Only 50% believe in measuring ROI content marketing

Sendt av: Ulbe Jelluma 28/10/2016

“We all know it is easier to get metrics from digital channels, and easier to make digital content look like it’s working well”. This is an advantage of digital channels over more ‘traditional' channels such as print. This might explain some of the over-reliance of marketers and agencies on digital channels.


The above quote originates from the Effectiveness report from the CMA, the content marketing association in the UK. The digital revolution in advertising was supported by the easy way of measuring effects like page impressions, clicks, shares and likes.

The CMA interviewed senior marketers among their members and different A-brands. Based on these interviews it highlighted that there is still debates ongoing about what is worth measuring. Only 50 per cent of the respondents believe it is possible to accurately measure content marketing ROI. Almost all respondents believe that content marketing metrics can also measure long-term brand health indicators such as favourability, likability, trust, consideration and propensity to buy. 

Every company that uses print media, such as magazines, brochures, leaflets or white paper, has a set of tools in place to effectively measure the performance.

Despite the tools of measurement, print magazine usage in the UK content marketing has dropped 0,9% between 2013-2016, partly because of the lack of ROMI measurement. However, as the research company Gartner explains consumers appreciate the multichannel brand experience including ‘traditional’ media and ‘new’ digital platforms. That might also have to do with that fact that print offers a different content than online. As Michael Skapinker of the Financial Times points out: "when I use an app, I read what I’m interested in. When I read a print newspaper, I find myself reading things I did not know I was interested in”.

The Effectiveness Report cites three measures for the effectiveness of print magazine content:

1. Tracking incremental sales on a product level

Track those products that are only supported by a print magazine and track the effect of the magazine on the product sales during the publication time of the magazine.

2. Tracking incremental sales at customer level

Identify consumers as readers of the magazine and as control group and track shopping behaviour before, during and after the publication of the magazine.

3. Econometrics

This is the most expensive way to identify and quantify a causal relationship between the print magazine and sales. 

The report concludes with a strong suggestion to paying proper attention to the measurement and validation of printed content. By demonstrating the financial return on marketing investment, the print magazines will remain part of a cross-channel content strategy.