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Here are some speculations on why so many content marketers fail to follow through and track their efforts:

  1. Good analytics people are hard to find. I was at an SEO workshop in Manhattan this past week and I was struck by the complaint of a technology recruiter who announced that finding people who know their way around Google Analytics is the hardest part of her job. In my opinion good “GA samurais” are worth their weight in gold; maybe it’s time to revalue their contributions to the organization and pay them accordingly.
  2. Silos that won’t die. SEO and analytics smarts are likely still being locked up in teams that aren’t regularly being asked to share their insights across the organization. These skills are so critical today that they need to function as a “knowledge overlay” that can inform all teams – including marketing, PR, and product development. My bet is that many institutions are moving far too slowly in this area, failing to integrate expertise where it matters, and thus are failing in their content marketing.
  3. Because content is “organic” it’s undervalued. You can bet your boots that if these organizations were buying media from Google or another supplier, they’d demand a full account of their spending. But because content is considered “organic” it may not be taken as seriously. Big mistake.
  4. Content ROI is harder to compute than anyone thought. As I mentioned in my last ClickZ column, content marketers often have to fight for their budgets, face unrealistic expectations, and are often hamstrung by the fact that the folks who approve budgets use narrow, short-term metrics that fail to account for the real long-term benefits that content marketing can offer.