Getting Started

Learn how to confidently execute your own research project

Do you know what makes us feel most successful? Your success.

Do you need someone to execute your project for you? We can do that.

Do you want to learn about the process while we work on a project together? We can do that, too.

Or maybe you just want to learn more about original research to see if it's a good fit for you. Keep reading to get answers to the questions we are asked the most or reach out if you have additional questions.

Why original research for content marketing?

Let's be honest, it's tough to be a content marketer today. Businesses like yours understand the value of providing helpful, education content to their prospects and customers. But, because content marketing works, there is so. much. content . . . and it's tough to break though. 

While there is no silver bullet, publishing survey-based research has been the most effective type of content we have published -- and many of my clients have reported the same results as well.

Yes, it takes time, but as Andy Crestodia has said, "[Original research] may take 10x the effort to create, but you’ll likely see 100x the results of a typical article."

Here are just some of the benefits our clients have experienced:

  • Backlinks from others who link to your research and cite you as an authority in your industry.
  • Mentions from media and influencers in your space.
  • New leads (research is a great gated asset)
  • New email subscribers
  • Invitations to speak on podcasts or at industry events
  • Requests to guest post on other websites
  • A seemingly endless stream of content that tells a story backed by data

Want more? Read our more in-depth answer.

What area should my research focus on?

The best research topics: 

  • Are interesting to your audience 
  • Align with your brand
  • Haven't been covered before

Remember: Don’t design a research study to show off your product or services. 

Reach out if you want to brainstorm a topic for your study. 

What types of research projects do you help clients with?

While the options for research are somewhat limitless, most of our work focuses on conducting and publishing survey-based researchWe also conduct qualitative research via interviews. 

Do you perform market research or reader surveys for companies?

No. Our area of expertise is using original research for content marketing.

We focus specifically on research that is published and used for marketing. (Think: industry benchmark reports, salary guides, "State of" reports, or trends analysis.)

We do not perform research that is used for internal decision-making only. Our clients sometimes find the research we perform aids in market research, but it’s not our primary intent.

What’s the hardest part about original research?

While this varies, these are the three biggest challenges we see. 

Understanding the process: Research requires a lot of stsps, and the process can feel overwhelming. There are many things you don't know that you don't know. (See our guide to creating survey-based research to learn more about the process.)

Getting survey responses: Another common challenge is getting people — and specifically the right people — to answer their survey. (See some ideas on how to get survey responses.) 

Writing good survey questions: Much of the success of your research project rests squarely on the questions you ask and how you ask them. This will impact how many people complete your survey as well as the stories can you can tell from it. This is one of those tasks that seems simple but isn't. 

What tool do you use to conduct surveys?

We rely on third-party, enterprise solutions to host your survey, gather responses and generate data reports. The solution we use depends on the project scope and budget.

Robust survey tools can be a big investment. (Free survey tools are great for simple surveys, but we find clients outgrow them quickly.) When you work with Mantis to execute your survey, we provide the survey platform so you don’t need to spend that money.

What’s the biggest mistake you see marketers make with research?

The biggest mistake involves survey design — or more specifically, the questions used in the survey. A well-designed survey motivates people to answer honestly and completely. A poorly designed survey compromises your credibility and results. Learn more about good survey design.

How much does original research cost?

Costs for research can vary considerably — and depend most on how much of the process you need help with. Another big factor: whether you have access to a group of people to survey. If you have a substantial audience that is appropriate for your survey, your costs will be lower than if you need to purchase a list.

The best way to approach price is to share with us your broad goals (e.g., demand generation, brand awareness, audience development) and budget. We’ll present options at that price point.

Learn more: Visit our services for marketers and services for agencies to see more specific pricing.

What does a mantis have to do with research?

The mantis is a powerful predator with amazing, compound (3D) eyes, a pivoting head (the only insect that can turn its head 180 degrees), and lightning-fast reflexes. We think it’s an apt metaphor for the potent punch research can add to your portfolio.

Do you hire freelancers?

Yes. If you’re a freelance journalist, analyst, data scientist or information designer, get in touch. Send us examples of your work, your hourly rate, and your specific areas of expertise (e.g., industry focus). At this time we are particularly interested in recruiting data viz experts to work on a contract basis. You can get in touch via email at