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Do You Really Need To Measure Your Content’s Impact on Brand Value? [Rose-Colored Glasses]



Once upon a time, I had a marketing boss who would ask me about our efforts at brand building: What were the results? What value did they add to the business?

My answer was always the same: “good things.”

In our 2022 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends research, we find 80% of marketers say “creating brand awareness” is the goal they achieved using content marketing. Interestingly, “building credibility and trust” is number two with 75%, “educating audiences” follows at 70%, and “building loyalty with existing clients/customers” is 60%.

Arguably, these top four goals are all associated with brand value. Whether it’s wider awareness and recall, deeper trust or affinity, differentiation through education, or additional value to stay loyal – it’s all about increasing the value of our brand.

If it’s such an important goal, why is brand value so hard to measure?

Marketers’ top four #content goals are all associated with brand value. Why is that so hard to measure, asks @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Pushback on vanity metrics

We are desperate to measure brand awareness. Well, to be clear, there isn’t much today’s businesses aren’t desperate to measure. There are myriad articles on the difficulty of associating transactional data with brand value. When you find articles that recommend brand measurement tactics, most rely on the same vanity metrics used for other elements of marketing strategies. They direct you to look at the growth of direct traffic, referral traffic, earned media coverage, or social media share of voice.

We see this in our research. Marketers mention those metrics when describing which have provided the most insight in the last 12 months. Website engagement is top (69%), traffic is third (65%), email engagement is fourth (64%), and social media analytics is fifth (51%). (Conversions rank No. 2 at 67%.)

But anyone who has tried to argue for more money for brand and/or content marketing will tell you that those “vanity metrics” won’t get you very far. The pushback is that more traffic doesn’t necessarily mean that the brand has more unaided or aided recall. It could mean the brand suddenly ranked well for an unbranded search term. Nor does “website engagement” mean credibility and trust have grown with the target audience. It could mean people are scrutinizing the digital content more because they actually don’t trust the brand. More engagement from email could be because the topic is finally relevant to the audience rather than – yep, you guessed it – the brand.

Put simply, many of those vanity metrics may have nothing to do with increasing or decreasing the value of the brand, and ironically, some may run counter to it.

Many vanity metrics have nothing to do with measuring the brand’s value, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet


The Definitive Guide to Content Analytics: Understanding the Data That Matters Most for Successful Marketing

Want to optimize your content? Start with the right metrics and measure how your content is engaging with your audience. Get the guide to learn more!

Transactions are easy; triggers are hard

Now, before fans of brand-building value get depressed, there are plenty of ways to measure if brand building with content is working. The key is to put an objective behind the effort and then build testable and focused measurability into it. For example:

  • About five years ago, Salesforce had a real problem with its brand and clarity of purpose. Nobody understood what Salesforce did. In 2019, they launched a full-scale effort with content marketing and paid media to provide for better unaided brand recall and clarity. Put simply, they wanted people to articulate an answer to “what does Salesforce do?” Recently, Salesforce measured (through a study) the effectiveness of its efforts and saw a huge improvement in general brand clarity.
  • A financial services organization wanted to increase its brand trust with its existing investors and financial advisors. We conducted a general brand trust survey with their audiences to compare competitors and even mainstream news media outlets that covered financial services. One year later, we conducted the same study again. This time we measured the same kind of audience but added a segment of their customer base –subscribers to their blog and thought leadership platform. The organization performed better in the industry (speaking specifically to their overall branding efforts such as TV ads, print, and content). But the subscriber segment performed even better – ranking the organization even higher than some of the mainstream news sources when it came to trust.
  • In 2018, BMO Harris Bank wanted to increase its brand awareness with younger people just beginning their journey to financial independence. They launched a brand awareness campaign by partnering with The Onion’s humor-focused content agency to develop a series of videos promoting a fictional mobile banking app. The parody plays on socially popular apps. It features face filters (making faces look like ATM machines), couch surfing (in a bank vault), and the opportunity to swipe right on potential dates based on the value of their checking accounts. BMO Harris Bank saw a huge lift in brand awareness among the younger demographic as measured by how many downloaded the real BMO Harris banking app.

But hold on, sure, you measured if brand building with content was working, but the question may still be, “So what?”

