There’s a hard truth content marketers are facing in the industry today. For all our poking and prodding, evangelizing and convincing about the benefits to brands and businesses of social … For all our promises about how content marketing drives engagement, attracts new customers, builds trust and the like … we have to come to terms with something.

Unless our clients or brands are media companies, they can (and perhaps will) say this:

“We are not a publisher. We sell _________.”

Asking most brands to become a publisher is like saying, “I recommend adding anywhere from a 10 to a 50 percent increase in operating expenses without a single guarantee or even plan to offset that with increased revenues. They will come in time, but you’re just going to have to trust me on this.”

This is exactly what brand managers and CMOs hear when we say, “Let’s look at our social media and content strategy for your brand.”

And the person saying, “You’re just going to have to trust me on this,” looks like this:

  • An account person at an agency
  • Someone who has never owned their own business
  • Someone who doesn’t know how to spell EBITDA
  • Someone who has never written a business plan
  • Someone who doesn’t have an MBA or even read an advanced business book
  • Someone who couldn’t begin to comprehend the true cost of doing business to understand why revenues must come first

This is not to say that recommending content marketing or social media marketing is impossible. It is not to say that we cannot create direct or indirect projections for revenue through it. It is not to say that neither is worth investing in or not.

We simply must come to terms with the fact in many cases we are asking business people to do something from a financial perspective that is, by definition, ridiculous.

Agree? Not? The comments are yours.

Scroll to Top