A man wearing black sunglasses with 1s and 0s from the matrix being reflected showing that the internet is the modern day matrix and businesses and marketers need new ways to market
The internet is the modern day Matrix
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What is Simba’s Content Matrix?

Simba’s Content Matrix: The Core Idea

Simba’s Content Matrix helps anyone doing marketing on the internet to prioritize and decide which digital marketing activities to spend money on in order  to get more clicks and conversions.

The more clicks you get, the higher your chances of selling on the Internet!

Simba, author of Simba’s Content Matrix. Founder and Teacher at Simba Academy.

Simba’s Content Matrix ( also known as “SCM”) was created by Simba Academy’s founder, Simba Mudonzvo.

Simba’s Content Matrix is a marketing tool used to visually represent a company’s digital marketing activities.

The content matrix, put simply, helps content creators, website owners, and marketers prioritize their different digital marketing activities, especially Content Marketing.

Digital marketing, in essence, is about creating and promoting content that creates demand for goods and services.

To be successful at digital marketing, a company should have digital marketing activities that generate demand for its products and services, while simultaneously, lowering the cost of acquiring and retaining customers.

Simba’s Content Matrix is a table split into four quadrants, each with its own unique symbol that represents a certain degree of success at getting clicks and conversions from digital marketing activities: the symbols that represent each quadrant are, Zombies, Catch-22s, Stars, and Evergreens.

Business executives and marketers should use this marketing tool to decide where to concentrate their resources and money in order to generate the most value as well as where to cut their losses.

Simba’s Content Matrix: The Background

Simba, the creator of Simba’s Content Matrix, was inspired by the BCG growth-share matrix, which was originally designed in 1968 by BCG’s founder, Bruce Henderson as a corporate planning tool.

What is the BCG Growth-Share Matrix?

BCG Growth Share Matrix Chart the inspiration behind Simba's Content Matrix.
BCG Growth Share Matrix (source: Smart Insights)

The BCG growth-share matrix is a tool that was, and still is used to help business executives and marketers determine how their products or services rank in terms of market attractiveness and market share. The matrix is divided into four quadrants:

  1. Stars – These are high-growth, high-market-share products or services. They are the most attractive products or services in the market and tend to generate a lot of cash flow.
  2. Question Marks – These are high-growth, low-market-share products or services. They are not as attractive as stars, but they have potential if they can achieve a larger market share.
  3. Dogs – These are low-growth, low-market-share products or services. They are unattractive and generate little cash flow.
  4. Cash Cows – These are low-growth, high-market-share products or services. They are not as attractive as stars, but they have the potential to generate a lot of cash flow.

At the peak of BCG Matrix’s popularity, it was used by around half of all Fortune 500 firms; and today, it is still important in MBA curriculum at the top business schools. 

Instead of reinventing the wheel, Simba wanted to make it easy for anyone to be able to decide how to prioritize their digital marketing activities. If it wasn’t for Covid-19 which accelerated the adoption of digital marketing, many businesses and organizations would have been happy to just keep doing ‘marketing-as-usual’ i.e. rely on traditional marketing and dabble in digital marketing without getting meaningful, game changing results.

Simba’s Content Matrix: The Logic Behind the Model

Gary Vaynerchuk says the Internet is a battleground of attention, the main logic behind Simba's Content Matrix
The Internet is a battleground for attention – Gary Vaynerchuk

“Half my spent doing digital marketing is wasted; the trouble is, despite all the data and analytics, I still don’t know which half!”

Marketers and Business Leaders across the world!

The content matrix was built on the logic that the more traffic i.e. attention, clicks you get the more increases your chances of selling your products/services on the internet.

For any successful digital marketing campaign, a content creator or business or organization, needs to create content that generates demand for their products/service, ultimately leading to sustainable profitability.

But how do you know which digital marketing activities are getting clicks (attention) on the internet and ultimately conversions e.g. a sale or email signup or  newsletter sign-up etc?

A lot of business leaders complain that they fail to see how digital marketing contributes to profits.

This is because, to prove that digital marketing activities are profitable for the business, only only a good web analyst using the latest and best website/app analytics tools can answer this. 

