B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 2051 · 4 months ago

Tackling 4 Obstacles to Meaningful Market Research

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, we speak to Eric Thomas, Manager, Construction Thought Leadership & Content Marketing at Autodesk & Host of the Digital Builder podcast.

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Yeah, welcome back to be to be growth. I'mLogan Lyles with sweet fish media. I'm your host for today's episode. I amjoined today by eric thomas. He is manager construction, thoughtleadership and content marketing at auto desk. He's also the host of agreat podcast, the digital builder podcast sponsored by Autodesk. Eric,Welcome to the show today, man. Thanks Logan. I'm happy to be here awesome.We're gonna be talking about something that you are pretty passionate about.You know, you've had an interesting route into B two B marketing. I'm surewe'll touch on that throughout today's conversation, but essentially you havenoticed that really market research is under utilized by B two B marketers andwe're gonna be talking about why that is and what to do about it. But I loveto get to know our guests a little bit aside from you and I haven't workedtogether for almost a year now. Tell listeners what was your AOL screen name.So I have a couple that come to mind because there was an iteration phasewhere I would change it into something new and exciting. So the first one Ihad was probably back in 1992 or 1993 and it was cool. E W T one as a, youknow, a seven or an eight year old would come up with back when they allcome on a floppy disk. And then the last one I had, I think was good with afork. And the the ideation behind that was simply driven by the fact that somany interesting screen names were taken. I was struggling to come up witha new one. There was a fork on my desk and I just said, well the hell with it,let's go with God with a fork and here we are. Mhm. Good with a fork man. Um Ithink as we email back and forth, I'm going to just drop that in whenever Iwhenever I can I was with you, I rotated a few times. Can't remember A.O. L. Specifically, but I know that my msn messenger names were around some ofmy favorite baseball players at the time. Chipper jones of the AtlantaBraves and Roger, Clemens boston new...

...york, a couple different teams there.But remember having the Rocket 12 and ch jones 10, something like that. So Iwas with you. I iterated a few times. But I think you're good with a fork.There's just so many things. There might be a future podcast name, wedon't know, but eric this is fantastic. I'm sure we're going to talk a littlebit about what you're doing at auto desk in in your current role throughouthere. But I'd love to kick it off with why you believe that market research isreally being under utilized by a lot of your peers and B two B marketing. Yeah,it's it's an important question to ask because like market research issomething we all leverage when we're, you know, going to market to doresearch to validate things with customers. But the ideation behind itis inherently complex and it does take a lot of effort in time. And I thinkpeople oftentimes simply don't know where to start or they recognize thatsome of those costs are going to be a bit higher than they might be willingto put out up front. So oftentimes a market research project could takeupwards of a year from the moment you go, hey, we have a hypothesis or anidea to actually releasing report out for your audience. And of course, sincethat cost is high, it's sometimes really difficult to qualify internallyto your peers and others that your organization that okay spending thismoney upfront might be a little bit painful, especially for smallerorganizations. But you know, the R a y at the end of the day for your team ispretty significant. And then getting the amount of response is necessary tohave a report that people consider to be credible or valid is often times alittle bit disappointing in the first iteration. If you get, you know, 100responses. Sometimes people don't look at that and go, oh, this is informationthat has any real merit, which isn't actually necessarily the case. And thatof course, you you need the resources to analyze that data that you do getand then uh, something in place to...

...actually distribute the results in thereport that you put together. So there's just a lot that goes into theseprojects and if you don't have any experience with it, sometimes it's hardto pull the trigger on saying yes, that's something we should focus on.Yeah, absolutely. It seems like there's okay, there's the cost of doing it,there's the time investment, there's that if we invest the time and themoney, are we actually going to get enough responses for this to belegitimate? And then do we have the systems to actually execute on usingthat that research content? That makes a lot of sense why it's, you know,scaring a lot of B two B marketers off. But as we transition there, um I dowant to circle back later in the conversation about how you guys haveexecuted. It may be on, you mentioned there there might be a bit of amisconception on how many responses you need given what is it that you'reresearching, What is the size of the market, That sort of stuff. And we canmaybe come back to that as we talk about the how. But let's talk a littlebit about the upsides on the other side, why is it worth, you know, tackling the,the time, the investment, pitching it to your team, getting all of thoseresponses? What are some of the benefits you guys have seen out theother side by investing in more ongoing market research? There's so manyimportant notes to unpack here is you consider what value these types ofprojects actually bring to your team. And first and foremost, you have areally incredible opportunity here to listen directly to the customers thatyou serve. So you've got a chance to build out a questionnaire that letsthem tell you what they're struggling with and why. And they can also givethat feedback to you in an anonymous fashion, meaning that they may bewilling to share more of their opinion a little more openly than they mighthave been in a one on one sales conversation or other types ofexploratory research opportunities that might have come up. So in addition tothat, you do get to kind of test your hypotheses about the customerchallenges that you're seeing. So you might have an opinion and you've got ateam that comes from industry or might...