So what if more people know what Salesforce does? So what if the financial advisors and investors have more trust in the financial services company than they do CNBC? So what if young people downloaded the app?

What real value does any of that provide for the business? More revenue? More savings?

You can easily measure more traffic, more votes, more engagement, and more downloads. It’s identifying what inspired the action that benefited the company that’s hard. Put simply: Measuring transactions is easy; measuring triggers is hard.

Measuring transactions with #content is easy. Measuring triggers that motivate action is hard, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Being satisfied with good things

We have spent our careers building business systems for consistency. We have a laser focus on removing operational conflicts and anything that takes away from consistent, predictable, harmonious processes.

We believe in measurability as a foundation for that predictability. The old saying, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” comes out of this thinking. This trope is sometimes morphed into “If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t count.” And this, of course, is complete nonsense.

The saying “If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t count” is complete nonsense, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Over 30 years of marriage, I’ve learned that doing good things for my wife provides good things in return. I have no idea how much time, effort, or money I spend on these things (though I’d bet it’s … ummm … significant). I could easily measure the transactions, but even if I did, it would be impossible to connect them value for value to the good things I get in return.

Think for a moment about the love you have for someone special in your life. Maybe it’s your partner, mom, dad, or children — or even a dog. How much love is there? Have you measured it lately? Well, if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t count, right?

Sometimes the most satisfying and accurate answer to the question of what happens when we engage in brand building is simply “good things happen.” Yes, more revenue, more savings, better customers, more trust, more brand equity, and more profitability. But you’re just not going to try and quantify it.

How much brand building should we do?

My answer? Enough. Do enough and good things will happen.

Get Robert’s take on content marketing industry news in just three minutes: 

Subscribe to workday or weekly CMI emails to get Rose-Colored Glasses in your inbox each week.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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Advocate | DigitalMarketer



Advocate | DigitalMarketer

Happy customers love to share their experience, but sometimes they need some encouragement to do so. The cool thing is, once they do, they become even more loyal to your brand.

So, at this stage of the Customer Value Journey, ask people to share their positive experience with your brand by writing a review or sharing a social media post.

Once you get to stage seven, the Customer Value Journey is going to get a whole lot easier for you. This stage is all about learning your customer’s experience, and building up your testimonial database. 

The most important part of this step is asking these four questions. 

What Was Your Life Like Before Finding Our Solutions? What Challenges Were You Facing That Caused You to Consider Us? 

These questions are great not only because it gives you some really good stories, but because it gives you some insight on how you can provide similar prospects with that AHA moment. Understanding the average day of your clients is important in reflecting on your Customer Value Journey, and helps you understand what really set you apart from your competitors.

What Key Features Had the Biggest and/or Fastest Impact?

Not only is this going to get you to really specific stories, you will understand the specific things you provided that gave the biggest impact. The answers to these questions will not only give you great insight and testimonials, it will provide you with ideas for new lead magnets. This part is a new Entry Point Offer goldmine! 

What Has Been the Impact or Results in Your Life or Business Since Using Our Product or Service? 

This is a fairly broad question, and that’s why we put it after the others. You will have already gotten all of the specifics out of the way with #1 & #2. But when you ask this question, this is where you get the most valuable stories. You can use this part as testimonials, as an order form, as a sales page, this part is testimonial gold. 

If You Were Asked to Justify this Purchase to Your Boss or a Friend, What Would You Say? 

This is our favorite question by far. If you had to go back in time and justify this purchase, what would you say? I promise you what we’re going to find is a lot of great ideas for the jobs that your product or service has done. You’ll get a lot of great ideas for your core message canvas. This question is about backfilling all of the assets that you may not have. Here you’re going directly to the customer who are already happy, and using their justifications to help you sell to new customers. 

Hopefully you now understand just how valuable the Advocate stage could be, as well as the key questions you need to ask to get your customers talking. Here’s how it works for our example companies.

When it comes to fashion we all love to show off our outfits. So a good example for Hazel & Hems would be to have customers write reviews for a discount code or points towards their next purchase. 

Better yet, follow up with the customers to ask them to share and tag themselves wearing the items in a social media post and providing them with something valuable as a reward.

