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

(The January research summaries include an annual content marketing survey by CMI and MarketingProfs, a survey by Edelman and LinkedIn examining the impact of thought leadership among businesses, and a customer experience update by The Harris Poll and Redpoint Global.)

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

  • Source: CMI and MarketingProfs

    An online survey of marketers affiliated with for-profit B2B or B2B/B2C companies who are involved in the content marketing function of their organization or are someone to whom the job is reporting.

  • 810 respondents globally (78% in North America)
  • Survey conducted in July 2021 – report published in October 2021

The annual Content Marketing Survey has been run by CMI and MarketingProfs since 2010, and has become a vital source of insight into the state of content marketing.

The latest survey covers many of the same issues that were addressed in previous editions. It includes findings on how companies structure their content marketing operations, what types of content assets work best, budget projections for 2022, and a variety of other topics.

As expected, the new survey asked participants about the impact of COVID-19 on their marketing strategy. More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents whose organization has a content marketing strategy say it is different than it was before the pandemic.

Many of the results in the latest survey will come as no surprise to marketers who are actively involved in content marketing, but this research provides a useful tool for measuring content marketing efforts.

  • Source: Edelman and LinkedIn

    Online survey of business executives (LinkedIn members) across a wide range of industries and company sizes

  • 3,593 respondents from the US, UK, Singapore, Australia and India
  • Survey conducted in June-July 2021 – Report published in September 2021

The 2021 Survey is the fourth edition of Edelman/LinkedIn research that examines the impact of thought leadership content on the perceptions and buying behaviors of business decision makers. The new survey – like previous editions – finds that business buyers spend a significant amount of time consuming thought leadership content, and that it has a significant impact on purchasing decisions.

COVID-19 has caused many B2B companies to dramatically increase thought leadership content. In this study, 66% of survey respondents said the pandemic has led to an exponential increase in the amount of thought leadership content on the market.

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

The 2021 survey also contains several findings regarding what makes good and bad thought leadership content. Therefore it is a valuable resource for anyone involved in thought leadership marketing.

  • Source: Harris and RedPoint Global Poll

    Based on two surveys

    • Survey of Senior Marketing/Customer Experience Leaders in the US
    • Survey of adults (18+) US residents who made a purchase in the year prior to the survey
  • The survey included 150 marketers – the survey included 1500 consumers
  • Both surveys were conducted in July 2021 – report published in September 2021
This survey is designed to take a current look at many of the same issues addressed in the 2019 survey also conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by Redpoint Global.

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

In the 2021 survey, 51% of marketers surveyed said their company does an excellent job of delivering exceptional customer experiences, but only 26% of consumers surveyed said the brands they interact with do an excellent job with customer experience. This 25 percentage point gap compares to a 30 percentage point gap in the 2019 survey.

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

If you are involved in designing and delivering customer experience – and today most marketers – this survey is a valuable resource.

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