...be various levels of informed aboutyour customers experience in journey. But at the end of the day, you'rehaving this chance to now ask those customers if what you're feeling istheir challenge is actually true and realistic. And then from there, onceyou do actually build out that analysis and create that report that you bringto market, you get to establish some real serious credibility with yourcustomers and the industry at large that you serve by creating a helpfulcontent and delivering insights that help them do their jobs better. So Ithink an important thing to note here too is true. Market research in thisreport format should always at the most important focus, should be productagnostic. So you're not coming out in surveying your customers about how theyfeel about your product, how it fits their workflow, you're kind of steppingone click up and addressing the industry at large, and the content thatyou produce in response to those questions in those discussionsultimately helps guide and inform the industry in a way that helps themresolve their problems and is very impactful for your audience. So youhave to really keep in mind that the product driven customer research is avery different conversation from this thought leadership driven marketresearch. So if you keep that product diagnostic focus and some of your teammembers may push back on this because they go, oh, this is a greatopportunity to talk to all of our customers, ask them a bunch of productquestions, so push back on that and stand your ground if you have theopportunity. So if you have too much product talk in your report, youultimately reduce the credibility of the asset and the eyes of the reader,because now they see this as a sales pitch, they don't necessarily see thisas a product agnostic discussion about the challenges that they serve. Yeah,absolutely. One thing I would encourage people to to hit the back button a fewtimes to go to what you called out...

...there earlier. Eric is you get to testyour hypotheses, but you also get to hear directly from customers and that'sjust something we throw around and B two B marketing. Yeah, hear fromcustomers get the voice of the customer. But literally when you're getting theseresponses you're finding they use this word, not that word and that word isall over marketing, copy in in emails and on our website and on this landingpage. But we need to stop doing that. So that can be, you know, a really highvalue. So to go back, you talked about some of the reasons, some of thechallenges in doing market research. It requires a lot of effort. It requires.Oftentimes a significant, no matter your size somewhat significant, it'snot nothing, you know, monetary investment. You need a system to gain alot of responses. We'll talk maybe a little bit about how you set the barand how you, how you reach that here in a bit. And then it requires time andresources to analyze the data, identify trends and then it takes time andresources also to then distribute that because as you and I both know hasexperienced B two B marketers. Content creation is only half the game, contentdistribution is the other half and and you can't have one without the other.I'm not going to try and sing but those are really the five challenges asyou've laid out. There are reasons to address those. Now let's talk a littlebit about how you can overcome some of those challenges. Let's talk firstabout the high investment. What what have you done to overcome that hurdlein the market research that you've helped lead at autodesk and throughoutyour career. ErIC yeah, I think you really need to step back and sell yourteam at large on the power of thought leadership style content. So I knowsometimes this is more difficult for smaller organizations, especiallystartup level because there re sourcing for marketing is a little bit narrower.And so getting that product focused content out to market to reallyestablish your brand is is kind of that first step. But once you get to aposition where you're able to widen...

...your content marketing machine andreally focus on thought leadership, it gives you that chance to come back andsay, hey, we're not just a software provider, we're not just a a serviceprovider, we're here to help you do business more successfully. And we havestrong opinions on how you can do that regardless of if you're consuming ourproduct or not. And so these reports at the end of the day that you're creatingshould hopefully be consumed by customers and non customers alike. Andthey also serve the additional purpose of potentially capturing more leads andgetting more attention once you're driving more awareness to thechallenges and solutions to the problems that your customers areactually facing. In addition to that with that highinvestment, you you really do need to pick the right partner with the rightcapabilities for your project. So you can kind of go to different directionswith this. When you're selecting your research partner, one is a generalmarket research entity and there are many of them that can serve manydifferent markets and have a very wide reach globally. And the other option,which sometimes might be a little bit more expensive, is selecting a partnerthat focuses specifically on the industry that you serve. And at the endof the day, it really gives you the opportunity to bring somebody in whohelps manage a lot of that load. So if your hesitancy towards investment andjumping into market research is we don't have the bandwidth to do allthese things. In addition to a solving the cost challenge. When you pick theright partner, you can push a lot of those action items onto them in a waythat lets you be that high level idea later and driver of the conversationwithout forcing you to actually be in the weeds on writing out every singlestep of the way. Yeah. What would you say eric in making that determinationof going towards someone who's good, well versed in general market researchversus someone who's more niche in your...

...industry? Is it always a matter of whatcan you afford? Because with the the ladder you're gonna you're gonna getmore and and maybe the quality is gonna be higher, I think it's a little bit ofcost and also just what the end product is going to be. So if you're leveragingor if you're intending to leverage your research partner for things like theauthorship of the report and the analysis of the data and things alongthose lines. Having a partner that understands your market without havingto educate them during the discussions in the ideation phase pays so manydividends at the end of the day and then also really reduces the burden onyour team when they're going through and handling the copy editing andmanaging all of the processes associated with the report itself. Sothe challenge there sometimes of course is not all industries might have a firmthat focuses on their specific market in construction here at ah no desk ofcourse, I'm fortunate to have a number of partners that I leverage on a repeatbasis that do focus on the industry and I'm thankful for it because I don'tthink I would be able to handle the volume of reports that I handleconcurrently if I didn't have such solid trusted partners that I can counton to bring good deliverables at the end of the day. Yeah. Can you speak atall eric to how many, how many reports are you guys doing a year that feedinto other content marketing initiatives? Just for an idea of thesize and scope for your team. For me it's grown every year which has beenexciting and also terrifying at the same time when I look at how much isinvolved in every single projects. So I've got three or four that are goingon concurrently right now and all of them are very large global projects. Soit does require a lot of time if I were selecting partners that weren't soindustry nuanced, I think I would be setting myself up for failure simplybecause I wouldn't be able to manage and keep as close of of of an eye onthe detail part of these projects as uh...

...as I do with with a trusted partnerthat I know is gonna bring results every time. Yeah, I'm curious. Ericwith 3-4 Market research projects going concurrently with various partners, doyou at times pick and choose different things to outsource and differentthings to keep on your plate or your teams play depending on what theresearch is and what the end product is or have you found, I always kind ofoutsource you know, these eight things and I keep, you know, one or two that Ireally need to do or does that look different on a case by case basis? It'sdifferent case by case. So we do know our partners can deliver differenttypes of assets and different types of analysis and so were intentional aboutselecting the right one at the right time for whatever market we're tryingto serve at any given moment, but in addition to that, some of theorganizations are able to deliver really robust reports. Some of them aremore focused on the analysis. Some of them offer a bit of a blend and sodepending on the scope and scale, we ultimately select the right partner forthat particular project based on that scope. And so you can really kind ofchoose many different segments to outsource starting with yourquestionnaire and survey designs. So, questionnaire design is supercomplicated because if you do it badly, you don't get any results that areactually providing any insight that you can turn into a report at the end ofthe day. Yeah, that's a really good point. I I hope you don't mind, but Iwant to double down there real quick since you've done a lot of these,you're doing a lot right now and you call that out as a potential pitfall.Can you speak to some of the common mistakes you see marketing teams makeor maybe you've made in the past and learn from in that questionnairedesigner, there are top 123 mistakes that you want to share with listenersto help them try and avoid those. Yeah, for the first couple that we started,we were all kind of flying by the seat...

