collectively spend over $5.2 billion annually on content creation efforts.
- Managing the overall content process is the single biggest content marketing challenge for marketers in large and mid-size B2B companies (identified by over 90% of survey respondents).
- Poorly managed and/or cumbersome content management processes lead to an estimated $958 million each year in excessive spending on content marketing by large and mid-size B2B companies.
- B2B companies that have invested in optimizing their content marketing efforts have marketing cycle times that are 240% faster than average firms.
- The average large/mid-size B2B company spends and extra $120,000 per year on internal marketing personnel to produce the same volume of content as a firm that has invested in optimizing its content marketing operations.
- $0.25 of every dollar spend on content marketing in an average large/mid-size B2B company is wasted on inefficient content marketing operations.
The findings of the Gleanster/Kapost research are both provocative and compelling. Even if the economic estimates are only reasonably accurate, they clearly show that virtually all B2B companies could realize significant benefits by improving the efficiency of their content marketing operations.
Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and Darryl Moran