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The Case For Content

I get caught in the centre of this conversation all the time. I run a content marketing agency that specialises in the financial services sector globally. Financial services brands by their nature have numbers inherently inked into their DNA so measurable performance matters. Let’s put our clients to the side for the moment. As the managing director of The Dubs it’s just as incumbent on me to know these answers for our own business.

When I Googled how to measure content marketing ROI I soon realised how pointless this was as there are a gazillion different viewpoints on how to “definitively” measure it. Thing is, looking at these various formulas and theories from an analytical business perspective they looked like soft veneers or were so opaque as to be useless.

I went back to a brutal basic. We obtain 100% of our income as a traceable result of our own always-on content program. We do not have full-time in-house business development managers chasing people. Nor do we use outsourced sales or appointment setters cold calling till the cows come home. We have no “traditional” sales team at all.

We used to have all this agency sales infrastructure for years and I never felt comfortable with it. I was a finance journalist with News Corp before starting The Dubs and I was trained as a communicator – not a salesman. Maybe I was a rubbish salesman but the long and short of it was the traditional sales approach never really worked for us.

Some years we posted small profits where others were like being dragged along gravel just to break even, and then of course there were years you lost money and felt like you were literally drowning. It was just awful. So we decided to ditch the traditional sales approach and bet the farm on content and we’d live or die off the back of that. Looking back it was a ballsy decision to make and I’d be a liar if I said there weren’t any “three am sweats” where I’d think – what have we done! But it got us focussed.