Target Practice: Why Your Content Marketing Approach Isn’t Delivering
By Alistair Norman

Target Practice: Why Your Content Marketing Approach Isn’t Delivering

Our research shows that inbound marketers are still struggling with their content plans, wasting investment and impacting on ROI.

Digital target practice Why your content marketing approach isn’t delivering

Digital content marketing is all about targeting, not just the right prospect but their entire buying journey at each and every stage. To some of us, well, 49% of us, that might sound obvious but Tomorrow People’s own research has revealed that:


of marketers do not have the correct content for every stage of the buying process.

And we believe it explains why 55% of those surveyed disagreed with the statement that they are are achieving maximum ROI from their content. And why 48% are dissatisfied with the number of leads created by their inbound marketing activities.

Content, Content, Content…

… is the first thing many marketers think of when they sit down to draw up plans for their digital content marketing. That commissioning reams of blogs, infographics and more is their starting point.

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong…

… it’s actually a blind alley – an expensive white elephant that will see inbound budgets run dry with no or precious little ROI. Instead:

– Start with persona creation; if you don’t know who your customers are, how can you create bespoke content that will address their specific business pains?

– Identify what kinds of topics and materials prospects will want as they journey through your funnel.

– For the top of the funnel, create fact-driven, short content to aid prospects when they first start to research their business pain; for the middle, more in-depth analysis of their pain, and for the bottom, content that helps them make their final buying decision.

Cover All Angles

But that’s only half of the equation. Also consider the supporting material that binds the whole process together once the prospect has opted-in. Marketers will need to drip feed content to them via email send-outs. And like the copy used in the funnel, these need to be fully mapped as well:

– Decide what email content should be in place for each stage of the funnel.

– Have a clear, concise and attractive offer.

– Is your call to action strong enough? Focused enough?

– Should you consider A/B testing to ensure that it’s hitting its mark?

– What about the landing page copy? Does its offer exactly match what is in your email?

– Is your offer of free content actually free? Or have you attached ‘strings’ that risk putting off a prospect?

Content Success

Once you’ve mapped out each aspect of the prospect’s journey with content and supporting materials, you can go ‘live’. But your own journey is far from over – it is critical that once the campaign is underway that you monitor feedback, open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates and more to ensure your content is hitting its target – and adjusting it if it isn’t.

Also plan for quarterly reviews to drill down into your accrued data and make changes to your overall digital content marketing strategy.

Treat your inbound marketing as if it were a production line and you will succeed.

Treat it as a one-off, fire-and-forget operation, and you’ll miss your target and your marketing will fail.

It’s your call.


– Digital content marketing isn’t simply about content; it’s how you use it to service your funnel.

– Suitable content is required for each stage of the customer’s journey.

– Don’t neglect the materials that support the distribution of content to prospects who have opted-in.

 – Monitor feedback on a regular basis; your journey is only just beginning.

For more in-depth analysis of the persona and mapping process, download our free eGuide: ‘Ultimate toolkit: How to build out your personas and their buying process’.


The Author

Alistair Norman

Alistair Norman | Marketing Director

Alistair is responsible for the strategy, design and implementation of our Inbound and Content Marketing, with a focus on developing B2B and B2C markets.

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