How Primary Research Helps Scale Your Content Marketing Operation

3 minute read

Upland Admin


Primary research is one of the best ways for marketers to scale their content operation globally.

Content marketing surrounding best practices and industry data is great to have in your arsenal, but it’s the primary research that drives the most interaction both from a PR and a demand generation perspective.

Take Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, for example. In a recent Kapost webinar, Kyle Lacy of ExactTarget revealed how important primary research is to his team: “Primary research drives 10x more leads in pipe over all other content that we produce.”

Content marketers are constantly on the hunt for new data and insights to think about, write about and draw conclusions from. If we don’t find them, our content starts to sound like a broken record.

So how do you go about conducting primary research?

We like the approach ExactTarget takes. They break primary research down into four categories:

1. Benchmarks

Periodically comparing your own company’s processes and performance metrics to the industry standard can be extremely useful for you and for your peers, especially in an industry that’s always changing, like marketing. The “Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, for example, is like the gift that keeps on giving. It’s arguably one of the most cited and celebrated report in the industry.

2. Co-branded Research

There are a lot of benefits to conducting your research with a partner. Doing so greatly expands the size of your report or survey’s reach, allowing you to collect better data than you could have alone. Additionally, it can bring credibility to your brand. If you’re cobranding your study with Forrester, for example, one of the most looked to industry analysts in the United States, US marketers are going to pay attention to what it has to say. On a global scale, research the people or companies that are influential in other key markets your operating in so you can bring the same credibility and reach around the globe.

3. Consumer Based 

To market effectively, marketers need data on their consumers. That’s why consumer based research in the markets your operating in can be so effective. Where people live often has a great impact on where, when, and how they use your products and services. Study these behaviors and document them. Every time ExactTarget opens a new office, for example, they launch a consumer-based report revealing how users in that particular country use their technology.

4. Peer Research 

Understanding what other companies in your industry are doing, and what they’re planning for the future is called peer research. It helps marketers attain a more broad understanding of their vertical and can be extremely helpful in identifying trends. Peer research helps businesses understand which technologies and initiatives will be important to invest in for the future, as well as other movements, gaps, or shifts. Knowing your industry landscape in markets around the globe will give your brand a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

If you’re expanding your product line around the world, you must also expand the content operation marketing those products. Primary research will arm you with the data, trends, and insights you need to be successful.

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