Good to Great? [New Research]

“We won. Now what?”

That mind-opening commentary got here in a dialog I had with Velocity Partners’ Doug Kessler this yr.

As he famous, we’ve gotten good at content material advertising. Now, how can we change into nice at it?

In the seminal enterprise e book Good To Great, writer Jim Collins writes, “Good is the enemy of great.” People accept good as a result of it’s simpler, he suggests, opening the door to opponents.

No one units out to be the third of their market, however they find yourself there as a result of they don’t transcend good.

No one units out to be the third of their market, however they find yourself there as a result of they don’t transcend good. @Robert_Rose by way of @cmicontent. #demandgen #analysis Click To Tweet

Good-to-great demand era

Teams could battle to take their content material from good to nice due to the growing give attention to short-term outcomes during the last decade. This pattern places extra strain on the demand-generation marketer to enhance leads to shorter and shorter time frames.

According to the 2019 Lead Nurturing & Acceleration Survey Report, 41% of firms ship weekly campaigns. Only a handful (6%) of respondents say their typical cadence is month-to-month, in contrast to 17% within the earlier yr.

This intense short-term strain to iterate has led many companies to delay longer-term investments similar to creating the infrastructure and processes to scale and measure their general content material advertising efforts.

When CMI reported the outcomes of our first Content Marketing for Demand Generation Survey final yr, I wrote in regards to the pressures of short-termism: “Most demand-generation strategies are simply demand-identification programs. Marketing teams exert tremendous effort to optimize content experiences for search terms and questions, and to be ever more different, persuasive, and faster for anyone who has raised their hand to say, ‘I’m interested.’”

In that report, we concluded that many companies had “moved to good, but not great.”

Last yr’s outcomes confirmed respondents reaching some short-term success however battling scale and measurability – each of which require a long-term strategy to technique, planning, infrastructure, and funding.

In this yr’s survey, we explored these points additional. The ensuing market temporary, Scaling and Measuring Content Marketing to Generate Demand, Measure Audiences sponsored by ScribbleLive, captures the adjustments within the panorama during the last 12 months and explores present attitudes concerning the standard of the content material companies create.

We hypothesize a need to transfer from “good” to “great” and that entrepreneurs can overcome the hurdles of short-termism to spend money on a longer-term technique, infrastructure, and expertise we’d like to evolve.

The outcomes open up alternatives for entrepreneurs to contemplate:

  • Where are the gaps in our strategy?
  • What adjustments are occurring in how content material advertising is used throughout demand era?
  • How do our efforts examine with these adjustments?

Scaling struggles in demand-generation content material

Once once more, the survey requested entrepreneurs to assess how a lot demand-generation content material they create and the way a lot worth they see from that content material for every stage within the purchaser’s journey.

The demand-generation entrepreneurs reveal that they dedicate over half of their content material creation efforts (51%) to the early stage, a 10% bounce over final yr. In distinction, they create solely 17% of their content material for the late stage, a 21% decline over 2018.

The outcomes adopted final yr’s sample. More than half (57% in 2019 vs. 51% in 2018) say they get probably the most worth from the early-stage content material and solely 6% (vs. eight% in 2019) expertise that worth within the late stage of the client’s journey.

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Segmenting by personas declines

More than half of demand-generation operations nonetheless don’t observe one of the best observe of segmenting their actions by personas. In truth, the variety of entrepreneurs who say they don’t use personas and don’t have any plans to use them elevated by about 25% (24% in 2019 vs. 19% in 2018). This discovering could signify one other issue within the hole between good and nice.

24% of entrepreneurs say they don’t section demand-gen actions by personas. @cmicontent #analysis #demandgen Click To Tweet


Content’s function in driving and nurturing demand

We additionally needed to know what entrepreneurs take into consideration the standard and amount of their content material and its means to meet their demand-generation objectives. As we did final yr, respondents had been requested how they view their group’s success with content material advertising for demand era. Like final yr, 58% say their group is reasonably profitable.

Interestingly, 77% say their group views content material as extraordinarily or crucial to their demand-generation efforts. But most entrepreneurs surveyed (63%) say they don’t have sufficient content material to fulfill their group’s present demand-generation objectives. And lower than half (45%) price their content material as wonderful or excellent.

63% of entrepreneurs say they don’t have sufficient #content material to fill their demand-gen objectives by way of @cmicontent #analysis. #demandgen Click To Tweet


We additionally requested in regards to the greatest problem of utilizing content material for demand era. More than 30% of the responses had to do with having the time, assets, funds, or staff. Verbatim solutions included:

  • “Being able to generate large quantities of content, given our small team and budget”
  • “Creating a large amount of content catering to our audience”
  • “Not enough time to create the content we need”
  • “Frequency of content creation and distribution”
  • “Having the time to create high-quality content”

Is the strain to produce extra content material one more reason why demand-gen entrepreneurs are caught at good?


Great requires reorganizing for and investing in success

The analysis reveals that progress is being made in demand-gen content material advertising approaches, however a lot work stays.

If content material advertising is to be a significant – and rising – a part of a demand-generation operation, firms should spend money on it the identical as they’d some other important enterprise technique.

It should be acknowledged as a long-term funding that requires a documented technique, a devoted staff, and centered, aligned objectives for the whole lot that’s executed.

#ContentMarketing should be acknowledged as a long-term funding that requires a documented technique, a devoted staff, and aligned objectives for the whole lot that’s executed. @Robert_Rose #demandgen #analysis Click To Tweet

That is what’s required for demand-generation entrepreneurs to transfer past good (assembly current demand with current content material) to nice (creating new sorts of content material that can generate new demand).


Get extra perception and survey outcomes; obtain Scaling and Measuring Content Marketing to Generate Demand, Measure Audiences in the present day. 

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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