3 Ways To Measure The Performance Of Product Marketing Content

Written byGerald Vanderpuye

October 11, 2017

Does your company measure the performance of product marketing content? Most sales leaders I speak to today are investing heavily in content because apparently content is king! However, that content is not always ‘king’, in my experience some of it is more ‘dog’. A wise man once said, “It’s hard to put a leash on a dog once you’ve put a crown on its head.” Tyrion Lannister

I’m guessing that a lot of product marketing content uses the spray and pray approach. It’s created, put out there and no one ever revisits it to really understand whether it’s performing. That’s why some of the content out there is really not up to scratch, if people were measuring it they wouldn’t be using it.

Product marketing is tasked with the strategic function of understanding the market and market needs but… with an emphasis on understanding the buyer of your company’s products. Product marketing is therefore responsible for developing positioning, messaging, competitive differentiation, and enabling sales and marketing teams to ensure they are aligned and work efficiently to generate and close opportunities.

A huge part of this job comes down to the marketing collateral created and how it is used by sales and marketing to engage buyers. Marketing collateral can focus on lead generation and or engagement during the sales cycle. My particular interest is in measuring the performance of content used to close opportunities. What type of content is helping sales teams do their jobs more effectively and resulting in sales?

Before we can really understand what type of product marketing content is actually closing deals, we need to be using our sales collateral effectively. Research suggests up to 70% of the content created is not utilised effectively by sales!! Is this because they think it’s more dog than king? Is it because they don’t know it exists? Or is it because they can’t find the right content when they need it?

I suspect it’s for all these reasons and more, and even superstar product marketing teams who create great content can still miss the real goal of increasing sales because of how content is distributed, managed and shared by sales.

How Successful Sales Teams Use Product Marketing Content

Here at BuyerDeck we are able to measure the performance of our customers’ product marketing content, and they are too, using the data we generate on engagement and content adoption. We’ve noticed some common qualities that our most successful customers share when it comes to proactively using their sales assets in our content repository and sales portal.

The following key points demonstrate the content challenge many sales and marketing teams have, and best practices based on our analytics:

Sharing product marketing content

Before the customer gets sight of any of your product marketing collateral there is significant friction point for many sales and marketing teams. Product Marketing don’t know what content sales reps are using and getting results from, and sales don’t know how to find the content they need.

Does this scenario sound familiar? A product team creates a new product line and launches it. Product Marketing follows a few days later with a mass email to the company with a pdf or Powerpoint attachment explaining what the product is and how to sell it. There are four ways sales reps manage and use the collateral marketing creates for them:

  1. Sales create a local folder usually on their desktop and drop all the collateral they expect to use in folders.
    Problem: Product Marketing have no visibility on how this content is shared, and over time content may be out-of-date and still in use.
  2. Salesperson create folders in their email client and organise the various emails received from product marketing for a later use.
    Problem: Sales reps don’t always remember what content is available or where to find it.
  3. Some will use Dropbox, Box or a cloud solution to hold the content they frequently use.
    Problem: No analytics are available to see how often content has been shared, or what impact it has had.
  4. Using a Sales Content Management solution.
    Not a problem! Content is held in a central repository making it easy to find and Product Marketing can manage it to ensure the sales team have the most up-to-date content. Analytics are available so all parties can measure the performance of different assets. It was no surprise to our customers that the top marketing content used by salespeople was the company or product overview, often titled ‘summary’ or ‘overview’, and it is usually the shortest.

Which one are you?

Measuring buyer engagement

What is the average Buyer Engagement on lost opportunities vs. Buyer Engagement on deals won? From our research at BuyerDeck, we have learnt that product marketing teams can quickly get wrapped up in their products, the competition, and communicating their value propositions. Broadcasting these to anyone who is interested, but not listening to what they have to say.

The engagement that the buyer, customer or prospect has with their assets is often ignored and not analysed in a way that can produce useful insights to measure the ROI for this business unit. Buyer engagement per opportunity is the time buyers (all stakeholders) spent engaged with your content during the sales cycle. Most clients will see that engagement on deals won is about 200% more than engagement on all deals or 300% on all deals.

Successful sales and product marketing teams are measuring buyer engagement and ensuring that they not only get the right content in front of buyers at key stages of the sales cycle, but are also creating new content assets that are aligned with these metrics. Providing sales and their buyers with what they want and need to close the deal.

Content vs. deals won

What is your content to deals won correlation? Ultimately what all stakeholders care most about is deals, sales, revenue, and the return on investment for the content created by product marketing. We don’t have figures on how much it is costing our customers to create product marketing content, however we can see how content is driving sales.

The holy grail is when we can begin to extrapolate correlations between deals won and buyer engagement. We can take a closer look at the opportunities won and draw out product marketing insights including:

  • How much time do prospects spend reading the content?
  • Which stakeholder has to read your content for the deal to close?
  • What content is the most engaging for a deal to close?
  • How many prospect stakeholders need to engage with the content?

After analysing all of this we discovered the single biggest correlation to deals won, for BuyerDeck users, was the total time spent by prospects reviewing all the content shared. We found for most businesses, 90% of opportunities where customers spent 21 minutes or more reading the content resulted in a closed won deal.

So how do sales enablement tools fit in? As you can guess, I think they can provide the insights everyone is looking for, but they only work effectively when users understand how to analyse the metrics delivered for their own companies. If you want to improve anything start measuring it.

I am interested in hearing how you measure content success, what metrics are important to your sales and marketing teams?

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