Content & Cash (Netherlands 2013 Edition)
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Content & Cash (Netherlands 2013 Edition)



Updated version of Content & Cash delivered at the What's Up? Content Strategy Conference sponsored by Lectric Groep/Someone in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (November 2013)

Updated version of Content & Cash delivered at the What's Up? Content Strategy Conference sponsored by Lectric Groep/Someone in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (November 2013)



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  • This is about storytelling
  • ChallengesProjecting the market value of the product (price people willing to pay or do without) Remembering all of the steps in the content creation process

Content & Cash (Netherlands 2013 Edition) Content & Cash (Netherlands 2013 Edition) Presentation Transcript

  • Melissa Rach @melissarach Content CASH Photo: © 1984 Betty Weinaug
  • I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. —Johnny Cash 2
  • Business expectations To make an investment, funders expect: • To know exactly what content will do for the organization • Proof of competency/quality • Exactly how much it will cost • Provable value and ROI Hard numbers. Right now. 3
  • yikes.
  • We can do it • We know content work is valuable • We know content is a benefit (necessity) for businesses • And the organizations are catching on, too 5
  • Today • Selling and scoping • Estimating value/ROI • Measurement 6
  • But first… some anger management
  • 1.It’s not (always) about disrespect or even money. Photo: ©2012 John Alderman
  • Decision making is scary Investing in content: • Means NOT investing in other things • Might result in loss of: • Money • Time • Other opportunities • Professional reputation • Emotional anguish 9
  • And hard… People: • Are limited by what they know • Latch on to things that are familiar • Choose the safest option • And then immediately start worrying that they’ve made the wrong decision 10
  • 2. Content is a harder decision than most Photo: ©1980 Betty Weinaug
  • Content breaks all the economic rules • Things of value are usually • Exclusive • Transparent • Hard to replicate • Endless supply AND endless demand 12
  • “Content strategy” is a service • • • • 13 “New” industry Very diverse No obvious accreditation Doesn’t fit nicely into a traditional business
  • 3.Numbers don’t need to be exact. Photo: ©1980 Betty Weinaug
  • Measurement is… A set of observations that reduce uncertainty where the results are expressed as a quantity. 15
  • As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. —Albert Einstein 16
  • Exacts are impossible Numbers reduce uncertainty: • Approximate values • Shortcuts for the brain • Common vocabulary Think about numbers as a communication tool. 17
  • Selling and scoping (building a relationship) Photo: © 1978 Betty Weinaug
  • The goal: Make a confident decision that’s beneficial to everyone. 19
  • 1. Do your homework Get all the information you can, find out: • What is the decision? • What impacts that decision? • What experience do stakeholders have with content? • Is there a budget? 20
  • 2. Narrow down the need What is the need? What are you offering? • Unifying strategy • New or updated content • Cleaned up content/fixed mistakes • More efficient, happier workplace 21
  • 3. Make connections 22 Photo: © 1980 Betty Weinaug
  • 4. Understand all benefits and costs Type Benefits Costs Monetary Profit or savings Cost of creation Sensory Get satisfaction/ alleviate pain Endure extra pain or reduce satisfaction Temporal Save time Lose time Opportunity-based Gain advantages Eliminate possibilities Psychological Reduce anxiety Add anxiety Social Increase stature Blamed for problems Convenience-based Makes things easier Makes things more difficult 23
  • 5. Tell a hopeful story Create a story that highlights key benefits, such as: • We can serve users better • We can be more efficient • We can beat the competitors • We can be more accurate 24
  • 6. Eliminate fear • • • • • • 25 Discuss the details Answer questions Address concerns Start small or do some proof of concept work Provide references (services) or samples (goods) Be patient
  • Estimating value and ROI (the magic formula) Photo: © 1980 Betty Weinaug
  • Value = Benefits-Costs
  • Value of what? Strategy or Service Content as product 28 Content as influence Efficiency tool
  • Value of what? Strategy or Service Content as product 29 Content as influence Efficiency tool
  • Content as product What is the content product worth? • Benefit: Profit from the sale of the product • Cost: Cost to create the product 30
  • Photo: © 1980 Betty Weinaug
  • Value of what? Strategy or Service Content as product 32 Content as influence Efficiency tool
  • Content as influence What is the piece of content worth? • Benefit: Increased profit as the result of an enduser behavior change • Cost: Cost to create the content 33
  • Estimates, not exacts Figure out what you know; fill in the blanks with assumptions • The average Johnny Cash t-shirt costs €20 • Analytics show that 50 people start the process of purchasing a t-shirt online every day, but only 10 finish the process • User research shows that the instructions on the purchase pages are very confusing • We assume 5-10 people leave the purchasing process because of something unrelated to the site, and 5-10 leave the process when they see the shipping costs • We assume the remaining 20-30 people would complete the purchasing process if the instructions were more helpful • Therefore, the value of the instructional content is likely around €144,000216,000 per year (€20 x 20-30 people x 30 days X12) • The cost of fixing the content is approximately €5,000 34
  • Value of what? Strategy or Service Content as product 35 Content as influence Efficiency tool
  • Efficiency tool What is the tool worth? • Benefit: Cost savings as the result of employee behavior change (or happiness) • Cost: Cost to create/maintain the tool and train people to use it 36
  • Intermission Photo: © 1982 Betty Weinaug
  • Value of what? Strategy or Service Content as product 38 Content as influence Efficiency tool
  • Strategy (or service) What is the strategy worth? • Benefit: Combination of: • Savings/profit from: • Content as product • Content as influence • Tools • Sub-services • Value of non-monetary benefits • Cost: Cost to create/implement the strategy 39
  • Estimating results BEFORE the content is done
  • Max Gain x % Fail = Risk if denied Max Loss x % Success = Risk if approved
  • Estimating probable results Basic project information: • Maximum gain: €216,000 • Maximum loss: €5,000 • Chance for success: 70% Expected opportunity loss: • Risk of approved: €5,000 X 30% = €1,500 • Risk if rejected: €216,000 X 70% = €151,200 42
  • Measurement (being well-rounded) Photo: © 1977 Betty Weinaug
  • Our friend, Johnny… Stats Honors 50+ million albums sold 17 Grammy Awards 9 CMA Awards Created: 96 studio albums 63 compilation albums 153 singles Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Rockabilly Hall of Fame Songwriters Hall of Fame Gospel Music Hall of Fame Country Music Hall of Fame Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Kennedy Center Honors National Medal of Arts Hollywood Walk of Fame 44
  • Variety of measurements • • • • • • Analytics Qualitative assessments User research and usability External expert review Internal expert review Efficiency measurements
  • Score! Section score: 88 out of 100 ↑ 15% since April
  • Measure often, expect long-term results • Establish a baseline • Measure consistently over time • Use different timelines for different types of content 47
  • Photo: © 1977 Betty Weinaug
  • Photo: ©2012 John Alderman
  • It’s about decisions not disrespect
  • It’s NOT us-against-them it’s about building relationships
  • It’s about reaching understanding and reducing uncertainty
  • It’s about estimates not exacts
  • It’s not traditional but it’s achievable
  • Your work is valuable. Go prove it.
  • Thanks! @melissarach 56 Photo: © 1981 Betty Weinaug
  • Want to know more? Content Strategy for the Web (second edition) Check out chapter 10 By Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach How to Measure Anything by Douglas W. Hubbard Marketing Professional Services by Philip Kotler, Thomas Hayes, Paul N. Bloom Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles Wheelan 57