Mantis Research and BuzzSumo recently researched the relevance and usage of authentic research in marketing. The State of Original Research for Marketing survey conducted this year produced 644 responses from global marketers. 47% of the respondents were from the U.S, and 70% of the respondents were affiliated with B2B companies.

The study concluded that users of original research for marketing are usually more satisfied with their marketing strategy performance. Sixty-one percent of the respondents reported that such original research had exceeded their expectations, with 88% confirming that they plan to conduct authentic research in the coming year. So overall, this study summarizes that a substantial number of firms have performed original analysis an integral part of the marketing efforts.

The use of authentic research in marketing is not a new phenomenon. The most substantial and mid-size B2B companies, and for smaller B2B firms, original and authoritative research has become essential for effective marketing. Effective B2B marketing needs real Thought Leadership content. Most B2B companies for conducting effective marketing, require the development of compelling thought driven leadership content. Numerous research studies confirmed that business buyers value Thought Leadership content, and it impacts B2B purchase decisions throughout the buying process, regardless of the industry or product.

For example, in the 2018 survey of 1,201 business decision-makers by LinkedIn and Edelman:

  • 55% said Thought Leadership content is an excellent way to vet potential suppliers
  • 58% of respondents confirmed that they spend one hour or more per week consuming Thought Leadership content
  • 61% of C-level respondents verified good Thought Leadership content made them more willing to pay a premium to work with any company
  • 58% confirmed good Thought Leadership content caused them to award business to a company

Real Thought Leadership content must be authoritative and novel. The explosive proliferation of content over the last several years had made it challenging for marketers to create content that could cut through the noise. Thought Leadership content can correctly do just that, but only if the content constitutes “authentic” Thought Leadership. Two attributes define real Thought Leadership and distinguish it from the rest of the marketing content.

Real Thought Leadership is novel as real Thought Leadership content provides insights and information that are genuine. Therefore, to qualify as real Thought Leadership, content should generate information or insight that adds up to something innovative and meaningful to the body of knowledge about a particular topic. Real Thought Leadership is authoritative as all marketing content needs to be credible, but Thought Leadership content needs to meet a higher standard. Thought Leadership content advocates novel ideas; content developers need to support those ideas with persuasive and sound evidence.

The way to consistently develop original and authoritative content is by conducting original research. Original research plays two central roles in the development of real thought based leadership content. First, innovative research is needed to capture the new data to develop the new insights that create Thought Leadership content novel. And second is the original research, and analysis is critical for Thought Leadership content as it provides the evidence to makes the content authoritative.

To conclude, effective B2B marketing needs compelling Thought Leadership content, and original research is the best and the only viable source for such content. Such original content not only assures customer trust and loyalty but also boosts the overall brand image and credibility. So, regardless of the company size or the scale at which a marketing strategy is planned, conducting original research before implementation is a must.