In business, one key measure of management effectiveness is return on assets (ROA). It measures how efficient a company is at using its asset base to generate earnings. The reason it is so important is that, as anybody in business knows, competitive advantage is difficult to create and sustain. A good ROA ratio delivered through diligent management oversight is often a hallmark of successful firms.
A company's content can be a tremendous asset in producing earnings. Content is information and experiences in almost any form – text, photos, video, audio, visuals, social media messages, etc. – that customers and prospects can use to help them make buying decisions. It may consist of content that is delivered through owned media that a company produces, or it can be content communicated through earned media that is often beyond the company's control. Earned media is increasingly delivered via social networks when people refer to – or interact with – companies, brands, products, and services. Content, usually in abbreviated form, can also be conveyed through paid media.
While it is true that the consumer is now in control of marketing, that does not mean in the least that companies or marketers are powerless to affect positive outcomes for revenue and growth. As Charlene Li says, "Leadership must relinquish control, but not relinquish command." The one area where companies can take command is with their owned content. We all know the empowered consumer does their homework before making purchases – especially major ones. Consequently, successful companies in today's market are allocating more of their finite budget resources toward developing and implementing a comprehensive content strategy.
Why? Because by investing in content, a company can likely expect a substantial and measurable increase in earnings with an asset that is reasonable to produce. That, by definition, creates increased ROA. In addition, strategically planned content is (or should be) a useful asset that can be retasked through every stage of the Consideration?Sales?Marketing?Purchase?Fulfillment?Service cycle.
Technology and marketing have evolved rapidly over the last several years. Content marketing is a key strategy for turning this change into positive growth for the bottom line.
- Return on Assets (ROA): How many dollars of earnings a company derives from each dollar of assets they control.
- Asset: An economic resource –tangible or intangible – that is capable of being owned or controlled to produce value and that is held to have positive economic value.
- Owned media: Channels a brand controls (Website, mobile site, blog, etc.).
- Earned media: Customers become the channel (Social media, word-of-mouth, buzz, viral, etc.).
- Paid media: Brands pay to leverage a channel (Advertising, paid search, sponsorships, etc.).