It’s every marketer’s duty to question ROI

Like you, we’re interested in return on investment in marketing. Especially because we’re a service business, and every hour we waste is an hour we can’t get back. So as we sit down to write a new post, when we’ve got plenty of paying work to be doing instead, we find ourselves asking: is a blog the best way we can be marketing our business? What’s the value in it for our readers, and for us?

Warning: doom and gloom ahead

Let’s be negative for a second (just a second, mind). Even leaving aside social networking accounts, which can serve a similar purpose, there are millions upon millions of blogs that we’re competing against for readership. And even in our broad category of writers and marketers, we face stiff competition. Unlike market researchers, we’ve got no exciting new stats to share. Unlike marketing technologists, we’ve got no compelling new products to show you. We’re not investigative journalists that spend all day digging up exclusive stories. And, although we think we’re pretty fun and interesting people, we know that we can’t compete for your time against the best entertainers just by talking about ourselves and what we’ve been up to. Who really wants to read about an agency’s latest client win?

Blogs are more valuable than you might think

All of what we’ve just said is true, but there are plenty of things we can achieve. We can:

  • Use the insights we’ve gained working with dozens of businesses to offer fresh ideas and recommendations that can help even experienced marketers like you in your daily activities.
  • Distil our unstructured knowledge and ponderings into something repeatable, something that makes our own work better or more efficient for our clients.
  • Share the best of what we learn from our wider reading, to help save you time when doing your own research (although we mainly do this on Twitter).
  • Show you that we understand how this complex, amorphous thing called marketing works, and that we’re on the cutting edge of tools, concepts and practices in our field.

We’re also pragmatic enough to think that showing our credentials in this way might encourage customers who are looking for an agency to get in touch with us and start a dialogue (and in fact, that’s already happened).

The best thing is that all of these benefits are cumulative: since we started this blog in June 2010 we’ve built up a solid archive of posts and larger articles on all kinds of topicsmany of which are still valid and interesting today, and that we can point clients to when they ask us questions.

So, while there’s plenty of ‘real’ work to be done and not enough hours in the day, no business can afford to neglect marketing itself. And for marketing agencies like ours that need to demonstrate knowledge to win business, building a blog is a pretty good investment indeed.

Posted by John on 20 January 2012