For Cyrus & Clark Media, hopping on zoom meetings or a streaming service for live talks about them and their business could generate valuable awareness for them, and a live case study for the agency. They can use the questions Ryan provided during this lesson to conduct the interview.

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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions



Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

Through deals and coupons, Instacart has saved consumers more than $700 million in 2022. As we dive into 2023, the leading grocery technology company in North America has big plans to help consumers save even more while also helping CPGs generate sales. Instacart recently announced an advertising solution that helps both sellers and consumers called Instacart Promotions. This exciting feature is designed to help drive conversions, boost sales, and generate overall engagement on the app.

Interested in this feature and how it can help your business on Instacart? Read on as we dive into everything you need to know about this ad solution including benefits, how to get started, and more.


What are Instacart Promotions?


Instacart Promotions is an advertising feature that’s now available to all brand partners, including emerging brands, within their open beta program. Promotions give CPGs the opportunity to offer new deal structures, promotions, and incentives with Instacart Ad campaigns. With this feature in place, consumers will have access to more promotions, coupons, and deals that are tailored to them within the Instacart Marketplace.

“With the launch of our new Instacart Promotions, all of our brand partners now have the ability to set up coupons and promotions that can drive meaningful business results while also passing on more savings opportunities to consumers. We’re proud to continue expanding our portfolio with additional self-service capabilities, ad formats that drive results, and measurement that brands need to understand the true impact of their campaigns on Instacart.”


– Ali Miller, VP of Ads Product at Instacart


Source: Instacart


How Do Instacart Promotions Work?


Promotions, now available in Ads Manager, gives consumers the ability to discover more promotions and savings opportunities within the Instacart app. These promotions now show up directly on product item cards before checkout for easy accessibility. Promotions allow advertisers to customize their campaigns to sync with their goals and objectives whether that be driving sales, building baskets, or boosting trials.

Instacart shared a recent example of a brand successfully utilizing Promotions… 

Athletic Brewing, General Mills, Sola Company, and Wells Enterprises (maker of Halo Top) are strengthening campaign performance by pairing Instacart Promotions with ad formats such as Sponsored Product and Display. Instacart Promotions include two new flexible and customizable structures: Coupons (“buy X units, save $Y”) and Stock Up & Save (“Spend $X, Save $Y”). 

According to Instacart, in the coming months, the company “will work to further enhance the new offering with new deal structures such as Free Gifts and Buy One, Get One (“BOGO”). The new deal structures will help brand partners run “Free Sample” programs that can win new customers and serve personalized discounts for different customer segments, such as “new to brand” and “new to category.”  


Example of Instacart Promotions

Source: Instacart


Instacart Promotions Benefits


Deliver Value and Savings to Consumers


With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to deliver value and savings that will have consumers coming back for more. With this savings feature, your brand can stand out among the competition and offer a variety of deals to shoppers ie: “Buy X units, Save $Y”.


Hot tip: Ensure you are selecting products for your promotion that are well-stocked and widely available.  


Tailor Your Campaigns to Specific Objectives


With a variety of savings options available, your brand can structure deals to fit specific business goals and objectives. 


Hot tip: If you’re looking to drive visibility and awareness, try pairing promotions with Sponsored Product campaigns. 


Access Real-Time Performance Insights 


The Promotions beta program is live and can be accessed within Instacart Ads Manager. Within Ads Manager, advertisers can access real-time insights to maximize performance and adjust campaigns as needed.


Hot tip: Make sure your budget matches your discount and objectives.


“As an advertiser, Instacart’s unique offering to self-manage promotions is so exciting! Historically, making adjustments to offer values and other promotion parameters was a more manual process, but now we’ll be able to easily make optimizations in real-time based on redemption performance.”

Emily Choate

Emily Choate, Senior Specialist, Marketplace Search at Tinuiti


Interested in Instacart Promotions?


With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to reach new customers, build bigger baskets, and drive sales. Interested in testing out the beta program or looking to get started with advertising on the app? Drop us a line – we’d love to help elevate your CPG brand on Instacart.


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(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!



(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!

It’s important to us that you, our valued customers and partners, can identify with the tools you use daily.  

In that pursuit, Optimizely set out to simplify the way we talk about our product suite. That starts, first and foremost, with the words we use to refer to the technology.  

