B2B SaaS brands, and any other business that has a vested interest in helping their customers succeed, need the latest benchmark data to do so. And according to Google’s Helpful Content Update guidelines, “people-first content” should be created for a specific intended audience, and include the latest information.
Today, brands are taking proprietary research, data analysis, and industry trends report creation into their own hands. Why? It gives them the ability to tailor the research to help their audience, and creates a steady flow of traffic, which improves brand awareness.
The even more recent Google Helpful Content Update on the E-A-T content marketing strategy adds an extra “E” for experience, making it the E-E-A-T strategy now. That means that people who have firsthand experience with the topic they’re writing about will be prioritized. This is where I explain that I am the CMO of a creative content marketing agency (CXD Studio) that helps create or reports like the annual HubSpot State of Marketing Trends report, among others. Our team has been doing the content strategy, copywriting, data analysis, design, data visualization, and promotion for marketing research reports for almost a decade, and our reports have reached millions of readers.
Here are the basics on how to produce an industry trends report campaign and inspirational reports from 2022.
Reminder — creating any sized research report takes significant time, effort, expertise, and resources. Don’t try to take it on yourself, and plan enough time for each phase in the production process. There will be delays — build those into your timelines.
Who creates marketing industry trends reports?
Marketing research reports typically fall under the responsibility of the content marketing team within the marketing department. However, they might be owned by demand generation, sales enablement, a research/analytics team, or outsourced to a specialized agency or freelancer.
Here’s who typically leads and executes marketing research campaigns:
- Market research companies
- Creative agencies
- Advertising agencies
- In-house content teams
Types of marketing research reports brands can create
- Industry trends reports
- Benchmark reports
- Brand awareness surveys
- Analyses of product data
- Executive/decision-maker surveys
- User experience reports
10 examples of great industry trends reports from B2B brands from 2022
Use these marketing research report examples to spark your creativity from outline, to promotion, to format.
- HubSpot’s State of Marketing Trends Report
- Owl Labs’ State of Remote Work Report
- ConvertKit’s State of the Creator Economy Report
- DoorDash’s Restaurant Online Ordering Trends Report
- TINT’s State of User-Generated Content 2022 Report
- Spotify’s Culture Next Report
- HubSpot’s Building Winning Regional Marketing Teams Report
- Semrush’s State of Content Marketing Report
- Chicory’s Annual Recipe Usage Report
- Lightcast’s Workers Wanted Worldwide Report
How do you create an industry trends research report?
Let’s break down the marketing research report process.
Phase 1: Background research, marketing strategy, and survey design
Identify your target audience, the goals of the report, and your survey questions. Try to ask a minimum of 10-20 questions, and don’t ask too many or you’ll fatigue your respondents. If you’ll be pulling product data, map out the questions that you want to answer from the data.
Phase 2: Survey administration and data collection
Use a platform like Pollfish or Survey Monkey Audience to collect responses from a certain demographic, or collect data from your own audience using a basic survey tool. Alternatively, some companies choose to pull product data to learn about their audience.
Phase 3: Data analysis and key themes
Examine the data using pivot tables or more advanced statistical modeling programs. Look for statistically significant themes and patterns, and analyze them in the context of the past few years.
Phase 4: Report outline and copywriting
Include key themes as chapters, and plan for calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout where it makes sense to include them. Pull out actionable tips for your audience so they can make the most out of the data. Use your brand’s copywriting guidelines to match the right tone for the audience.
Phase 5: Data visualization and report design
Design the charts, statistics, and data visualizations using your brand identity, and create shareable images for social media. Design the report as a web page or downloadable PDF using brand fonts, colors, imagery, iconography, and overall style.
Phase 6: Promotion and distribution
Plan for a launch blog post with key findings, emails to your audience, social media posts, paid advertising, and individual posts from your team, employees, or influencers. If you work with a PR team or individual freelancer, get them involved early, and have them share the key findings when they’re finalized. Source quotes from experts on the early side, too.
Phase 7: Campaign analysis
Analyze the performance of the campaign after the first week, month, and then a year or two out. Large-scale campaigns like annual or bi-annual reports can have a long tail, so measure influenced contacts, net new contacts, and influenced revenue after a bit of time.
Marketing survey promotion ideas
- Share interesting stats and data points using data visualizations on social media, using both organic posts and paid ads. Try static and animated ads and compare the results.
- Create a compelling landing page with key insights from the report and a preview of what’s inside.
- Incorporate leadership insights from partners or thought leaders with similar audiences, then ask them to promote the report when it comes out.
- Partner with similar brands and pool your resources, then promote to all of your audiences.
Need help creating an industry trends report, from start to finish? Let’s chat.
We’ve got a small but experienced team that handles project management, survey design and data acquisition, data analysis, copywriting, content strategy, data visualization, design, and promotional assets. And we work quickly, as a seamless extension of your team. Let’s talk through your marketing research report creation needs.