Editor’s note: Given that ROI remains a most frequently asked topic in the industry, we updated this original Chief Content Officer piece from a few years ago to help you answer the ROI question today.

And, while there are opportunities to optimize expenses using content marketing, it can be a limiting and frustrating way to calculate the overall content marketing ROI.

Mercantilist John Wannamaker was made famous by a quote he never said in the late 1800s, “I know half my advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Consider the last line from a 1964 article, The Concept of the Marketing Mix, by Neil Borden, then-professor emeritus of marketing and advertising at Harvard Business School.

Skip ahead almost 25 years and consider a comment in the book Marketing Performance Assessment from 1988:

The assessment of marketing performance, often called marketing productivity analysis, remains a seductive but elusive concept for scholars and practitioners alike.

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