Simba’s Content Matrix was created with the intention of being easily readable, memorable, and memorable. It’s easy for anybody to understand what it means. In the end, even those who lack substantial digital marketing expertise or have little experience might use Simba’s Content Matrix to make informed decisions about their online marketing campaigns.

Importantly, the content matrix shows two characteristics that businesses should think about while deciding to market on the internet: clicks and conversions.

The Internet is a Battleground for Attention

‘Attention is the currency of the Internet!”

Gary Vaynerchuk, Vayner Media

As Gary Vaynerchuk will always tell Fortune 500 firms and entrepreneurs, and anybody willing to listen who wants to learn how to market themselves online, the key to marketing on the internet is getting “attention,” the internet Is a “battleground for attention.”

“…the biggest companies in the world, the biggest advertisers in the world, have been taking attention for granted.”

Gary Vaynerchuk

Simba, argues, that, this is also equally true for entrepreneurs as well as governments and non-profits.

Many large companies have spent (and wasted) a significant amount of money on digital marketing, believing that the more they spend, the more people will see their message.

“There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer… Because it is its purpose to create a customer, any business enterprise has two — and only these two—basic functions: marketing and innovation

Peter Drucker, a famous Management expert.

[su_highlight]This reiterates the point we made earlier in this article that digital marketing, in essence, is about creating content (content marketing) that generates demand for your products/services.[/su_highlight]

Content forms part of your Sales funnel or Customer Purchase Journey. On the internet, consumers show their interest in your content by “clicking” and then buying, or signing up for your newsletter etc, which is called a “conversion”

Digital marketing is all about “clicks” and “conversion” i.e. the clicks generate demand, and internet users become customers when they convert.

“Marketing is so basic that it is not just enough to have a strong sales department and to entrust marketing to it. Marketing is not only much broader than selling; it is not a specialized activity at all. It encompasses the entire business. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is from the customer’s point of view. Concern and responsibility for marketing must therefore permeate all areas of the enterprise.”

Peter Drucker, a famous Management Expert.

Simba, the creator of Simba’s Content Matrix, is adamant that Digital Marketing should not be left to the hands of external digital marketing agencies or in-house marketers. Simba’s Content Matrix, as well as Simba’s Five Forces, are tools and frameworks that make digital marketing everyone’s concern.

Even if the receptionist, sales person, or legal associate understands nothing about marketing, he or she should be able to comprehend and appreciate how a firm is faring with its digital marketing efforts.

How Does Simba’s Content Matrix Work?

Simba's Content Matrix chart showing zombies, catch-22s, stars, and evergreens.

Creating Content that gets clicks and conversions, whether through paid advertising on Google or Facebook, or search engine optimization (SEO), is the goal of all digital marketing.

The four quadrants represent the different combinations of clicks (traffic) and conversions that can occur after a digital marketing campaign or activity:

1. Stars

Stars represent content or digital marketing activities that generates a high number of clicks and conversions.

“You better catch ’em before they disappear!”

Simba, author of Simba’s Content Matrix.

You should invest in or scale up these “viral stars,” which are attracting a lot of clicks (attention) and creating demand for your goods/services, with a favorable return on investment. You can confidently pay for advertisements when you have ‘viral stars,’ knowing that every dollar spent on marketing will generate a profit.

Usually Content that is newsworthy and trending online tends to be a Star

Example: Chewbacca Mask viral video drives sales for Kohl’s, others

Digital Marketing activity best suited for Shooting Stars: Paid advertising e.g. Google Ads, Facebook Ads etc.

Hasbro’s Chewbacca Electronic Mask

This is the video that went viral first on Facebook, then, everywhere else on the Internet!

Laughing Chewbacca Lady!

2. Evergreens

Evergreens represent content or digital marketing activities that generates a low number of clicks BUT high conversions!

Like in the BCG Matrix, businesses with Evergreen content should ‘milk’ the cash cow. Businesses with evergreen material should eat (stuff their mouths) with all of the fruits (and gifts) hidden beneath their evergreen Christmas tree!

You will find evergreens, are typically, content written for a specialist, technical and non-trending topics.