So, we’ve taken a hard look at everything in our portfolio, and are thrilled to introduce new names we believe are more practical, more consistent, and better representative of the technology we all know and love.  

You may have seen some of these names initially at Opticon 2022 as well as on our website. In the spirit of transparency, the team here at Optimizely wanted to make sure you had full visibility into the complete list of new names, as well as understand the context (and rationale) behind the changes. 

So, without further ado… 

Which names changed?  

Some, but not all. For your ongoing reference, below is a complete list of Optimizely products, with previous terminology you may be familiar with in the first column, and (if applicable) the new name in the second column.  

Used to be… 

Is now (or is still)… 



Optimizely Digital Experience Platform 

A fully-composable solution designed to support the orchestration, monetization, and experimentation of any type of digital experience — all from a single, open and extensible platform. 

Content Cloud 

Optimizely Content Management System 

A best-in-class system for building dynamic websites and helping digital teams deliver rich, secure and personalized experiences. 


Optimizely Content Marketing Platform 

An industry-leading and user-friendly platform helping marketing teams plan campaigns, collaborate on tasks, and author content. 


Optimizely Digital Asset Management 

A modern storage tool helping teams of any size manage, track, and repurpose marketing and brand assets (with support for all file types). 

Content Recs 

Optimizely Content Recommendations 

AI-powered and real-time recommendations to serve the unique interests of each visitor and personalize every experience. 

B2B Commerce 

Optimizely Configured Commerce 

A templatized and easy-to-deploy platform designed to help manufacturers and distributors drive efficiency, increase revenue and create easy buying experiences that retain customers. 

Commerce Cloud 

Optimizely Customized Commerce 

A complete platform for digital commerce and content management to build dynamic experiences that accelerate revenue and keep customers coming back for more. 


Optimizely Product Information Management 

A dedicated tool to help you set up your product inventory and manage catalogs of any size or scale. 

Product Recs 

Optimizely Product Recommendations 

Machine-learning algorithms optimized for commerce to deliver personalized product recommendations in real-time. 


Optimizely Web Experimentation 

An industry-leading experimentation tool allowing you to run A/B and multi-variant tests on any channel or device with an internet connection. 

Full Stack 

Optimizely Feature Experimentation 

A comprehensive experimentation platform allowing you to manage features, deploy safer tests, and roll out new releases – all in one place. 


Optimizely Personalization 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to create/segment audiences based on past behavior and deliver more relevant experiences. 

Program Management 

Optimizely Program Management 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of an experiment. 


Optimizely Data Platform 

A centralized hub to harmonize data across your digital experience tools, providing one-click integrations, AI-assisted guidance for campaigns, and unified customer profiles. 


So, why the change?  

 It boils down to three guiding principles:  

  1. Uniformity: Create a naming convention that can be applied across the board, for all products, to drive consistency 
  2. Simplicity: Use terms that are both practical and concise, ensuring the names are something that everyone can understand and identify with  
  3. Completeness: Develop a framework that showcases the full and complimentary nature of all the products and solutions within the Optimizely suite 

 As the Optimizely portfolio comes together as a complete, unified platform, it’s important that our names reflect this, as well as support our 3 key solutions (i.e. orchestrate amazing content experiences, monetize every digital experience, and experiment across all touchpoints).  

Other questions? We’ve got you covered. 

Q: Why have you made these product name changes? 

    • We wanted to simplify how we talk about our portfolio. The renaming applies a naming convention that is both practical and concise.  


Q: Do the new product name changes affect the products I own? 

    • No, there is no impact to product functionality or capabilities.  


Q: Do the new product name changes affect who is my Customer Success Manager or Account Manager?  

    • No, there are no changes to your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager. 


Q: Do the new product name changes affect the ownership of the company?  

    • No, ownership of the company has not changed. We have only made changes to the Product Names. 


Q: Have any contact details changed that I need to be aware of?  

    • Only contact details for former Welcome customers has changed. These are the new contact details you should be aware of: Optimizely, Inc.| 119 5th Ave | 7th Floor | New York, NY 10003 USA. Phone: +1 603 594 0249 | 


Q: Where can I send any follow up questions I might have?  

    • If you have any questions about the Product Names, please contact your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager.  

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