Isurus regularly works with clients on research studies that become the basis of custom content like whitepapers, webinars, and other media.
If you’re thinking about conducting primary market research to support custom content, here are a few recommendations for getting the most out of the investment.
1) Map out a set of hypotheses that will be differentiating. Do some secondary research in advance of conducting your own study to see what competitors, analysts, or other thought-leaders are publishing on the topic. What can your company contribute to the topic that is different from what competitors or other thought leaders are saying?
2) Outline several different hypotheses to validate in the research to give yourself a range of options for useful content. In all likelihood, the research results will validate only a subset of your hypotheses. By giving yourself multiple options , the more likely you are to get a strong, well-supported story from the research findings.
3) Market-leading ideas are harder to validate through primary market research. For example, some years ago Isurus conducted a study for a major payroll services provider that wanted to publish a research-based whitepaper showing that outsourcing enables mid-market HR functions to focus on strategic priorities. Because our client was too far ahead of the market, the research did not provide a statistic like “80% of mid-market HR leaders believe outsourcing will increase their strategic value to the organization.” In fact, most HR leaders didn’t see a connection between outsourcing and increasing their strategic value. Instead, the research showed that some of the top barriers preventing HR from acting more strategically were amenable to outsourcing (e.g., lack of staff, etc). If you’re using research to validate a need that is too far ahead of the market, be sure to measure both the outcome and its symptoms (pain points, beliefs, etc).