The Content Formula – Book Interview

The content formula coverHeidi Cohen interviews Michael Brenner

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for readers looking to improve their marketing?

The biggest mistake marketers make when starting out with content marketing is not defining a clear business objective and then defining the metrics of success. Otherwise, how would you know if the program has worked or not.

We’ve seen that every marketer who sets out with a clear and documented business case, is able to show content marketing ROI.

Q: What was the inspiration for The Content Formula?

We hear the question of content marketing ROI more than any other. So my co-author Liz Bedor and I did a webinar in 2015 to provide very practical tips and calculations to prove content marketing ROI. And we had more than 1,000 people attend and nearly a dozen of them asked us to write the book. So we took it as a sign.

Q: What is the key concept behind your book?

The key concept of the book is that there are very simple calculations for any business to determine the ROI of content marketing. And any marketing program for that matter. It starts with defining the business case or objective. Then you need to find the budget from within EXISTING and under-performing marketing programs. Finally, you need to measure results in true business terms such as leads and revenue. In the book, we provide 10 calculations any business can use to define the ROI.


Q: What do you want readers to take away from your book?

Our hope is that marketers stop hiding behind the old notion that marketing isn’t measurable or that the value marketing provides the business is too hard to demonstrate.

Q: How do you describe yourself professionally?

I help businesses implement content marketing programs to reach, engage and convert new customers.

Q: What are 1-3 books that inspired your work/career? 

Ann Handley’s Content Rules, Joe Pulizzi’s Content Inc. and Andrew Davis’ Brandscaping.

Q: What is the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome?

My biggest challenge was probably that moment when my wife went back to work right after our first baby and I stayed home for a week to take care of her. That first day is one I’ll never forget. Now we have four beautiful, happy, and healthy kids for which I feel very lucky. Those kind of parenting challenges made me realize that a grumpy boss and an angry customer mean nothing compared to a screaming newborn.

Q: What’s something unusual or fun that most people don’t know about you?

I stopped having any fun outside of work and family time once we had our first child. 😉 But I try to build yoga into my daily routine and find that nothing centers my mind and helps me to feel my best.

Q: Is there a piece of content, a social media campaign or a marketing campaign that you worked on that you’re particularly proud of?

I created 99 Facts on The Future of Business for SAP. It was kind of an accident. We built it based on some research we were doing for the CEO. I’m such a fan of Slideshare and thought it would work really well there as a visual asset. Now, more than 400,000 page views later, I think it’s the best piece of content SAP every created.

Contact information

Michael Brenner

Thanks, Michael.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .