Thought leadership research gives you insights into how your customers are addressing or adapting to current trends, arming you with the knowledge to position your people and services. Whether you use the research results in a white paper, infographic or webinar, thought leadership research and content establishes your team as experts on the topic.
But as a federal marketer, you want to know what kind of return on investment you can expect. That depends on the extent to which your company leverages the research.
In Q2 of 2015, Iron Mountain commissioned research to determine the level of confidence agency business managers and records management professionals have in their records management procedures, where they feel risk may lie, and if the two groups have similar perceptions of the status within their agencies. They used the results in a variety of ways, including developing a white paper and infographics and using the data for media outreach. (Read the full story on how Iron Mountain initially used the thought leadership research).
As 2015 closed, FedPulse followed up with Lisa De Luca, Iron Mountain director of government marketing, to see what kind of measurable return the research has had. Here are her candid answers.
FedPulse: Let’s get straight to it: What kind of ROI have you seen from this research?
De Luca: We have been extremely pleased with the results. As of the end of December, we had a total of 16 media placements. Coverage has also extended beyond traditional media pickups, including one radio program interview and the ARMA (records industry association) policy newsletter included in that mix. As a result, our year-over-year share of voice in media placements increased by 75 percent, by leveraging Market Connections as our research partner.
Our lead generation has been especially successful. Our goal was to generate five times our investment in filling the pipeline. We exceeded that goal — to date, the research has lead to 7.5 times our investment in the program.
FedPulse: That’s great! These numbers are a direct result of how well you have leveraged the research. Can you share how your sales team and executives are using the study for business development?
De Luca: We have used the study results for a few different things … our sales team can leverage this research to talk to key agency stakeholders about how they can influence our primary audience, records managers, to impact sales. We also leveraged the results to support key points in our message platform to help drive customer behaviors that lead to deeper, consultative conversations — moving us from consideration to RFI stages in the sales cycle with some customers. We also have used the results to drive conversations around records confidence issues in the marketplace for two op-ed articles and a four-part blog series we leveraged this year.
FedPulse would like to thank Lisa for sharing these results, and demonstrating how thought leadership research can generate a significant return on investment.