Brilliant Reads: content ROI, customer first insurance & focusing on your target

Are you seeing the ROI of your content?

Marketers are spending 31% of their budget on content but a reported 70% lack the coherent and integrated strategy they need to capitalise on that investment. It’s common for brands to focus on fantastic creative content without first putting in place the strategy and operations necessary for success.

This post, by our content consultant Lauren Pope, explains how we approach complex content challenges – by first breaking them down into strategy, operations and production.

Content operations is the focus of our next Brilliant Briefing, coming up on 11th February in central London. The event features our clients adidas and American Express and the session will examine how to increase the operational efficiency and commercial success of your content. The briefing is designed for senior brand marketers. To request an invitation contact

The why, how and what of content: thinking beyond production
Brilliant Noise 4 mins

Content in 2016 according to Contently

This look at the year ahead brings together the key shifts we’re likely to see in the coming months – the main theme being a move away from content as a subset of marketing and towards an understanding of its importance across entire organisations. This will bring more budget, new talent and an imperative to invest in operational efficiency.

Contently’s five predictions are:

  1. Content marketing roles will be filled by editorial talent.
  2. Media budgets will be reallocated to content marketing operations.
  3. People will reassess what they understand as ‘content strategy’.
  4. Marketing won’t be the only department investing in content.
  5. Content marketing technology investment will rise.

5 big ways content marketing will change in 2016
Contently 5 mins

What advertisers can learn from the podcast industry

Podcasting had an impressive 2015 and will continue to grow as the volume of high-quality content goes up and up. One way this content is able to happen is through the support of advertisers – who are often getting a fantastic return on their money.

Some podcasting companies are working with these brands to craft ads of the same quality as the program content – leading to phenomenal engagement and advocacy. This post encourages advertisers and content producers in other mediums to learn from the podcast model.

Podcasts: where people are actually choosing to listen to ads
mUmBRELLA 4 mins

If you only listen to one podcast… (and not just for the ads)

The recent mini-series of Gimlet Media’s StartUp podcast give an insight into the media company 18 months down the line. The six succinct episodes each tell the story of a different challenge.

Episode #16, all about the work that goes into creating high-quality content (or high-quality anything), is a must listen. And episode #17, ‘Words about words from our sponsors’, focuses on its extremely successful advertising model.

Gimlet Media 35-45 min per episode

A focus on customers, employees and eradicating hassle

This interview with Direct Line CMO Mark Evans examines the insurance giant’s transformation into a customer – and employee – first organisation. By listening to staff, via an ideas lab programme, and focusing on the human aspects of customer service, including social media, the insurer has gone from strength to strength. Evans is an example of a CMO leading transformation that extends far beyond the marketing remit – and creating a digitally robust organisation as a result.

Direct Line CMO: driving innovation in an unlikely industry
Hot Topics 8 mins

Taking the time to refocus on your target

A former army sniper describes the challenge of adapting to a desk job after years in high-pressure combat – and how he found the trick he was taught to refocus as a sniper also works in the office. When you find the pressure getting to you or distraction taking hold, he advises that you take a few moments to ‘SLLS’ or stop, look, listen and smell. This simple habit brings awareness to your surroundings and enables you to refocus on the task at hand.

How to take back control of your day, according to a former sniper
TIME 3 mins

Utilising technology to have a good day

Last edition we brought you news of Caroline Webb’s fantastic new book How to Have a Good Day. This recent Guardian Tech podcast explores some of the themes of the book and features Brilliant Noise CEO Antony Mayfield alongside Caroline, Nathalie Nahai and Lawrence Ampofo.

Single-tasking and digital mindfulness – Tech Weekly podcast
The Guardian 32 mins