This Just In: Good Marketing Should Create Good Leads…

In life, there are what many people call “Aha!” Moments.

And there are also what we may refer to as “Duh!” Moments.

A recent blog post on began with a headline that struck us here at the Amplitude Digital blog as the latter:

“Leads Take Hold as the Primary Goal of Content Marketing.”

Really, now? You don’t say?

The blog post began with a look at the rise in importance and prevalence of “content marketing,” citing a leap from 28% in 2012 to 49% in 2013 when it came to U.S. companies with formal content marketing strategies, per a recent 2013 Content Marketing Survey Report. Additionally, the report showed that the percentage of companies without a content marketing strategy dwindled from 26% to 18% over the same time period.

The post went on to examine the various “purposes” of all this new-fangled content marketing, noting that the report had seen “increased leads” skyrocket from the No. 4 goal, with 16% of respondents citing it as the top priority in 2012, to No. 1 in 2013, with a full 44% of the vote behind it.

The No. 1 goal in 2012, you ask? Well, that would be “Customer & prospect engagement,” with 26% of the vote. In 2013, that answer/objective was down to 19% and a second-place tie with “awareness.”

We’ve said it before here in this blog space, and we’ll say it again:

No matter what the year, medium, location or messaging, good marketing will always be good marketing. Whether you call it “direct marketing,” “relationship marketing,” “mobile marketing” or “content marketing.”

And as such, good marketing will always have smart, quantifiable, real-world goals, objectives and “purposes” behind it.

Increasing leads is one such goal and objective. Customer engagement? Well…not so much.

Why? Simple, really. The latter is more like a “diagnostic metric” – a white-hot term in marketing circles now, but not something you really want to hang the hopes of your business and brand on. Unless, that is, you want to appear “trendy” and “cool” while hanging a “For Sale” or “Going Out Of Business Sale” sign outside your shop window.

Increasing leads, on the other hand, is more of a true KPI, or Key Performance Indicator. As is, say, growing revenue. Or boosting sales. And if you truly want to boost sales…well, it sure helps to grow your leads. And keep from losing or not converting any leads you may have already secured.

Understanding the difference between diagnostic metrics and KPIs sure seems simple, but it’s become increasingly apparent that this is not always the case in today’s fragmented, loud and cluttered consumer marketing and advertising landscape.

The responses contained within this recent Content Marketing Survey Report, however, suggest that things are getting better – and marketers more intuitive – in 2013 than they were in 2012.

What do YOU think?

Do today’s marketers have a strong awareness and understanding of the marketplace and the consumers who populate and define it? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below this blog.

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