Is It Time to Trash Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Hal Conick
AMA Annual
Current average rating    
Key Takeaways

​What? Content marketing has never been more important, but only 36% of companies have a content marketing strategy, and 53% of companies have only a small group dedicated to the practice.

So what? Lacking a content strategy means time, energy and effort are being wasted, and opportunities to win over new customers are being lost.

Now what? Measure content marketing's value in terms that matter to the C-suite, and if your content doesn't have an audience outside your organization, it may be time to rethink it.

​Sept. 13, 2017

Content isn't simply there for your boss and current audience. Content should be creating new audiences for your company, according to the Content Marketing Institute's Robert Rose.


Having a content marketing team is valuable and within arms reach of every marketing department. Just think about the huge, profitable content marketing programs of companies like Red Bull and PepsiCo as examples of content marketing's growth potential. Why, then, do so few marketers take advantage of the potential of owned media and a captive audience?

At the AMA's 2017 Annual Conference, Robert Rose, chief strategy advisor at Content Marketing Institute, says new research from his company found:

  • 53% of companies have a content marketing strategy that only involves a “small group” serving the entire company. 

  • Only 36% of companies have any strategy for content marketing. 

  • Only 20% of businesses are committed to the practice of marketing.

  • And 57% of companies aren't sure what successful content marketing looks like.

The solution, Rose says, is to use content marketing to build new audiences. “When you create an audience, you create a market,” Rose says. “But the thing is, you will only create an audience if you build something worth demanding an audience ... and that's the part that we really don't have our arms around yet.”

To fix what may seem like a dire situation, Rose says companies should look first at what they can stop doing. This may be stopping the current content marketing program, Rose says, and a good indication that it's time to stop and rethink a content marketing program is when only those inside the company would care if it stopped. Marketers must ask what can be changed, Roses says, or perhaps done differently.

The Four C's

The C-suite mainly cares about cost and revenue, so Rose says marketers should use this to measure content marketing. This means looking at the four C's, which include:

  1. Competency - Can we become smarter, use a better marketing database and get deeper insights into sales leads?

  2. Campaign - Can we get faster leads, more leads, improved SEO and higher-quality opportunities?

  3. Customer Value - Can content marketing bring better word of mouth, higher retention and less churn?

  4. Cash - Can we generate revenue with content or create partnership opportunities?

The Foundation of a Content Marketing Program

Content marketers must start by deciding to invest in the experience of content marketing instead of simply creating content willy-nilly and hoping for the best. Marketers must also organize teams, managing their content marketing and measuring it across the four C's.

“Thinking strategically won't cost you any more money,” Rose says, adding that this kind of creative and strategic thinking goes beyond investing in new technology. “Your future as marketing leaders will not be built on the back of technology, it will be built on the back of what you put into the technology.”

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Author Bio:
Hal Conick
Hal Conick is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @HalConick.
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