[Research Round-Up] Content Marketing, Thought Leadership and Customer Experience

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(Our January Research Round-Up features the annual content marketing survey by CMI and MarketingProfs, a survey by Edelman and LinkedIn examining the impact of B2B thought leadership, and a customer experience update by The Harris Poll and Redpoint Global.)

12th Annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends:  Insights for 2022 by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs

  • Source:  CMI and MarketingProfs
    An online survey of marketers who are affiliated with B2B or B2B/B2C for-profit companies and who are involved in the content marketing function of their organization or are someone to whom the function reports.
  • 810 respondents globally (78% in North America)
  • Survey fielded in July 2021 - report published in October 2021

The annual content marketing survey by CMI and MarketingProfs has been conducted since 2010, and it's become a vital source of insight about the state of content marketing.

The latest survey covers many of the same issues that were addressed in previous editions. It includes findings about how companies are structuring their content marketing operations, the types of content assets that produce the best results, budget expectations for 2022, and a variety of other topics.

As might be expected, the new survey asked participants about the impact of COVID-19 on their marketing strategy. Over three-fourths (77%) of the respondents whose organization has a content marketing strategy said it is different than prior to the pandemic.

Many of the findings in the latest survey won't be surprising to marketers who are actively involved in content marketing, but this research provides a useful tool for benchmarking content marketing efforts.

2021 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study by Edelman and LinkedIn

  • Source:  Edelman and LinkedIn
    An online survey of business executives (LinkedIn members) across a wide range of industries and company sizes
  • 3,593 respondents from the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, and India
  • Survey fielded in June-July 2021 - report published in September 2021

The 2021 survey is the fourth edition of Edelman/LinkedIn's research examining the impact of thought leadership content on the perceptions and buying behaviors of business decision-makers. The new survey - like the previous versions - found that business buyers spend significant time consuming thought leadership content, and that it has a major impact on purchase decisions.

COVID-19 caused many B2B companies to substantially increase the amount of thought leadership content they produce. In this study, 66% of the survey respondents said the pandemic had spawned a huge increase in the amount of thought leadership content in the marketplace.

Unfortunately, the increased emphasis on thought leadership content did not result in improved quality. Seventy-one percent of the survey respondents said that less than half of the thought leadership content they consume provides valuable insights.

The 2021 survey also contains several findings relating to what makes for good and bad thought leadership content. So it's a valuable resource for anyone involved in thought leadership marketing.

Revisiting the Gaps in Customer Experience by The Harris Poll (commissioned by Redpoint Global Inc.)

  • Source:  The Harris Poll and Redpoint Global
    Based on two surveys
  • A survey of senior marketing/customer experience leaders based in the United States
  • A survey of adult (18+) consumers residing in the United States who made a purchase in the year preceding the survey
  • 150 marketers surveyed - 1,500 consumers surveyed
  • Both surveys fielded in July 2021 - report published in September 2021
  • This survey was designed to take a current look at many of the same issues that were addressed in a 2019 survey also conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by Redpoint Global

    The core finding in both surveys is that a gap exists between marketers and consumers regarding the quality of the customer experiences that companies provide. The good news is, the gap appears to be narrowing.

    In the 2021 survey, 51% of the surveyed marketers said their company is doing an excellent job at delivering exceptional customer experiences, but only 26% of the surveyed consumers said the brands they interact with are doing an excellent job with customer experience. That gap of 25 percentage points compares to a gap of 30 percentage points in the 2019 survey.

    The 2021 survey also revealed gaps between marketers and consumers regarding what aspects of customer experience are most important and what the biggest challenges to great customer experiences are. The new survey also examines the strategies, tools and tactics marketers are using to improve the quality of the customer experiences they provide.

    If you're involved in customer experience design and delivery - and today, most marketers are - this survey is a valuable resource.


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