As a career marketer I have learned to navigate the tricky waters of how to craft a marketing strategy and media mix that can be measured. Let’s define measure. Everything can be measured right? I can measure eyeballs, responses, unique visitors, impressions, watches/views, handouts, conversions, and inquiries, open rates… I think you get the idea. I can even measure the number of meetings and handshakes I had in a month. Are they valuable? Absolutely. But how do they lead to a measured ROI? Hmm.

Can every marketer measure EVERY piece of content all the way through to ROI?

Marketers know the value of their content extremely well; they wouldn’t be producing it if it didn’t have value. Can we all honestly say every piece of content we create can be tracked all the way to ROI? – I don’t think so.

I know big data surrounds us, but it doesn’t have Ubiquitous, big content-to-ROI proof.

When was the last time one of your customers told you they purchased your product or service because they saw your social media post last Tuesday at 3:15pm? Your email last week at 8:00am? Your video on YouTube that they watched today at 6:30pm? Or your mobile app download that occurred at lunch? Consumers are smart, but what they can’t do is recall 100% of the time the absolute marketing initiative that caused them to purchase. Life, marketing and big data just do not work this way.

I fully enjoy content ROI eBooks, reports, blogs and webinars. However, I honestly don’t buy into the concept of 100% of my marketing can be tracked 100% of the time to the bottom line.

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Scott MacFarland



Twitter: @scmacfarland

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