...of our pants and had very littleexperience on these. And so the questionnaire design was extremelystressful and ultimately didn't end up being as nuanced as we would have liked.And that was because we didn't have a very good idea of what the end productwas going to look like. And so once we asked all these questions, we got to apoint where we went, okay, we have this analysis, we have this data, like whatstory do we want to tell. And so as we've kind of gotten further along inour strategy and learning from those early reports that we worked on, weknow what our reports are gonna look like in structure and what gos theyserve in a bunch of other nuances that we most certainly didn't have a clue onwhen we went into that first project. And so now it allows us to do thatsurvey. And questionnaire designed with a lot more intentionality to askquestions that will very specifically bubble up insights and research inabout topics that our customers care about. And then also we as anorganization who serves those customers are concerned about and interested toknow more about as well as a marketer, you're probably brainstorming outsidethe box ideas to engage your prospects and customers working remotely. Andyou've probably thought about sending them direct mail to break through thezoom fatigue. But how do you ship personalized gifts to remote decisionmakers When you have no idea where they're sitting at B two B growth, weuse the craft and platform to send hyper personalized gifts to anyoneworking from anywhere. Crafting makes it easy for your prospects andcustomers to pick and personalize their own gift in real time and offers highlysecure data capture. So decision makers feel comfortable submitting their homeaddresses for shipping purposes to get your own personalized craft and gift goto craft um dot io slash growth to schedule a demo and receive acomplimentary personalized gift from craft. Um, to claim your personalizedgift, go to craft um dot io slash growth. Are there any things that youhave consistently seen in that...

...questionnaire design? Going back toyour earlier comment to make sure that your creating content that developsthought leadership, which really as you defined it, is content that helps yourend market, do their job better, doesn't necessarily tied directly toyour product. Are there some tweaks there in? Hey, we had this question andit was a little bit too product focused and we shifted it this way and it gaveus better information to create thought leadership content, any, any examplesthere that you could share best practices for folks. Yeah, I thinkthere's two things that come to mind here. The first one is make sure whenyou're crafting your questions, you're not unintentionally leading therespondent in one direction or the other. So it's very easy to get alittle bit biased by accident simply because you're very excited about aparticular topic or it's the thing that you want to know more about and theframing and phrasing of that question might unintentionally cause the readerto answer the same way every time, regardless of you know what that outputshould have been. So be, be super mindful of that as you create thosequestions. So the other thing to consider is as you build out thesesurveys, of course there is tie into your product. It just shouldn't be avery heavy handed thing because at the end of the day, you are trying to sellmore software. These reports are greatly drivers the insights that yougather can help inform product roadmaps or help adjust features and thingsalong those lines within the product that you create and ultimately bring tomarket. But the way the question should be phrased shouldn't talk about yourproducts at all the way that the analysis on bubbles should not befocused on your product and the takeaways and the key action itemswhere you, at the end of the reports say this is what you need to do tosolve the problems that we've identified should not say hi come byour product because this is the the thing that solves all the problems evenif it does and it might, which is great...

...like it does, but it still shouldn't bea very heavy handed come on down and by Toby software because it's not going tocome across this authentic at the end of the day for your reader TobySoftware who's good with a fork. Um I love that. ErIC. So we've been talkinga little bit about that first challenge of the high investment which can beaddressed by choosing the right partner, working with them the right way andmaking sure that you craft your questions in a way that the investmentis going to yield the right sort of ri So let's talk about the high volume ofresponses we alluded to it earlier, you mentioned that you need a certainthreshold of responses for people to find the analysis and the trends thatyou pull out of market research reports valid. However, setting that bar mightbe a little bit different on a case by case basis and some of us might beinadvertently setting the bar too high for ourselves and talking ourselves outof leveraging good market research practices. So talk to us a little bitabout how to set the bar and how to execute here some of the things you'velearned doing lots of these and have several in the hopper right now. Yeah,this is such an important point. And having thousands and thousands ofresponses for your market research obviously is exciting and like an endgoal for big projects and it does add a lot of validity and credibility to yourproject, but at the end of the day, smaller initiatives, depending on howbig of a research or a region you're serving and how big of a net you'retrying to cast Still do provide value at the end of the day. So if you've gottwo or 300 respondents depending on the scope of the survey that you'recreating, that might be enough to have a valid analysis and actually bringsome insights to market. If your intention is to give a globalperspective on a particular topic, 100 or 200 responses probably isn't goingto be sufficient to lend credibility to the analysis that you're doing. And sothat's when you really try to upscale...