Evergreens don’t attract a lot of attention on the internet, but they convert like crazy!

They are usually the ‘boring,’ ‘too technical,’ topics.

‘Evergreens’ need protection at all costs, and also need to be refreshed and kept up to date. Those highly invested in getting free, organic traffic from search engines (doing Search Engine Optimization) should look out for ‘evergreens.’

On the other hand, sometimes, evergreens, behave like Christmas trees, in that, once a year, they attract a lot of attention, which generates conversions for a long time after the attention is gone.

Examples: Forbes World’s Billionaires’ List, Interbrand Best Global Brands, and Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.

Digital Marketing activity best suited for Evergreens: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

3. Catch-22s

Just as the name implies, Catch-22s are content or digital marketing activities that receive a lot of attention on the internet but fail to result in conversions.

They also put you in a tricky situation: should you invest and lose money, or not invest and miss out on conversions such as sales, leads, and other metrics? In effect, you find yourself in a catch-22 situation.

If you notice you have a lot of catch-22s on your hands, perhaps it’s time to reconsider your digital marketing strategy and employ Simba’s Five Forces: you might need to change how often you publish new content (Simba’s Five Force: Threat of New Content)or you might need to repurpose your content into another medium (Simba’s Five Forces: Threat of Substitute Medium) or you might need to review your audience’s Ikigai (Customer Ikigai) to generate content that resonates and creates demand for products.

Examples: Metaverse, Bitcoin

Digital Marketing activity best suited for Catch-22’s: Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), and A/B Testing.

4. Zombies

Zombies are content or digital marketing activities that get low number of clicks and low number of conversions.

Companies should stop or eliminate their expenditures on these dead “Zombies.” Zombies don’t bring the company any clicks or conversions, i.e. they don’t bring back home the bacon!

Some “Zombie” material is required, such as a privacy policy, but there’s no need to spend another money on it.

Ironically, all content or digital marketing activities start off as Zombies, since they have zero clicks and zero conversions.

But zombies come to life (excuse the pun) at the end of a digital marketing campaign, when the results show they have failed to attract clicks and bring conversions.

Digital Marketing activity best suited for Catch-22’s: Content rewriting, creating a new Content Marketing Strategy, recruiting or working with influencers, User Generated Content (UGC)

How to Apply and Use Simba’s Content Matrix.

To get the most out of Simba’s Content Matrix, you’ll need to be already tracking all of your digital marketing activities, especially conversions.

Analytics software may track and quantify clicks (or views, traffic, and so on), but you’ll need to manually set up conversion tracking and measurement.

The most common way of doing this is using web analytics tools like Google Analytics. Most analytics software can track clicks (by showing you number of users visiting a page), Google Ads or Facebook analytics can show you clicks (and click-thru rates CTR). 

Can’t decide which digital marketing channel to prioritize?

Review your content (web visits or traffic) by source/medium against conversions.

Can’t decide which Content to create?

Review your past content marketing efforts by clicks and conversions.

Limitations of Simba’s Content Matrix

Although Simba’s Content Matrix makes it easy for everyone to know which Digital Marketing activities are worth investing in or not, the matrix also has its limitations.

  • Getting a lot of clicks (or views, or engagement) does not always lead to high conversions. One can make an argument that attention leads to high brand recognition, which, in the long term is more important than conversions. (A counter argument to that is that brand equity is also conversion, albeit it is difficult objectively measure!)
  • By the time you recognise Stars, perhaps it is already too late to act. (A counter argument is that with the correct analytics software, you can track and measure results from digital marketing activities in real-time e.g. views, and conversions)
  • High Conversions does not guarantee profitability.
  • Trends on the internet come and go, and sometimes even come around again – this could lead to premature decisions by marketers and business leaders. (A counter argument to that is that digital marketing by nature is always changing, and Simba’s Content Matrix was not designed to be static, but rather, to capture the changing nature of internet users.)
  • Simba’s Content Matrix classifies digital marketing results as high and low, but they can also be medium. (The point of the matrix is to get a high level of the performance of digital marketing activities, which should lead to conversations about the details. Simba’s Content Matrix is a conversation starter among business leaders and marketers.)

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