It’s here! The Association of Data-Driven Marketing Australia and the Content Marketing Institute have published their 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report for Australia.

Each year it gives us the best available insight into what local brands are experiencing with their content marketing. Nic and Sarah’s guest today is Jodie Sangster, CEO of ADMA.


ADMA CEO Jodie Sangster



Here are some key take-outs:


  • This year’s report shows there is a high level of commitment to content marketing. Five years ago around 20 per cent of companies were investing in content, now it’s up around 70 per cent. It’s a serious strategy.
  • There’s a move towards adopting a content marketing strategy, rather than doing things in an ad hoc way.

“In the last 18 months we’ve seen a massive shift as content marketing has become much more robust and a definite discipline within marketing, and organisations are adopting a strategy”. — Jodie Sangster, CEO of ADMA


  • Brands are also getting better at producing content that is getting results — they’re creating higher quality content and they’re producing it more efficiently.
  • We’ve stepped back from the “hype” stage of content marketing. Rather than racing to get on board with the new discipline, organisations have stepped back and are being more strategic. They’re also using the tools available to them.

“We’ve moved out of the experimentation phase and we’re really looking at this as a professional discipline.” — Sarah


  • Small business is getting good outcomes, possibly because it is easier for them to enact a strategy — the whole process is easier for them. It becomes more complex for larger organisations. Larger organisations should focus on four or five goals and achieve those first, rather than trying to achieve everything.
  • Brands are learning how to treat their data better so that it can deliver a return on investment. The “disconnect” is at a management level because content marketing has a longer lead-time — it’s not about immediate sales. Marketers need to explain this properly to the C-suite going into it.

“One person’s definition of content marketing is extremely different to someone else’s. So there needs to be some clarity around the definition — so in February we are launching a piece of research that delves into that, tries to put some boundaries around it, but also looks at the biggest problem in content marketing, which is measurement.” — Jodie Sangster, ADMA CEO.


Here are the links you might need


Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at the #StopFundingHate campaign.


And here’s a discussion about whether chasing viral content is killing trust.


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Give us a follow on Soundcloud to get the latest episodes.

Or, you can subscribe or leave a review on iTunes.


It’s out! The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs B2B “Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report” for 2017 has landed. CMI vice president Michele Linn joined the team to discuss the annual snapshot of the state of business-to-business content marketing in the North American market.



Here are some key take-outs:


  • 62 per cent of marketers say they feel more successful with their content marketing this year than they have in the past.
  • Top performing marketers have a documented strategy, clarity about what success is, commitment to content marketing, and a consistent approach to publication.

“The content marketers that are staying the course are starting to realise that this works. Content marketers have known that for a long time but we’ve been asking our employers and clients to trust us on that.” — Sarah


  • 89 per cent of marketers (B2B in North America) are doing content marketing and of the 11 per cent not doing content marketing, 52 per cent plan to start within the next year.
  • Businesses and brands that are struggling with content marketing aren’t actually doing content marketing, they’re just using content in their marketing. Content in marketing does not equal content marketing.

“We took a new look at the data to provide marketers with different insights. We wanted to figure out what (kinds of content) marketers found the most critical.” — Michele Linn, Content Marketing Institute vice president.


  • Ask yourself what kinds of stories you’d tell if you didn’t have to make money. Now tell those stories.
  • The most successful content marketers know success doesn’t happen overnight. You need to stick with it. This year’s data shows that.

“We have a lot of new data around people’s attitudes to content marketing and the people who are most successful have a strategy — they know what success looks like and they give it time.” — Michele Linn, Content Marketing Institute vice president.


Here are the links you might need


Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic spoke to Jonathan Crossfield about avoiding epic social media mistakes.


And here’s a discussion about the world’s top content marketing projects, based on the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 Awards.


Like what you’ve heard?

Give us a follow on Soundcloud to get the latest episodes.

Or, you can subscribe or leave a review on iTunes.


Content Marketing World has wrapped up in the U.S. for another year and a highlight of that is always the Content Marketing Awards which honour the very best examples of content marketing in the world. The Brand Newsroom team takes a close look at what the best content marketers are doing and what lessons there are for the rest of us.



Here are some key take-outs:

  •  Keep your finger off the selling button. Your articles should provide information, not push product. 
  •  Build trust with your audience first. Build your reputation as a publisher.

“People get tired of people selling to them.” — Nic

  •  You can still make sales from your content marketing — that is after all the point of marketing — you just have to be clever about it. A hyperlink to a product page can build revenue without bashing the consumer over the head with an obvious call-to-action.
  •  Use the content to build your subscriber base then market directly to the subscriber base via email.

