Key Highlights

State of Original Research for Marketing 2018

In early 2018, we partnered with Buzzsumo and set out to answer questions such as these:

  • Should more marketers publish their own research?
  • And, if marketers are publishing research, what’s working -- and what isn’t?
  • If marketers aren’t publishing research, are they planning to? Why or why not?

Nearly 700 marketers responded, and the results can be found in our new report, State of Original Research for Marketing 2018.

Read detailed findings or get the highlights below.

How many marketers are using or considering original research?

(Click to enlarge)

Approximately half of marketers are using original research. Of those:

  • The majority of marketers (56%) report it has either exceeded or met all/the majority of expectations
  • Only 3% say it hasn’t met expectations

Approximately half of marketers are not using original research. Of those:

  • Half are considering research in the next 12 months
  • An additional 19% are considering research, but they need more than 12 months to invest

What is original research?

Original research means analyzing data in a new way, and publishing the results with the intent of getting attention, changing how your audience thinks, and elevating your brand authority. Examples of original research for marketing include: industry benchmarks, salary guides, “State of” reports, analysis of public or private data to look for trends, etc.

It is not research you conduct to make internal decisions such as market research, customer research or competitive research.

Key stats


Users planning to conduct additional research in the next 12 months


Users who report better editorial ideas because of their research


Those who are not using research who are considering it within 12 months 

View the PDF of the findings


BuzzSumo and Mantis Research surveyed 698 marketers from around the world in January and February of 2018.

  • Slightly more than half (53%) of respondents work in B2B, 16% work in B2C, 26% work in companies that serve both B2B and B2C, and 5% came from government and non-profits.
  • Most respondents came from the US (50%); the other most highly represented regions were Europe (24%) and APAC countries (8%).
  • Nearly a third (32%) work for agencies (advertising & marketing), followed by technology (20%) and professional services & consulting firms (13%).

Learn more

If you want additional information about the research -- or you want to interview anyone from the Mantis Research team about the results or how to create original research, reach out to Clare or Michele. We're happy to be interviewed for your blog or podcast, write guest posts or speak to you about any aspect of the research process.

Why original research works

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"Our State of Agile Marketing research has been a virtual gold mine for subscribers, backlinks, and real money-in-the-bank clients. In our CRM I'll see someone has downloaded the report, and within a couple of days (sometimes a couple of hours!) I'll see that same someone requesting a call to talk about becoming a client. There's a clear correlation between reading the report and being ready to make a purchase."

Andrea Fryrear

President and Lead Trainer, AgileSherpas


"Original research is the most powerful format for content. It's crazy that more people don't do it."

Andy Crestodina

Co-founder, Orbit Media


“Original research solidifies your position as a thought leader because it reveals problems that beg to be solved. It’s content no one else will have but everyone will want to share.”

Margie Agin

Chief Strategist, Centerboard Marketing

New to original research?

What's the biggest challenge from those who are considering research? They don't know how the ins and outs of a project like this. 

Get our detailed 29-page guide to learn the steps -- and get lots of tips -- on how to execute your own original research project.