Many clients who I engage with bemoan the endless cycle of producing marketing content without truly understanding the impact on their organization’s business. I can relate — when I was a marketing practitioner managing campaigns years ago, I was frustrated with the struggle to link content efforts to pipeline and revenue. After all, why spend hours creating and promoting content if you can’t really figure out if it’s driving results? It’s like baking a delicious cake and never getting to taste it!
Unfortunately, this is still a common pain point for many B2B organizations. According to Forrester’s 2022 State Of B2B Content Survey, almost half of B2B marketers consider themselves beginners at tracking content impact. That’s right — 47% of B2B organizations lack the sophistication to meaningfully evaluate their content’s impact. Instead, they rely on output and activity metrics such as the number of assets published, page views, or click-throughs to gauge performance. But let’s be honest: Those metrics only scratch the surface and don’t tell the full story of content effectiveness. In fact, 29% of respondents said that they had no method of connecting content to performance measurement.
So what can you do to break free from this content measurement dilemma? I just published a report that puts a content spin on touch analysis — basically providing a way to look back from a shortlist of closed business to connect buyer engagement with content. The approach adds a new lens to content measurement that uncovers what content worked with actual buyers.
This lens will provide data that helps marketers understand the impact of content on pipeline and revenue and, at the same time, helps derive meaning from common content measurement metrics: for example, when high engagement with an asset by buyers aligns with anonymous data indicating engagement with the same asset.
Once you’ve identified an area of focus and defined what good looks like, the process requires only 10–15 deals to surface meaningful engagement trends that you can then analyze against a larger data set. This means selecting opportunities where you believe your content should have made an impact and then analyzing whether it did. With this in hand, you can identify patterns and form hypotheses about content impact. You can find common sequences of content-based interactions and note any differences in delivery mechanisms or timing.
Getting at these insights will help you make data-driven decisions about your content strategy — this is the state that marketers with content responsibility should strive for: using an understanding of what content actually engaged real buyers to plan new content creation and promotion.
Forrester clients should check out the six steps in the touch analysis for content that my colleague Brett Kahnke and I wrote to provide deeper insight into how content impacts pipeline and revenue. Using this approach, you can show stakeholders how content drives business results and start shaping future content initiatives with confidence.