We’re such an inpatient lot. The more we can measure, the more (irrationally) we expect things to work immediately.
This applies to many facets of life these days, but particularly for B2B sales & marketing professionals.
Despite a clearer understanding of the buyer’s journey and timeline, we still expect our leads to convert immediately. We expect new/cold lists to generate results right away. We expect social selling to drive warm pipeline quickly (apparently just because it’s social).
I believe many companies have invested in content marketing with good intentions, meaning they understand it’s a longer-term investment. Many companies who have prioritized content marketing are generating warm leads at a fraction of the cost of their competitors and peers.
That result is real, but it takes time. I believe well-intended companies bought into the investment, but lost patience too quickly.
I’m seeing more examples of companies questioning and effectively giving up on content marketing in The Dip.
Seth Godin a few years ago wrote a whole book about The Dip, which in summary is the point of perceived failure at which most people give up on a particular goal. With the right discipline, focus and continued execution, the objective is still within reach.
Unfortunately, most people give up too early. They face The Dip and move on.
The other force driving many companies away from content, of course, is quota. Sure, an investment in content sounds good in theory. But then revenue and sales expectations intervene. The sales team gets anxious. An “email next Tuesday” is scheduled instead to feed “warmer, faster” leads to the sales team.
That, of course, is a slippery slope and will get you right back into the weekly fire drill rinse-and-repeat rut you were in before (or are still in now).
So your competitors and peers are questioning content marketing. They’re giving up. But you? You should double down.
I’m not writing this from an ivory tower. I have to meet quota to match our revenue expectations as well. But I also know first-hand that our investment in content marketing has paid incredible dividends, and continues to drive the majority of our net-new opportunities.
We don’t have a dedicated marketing team. We don’t have a single dedicated salesperson. But we’re generating 15-20 leads per day and growing at 20 percent top-line year over year.
That might not be enough for some. And certainly our content marketing investment could be scaled to increase output.
But we faced The Dip and won. So can you.