“The money play for brands is not in the news, it is not to always be selling, but to be really strategic and think about the audience and that subscriber base. That’s where you can really sell to them, on the email.” — Sarah

  •  The lesson from Sainsbury’s content marketing project win is to know your audience. They have 50,000 magazine readers every week with a 35 per cent open rate and a 31 per cent click-through rate which says people value it and when they see it, they open it. Why? Because Sainsbury’s is getting the content right.
  •  Do one thing really well. Sainsbury’s mastered the magazine and built their audience before they moved into other areas.
  •  View yourself as a media company. It’s a change in mindset but it will pay dividends, as Marriott Hotels has shown.

“The theme through all of these is how much respect each of these organisations has for their audience and for building that audience.” — Sarah


Here are the links you might need

  •  Here’s a link to the Traction News
  •  The Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi took a deep dive into all the CMWorld “project of the year” finalists here
  •  Sarah mentioned a Contently article about hotelier Marriott calling themselves a media company. You can read that here
  •  And here’s the link to that social media governance survey for West Australian companies, Sarah mentioned at the end of the podcast.

Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at the digital marketing strategies of the Clinton and Trump campaigns in the current United States election.

And here’s a discussion about the differences between pitching a story idea to public and commercial media outlets.


Like what you’ve heard?

Give us a follow on Soundcloud to get the latest episodes.

Or, you can subscribe or leave a review on iTunes.


In the 100th episode of Brand Newsroom the team takes a look back at some of the biggest lessons learned across almost two years of the podcast.


Here are some key take-outs:

  • Publish consistently. Your audience expects it. That might mean allotting regular time in your diary to create your content.
  • Be flexible in your approach to your content. Be open to new and evolving ideas.

“If you serve your audience, you’re going to be rewarded.” — Sarah

  • It’s not about you, it’s about your audience.
  • Tap into your influencers: Your content is going to do better. Put their names in the headline to get your audience’s attention.

“A lot of companies entering the content marketing space are, sadly, still producing content for the boardroom rather than for the audience.” — James

  • Use social media to amplify your content. Engage with your influencers on social and get them to share your content.
  • Recycle your content. Keep putting it out there in as many different ways as possible.
  • Content works forever. If you create something “evergreen”, you’re creating a long-term asset that keeps working to bring in more business.

“It has been a labour of love and it has been such an enjoyment — I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every episode of the one hundred.” — Nic

Here are some of the most popular Brand Newsroom podcasts…

The team speaks to Rand Fishkin about SEO.

And here’s Jay Baer on why praise is overrated…


Like what you’ve heard?

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You’ve probably seen examples of businesses using location services, but have you considered how you could use them in your own business? Adam Mullett, marketing manager from NGIS, shares terrific examples of how marketers can use mapping tools to tell better stories and provide a visual element to information they’re presenting to their customers.

Adam says using location intelligence allows marketers to provide an excellent customer experience by adding additional value that goes beyond selling products or services. Providing helpful information to customers about things like parking availability, traffic alerts and even helping travellers navigate the complexities of international banking are all within reason.

Here’s the best part for small business. You don’t necessarily need your own location services to get the benefit. A lot of other applications may be including you in their mapping products. Think about popular apps like Yelp or Trip Advisor that automatically identify you on a map when people are looking for products and services in your location.


Here are some key take-outs:

  • Location services provide a way for marketers to add value to their customer experience.
  • Even small businesses have an opportunity to develop visual content using mapping technology.

‘The only thing that limits business right now is your imagination and how you can use [location services]’. — Sarah

  • 80% of any data has some sort of spatial component you can plot on a map.
  • A lot of data sits in the public domain that even small business can utilise.

‘Maps are all about finding relationships between data. We’re humans; we’re really geared up to see patterns; we love pictures’. — Adam

  • Mapping technology is becoming a lot easier to use. It’s not beyond the average marketer to start telling stories using integrated tools between things like email services and mapping technology.
  • Make sure your business is listed on Google with the correct address. It helps customers find you and also has a positive impact on your SEO rankings.

‘Today, maps can change the way that we look at businesses and organisations because we can find them easily. We can use them in just about everything we’re going to do today’. — Nic

Here are the links you might need

  • For marketing analytics:

Linking MailChimp to CartoDB (easy-to-learn web visualisation software) to get heat maps or temporal maps of opens is especially useful for national or distributed databases of clients.

  • For enhanced content marketing:

Esri Story Maps – make your story come to life with maps. Easy to make, get the impressive functionality of the enterprise-level software from Esri.

Google Maps For Work provides industry-specific demos to get you thinking about how you can tell better stories with maps. 

Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at how brand storytelling improves the customer experience.


And here’s a discussion about online reviews with Nic Lembo from Yelp.


Like what you’ve heard?

Give us a follow.

Subscribe or leave a review.