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Why original research for content marketing?

There are a lot of reasons we are passionate about original research — and why we think it’s a substantial opportunity for marketers like yourself. You can read an in-depth answer to the question here, but here are some highlights:  

  • Original research works. We’ve seen research work time and time again — and so many others share similar experiences.

  • It’s not something many marketers are doing, so it’s an untapped opportunity. (In fact, only 37% of B2B marketers in North America use research in their content marketing efforts.)
  • Your B2B buyers are looking for research to make their buying decisions. In fact, 74% of those involved in the buying process consider original research to be influential (second only to peer-to-peer recommendations). (Source: CMI/SmartBrief)
What area should my research focus on?

Start by considering the problem from your audience’s perspective, not your own. Don’t design a research study to show off your product; do design a research study that answers your customers’ or audience’s most pressing questions. (We can help you conduct audience research to refine your focus and meet marketing goals.)

What types of research projects do you help clients with?

While the options for research are somewhat limitless, all research falls into two buckets:

  • Primary research is any research based on new data you gather, such as from original surveys or interviews. Projects from primary research include industry benchmarks, salary guides and “State of” reports.
  • Secondary research is any research based on existing data--whether or not it was collected for the purpose you have in mind. This could be analyzing public data sets (e.g. census data or Google Analytics) or aggregating existing research to come up with new ideas or insights.
Do you perform market research or reader surveys for companies?

No. Our area of expertise is using original research for content marketing. This is research that is published and amplified to get attention, build attention, etc.(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?

In most cases, the hardest part is getting people — and specifically the right people — to answer your survey. No matter how interesting your survey design is, or how talented your writer/analyst, you’re lost without an adequate sample size and relevant demographic. And of course, if you design a very lengthy or complex survey, response rates are even tougher to pull up.

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.

I already have survey data. Can you still help me?

Yes, as long as you allow us to be honest with you about whether the data you collected is valid. We won’t get involved with research that isn’t valid — whether because it’s methodologically unsound, or because it aims to report findings that aren’t backed up by the research.

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, please feel free to 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 freelance@mantisresearch.com.