...and bring that metric up into thethousands. And then just from a very high level like cursory glance at thereport, if somebody sees 4000 respondents or 10,000 respondents,obviously they're gonna go, okay, this this insight has some more meeting than50 regardless of if that's, you know, a valid reaction or not. And so there's alot of things you can do to really drive those numbers higher as you buildout your survey. And the first one of course is that market research partnerthat you choose, especially if they're an industry focused one that supportsthe market that you serve. They likely have a very robust contact databasethat they can include in the survey distribution. And you should wrap thatup in the contract when you start this conversation so make sure that they'recommitted to a certain number of responses in every single region orcountry that you're surveying. And in addition to that of course you canleverage your own database but you need to do so in a really careful fashion.So if you're distributing surveys with a partner organization of course youwant to make sure you're protecting your customer data. So you don't wantto just pull your database, dump it over to your market research partners.I email all these people they're in our database and they are going to beinterested because that's one I don't think it here's to anything G. D. P.Are related or any of the best practices when it deals with uh comingto customer data. And then to you're probably gonna make your customers alittle unhappy if they see just random emails coming from other organizationsknowing that you shipped their contact info over to that differentorganization. And the cool thing here is you can also incentivize thedatabase of your own or your partner organization in a way that really doesdrive um some additional engagements. So you can offer a pool of gift cardsto a certain amount of respondents. Sometimes you can offer like a donationto a charity that's tied to the industry that you serve for everyresponse that is completed. Make sure...

...you talk to your legal team when you'redoing survey distribution. Especially if there are incentives like gift cardsor awards or anything along those lines. And one thing stands out when I thinkabout this that surprised me when I started engaging with autodesk legalteam is in Canada. There's a very strange law that I admittedly don'tunderstand in full where if you are doing a sweepstakes and that's how theyclassify offering gift cards to respondents of surveys. The respondenthas to take a easy math problem via telephone in order to qualify for thefulfillment of the gift card. It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.And so and you have to facilitate that you have to facilitate test over thephone. Oh my gosh, yeah, I'm fairly certain it's over the phone. Either waythey have to take this, this math problem and if they don't do it legallyyou can't you can't give them the gift card. And so I walked through thenuances of this with my legal team. They're like, do you really want to dogift cards in Canada? And I'm like, no, I do not. I'm assuming you decided. No.Okay. You answered my next question and it's like, no, because I don't want tocall 50 strangers to Canada and say, Hey can you? So all of this. I can onlyimagine that would be a great podcast series though. You know, admittedlywe're calling Canadian recipients of gift cards and giving them a math quiz.Well aside from that, which is a great tidbit to to know, especially if Canadais within the geography you serve. We're talking about, you know, needinghigh volume of responses. Make sure you leverage your partner's network. I likewhat you said there, get a commitment from them so that you can hold them toa number there as far as those responses leverage your own database,but do it carefully and then think about where when and how you're goingto use incentives especially in Canada. Um anything else on getting that highvolume of responses before we move to that third challenge on your list. Ericof the resources to bring the content...

...together and do the analysis. Well,yeah, absolutely. You can also discover other partner organizations that canhelp with the survey distribution even if they don't necessarily serve yourimmediate market. So we do partner with a couple different organizations thathave contacts that serve the construction market specifically, eventhough they're not a construction focused organization that would bringthe report to the table that we'd be looking for or that. And now you guysend up finding some of those not so obvious partners. So they're a verylarge research firm that's based out of a media called Census Wide and theyjust have a robust network and can turn around survey responses and anincredibly impressive amount of time. Um, There is a cost associated withthis of course. So it's an overlay on top of what other entity you'recontracting with to help you with that survey distribution and thequestionnaire genesis. And then of course that report draft and thingsalong those lines. So you do have to be mindful of the cost and the wider thenet, the more the more you're going to spend officially Yeah. Where you goingto spend? Yeah, it's a balance there. But if you're really looking to have ameaningful number, especially on a global basis, finding the rightorganizations to partner with on this aspect, we'll pay dividends as well.Yeah, absolutely. So we've we've talked about how to tackle the high investmentboth time and monetary or at least perceived in in some cases how to get alarger number of responses, at least outside of Canada. Now, we want to talkabout your last two challenges that you can overcome because of all thebenefits we talked about in market research, feeding your content,marketing and your thought leadership efforts. Those are having not havingenough resources to bring the content together and then uh, needing enoughresources to really distribute the content afterwards. Let's tackle numberthree and talk about bringing the...

...content together, pulling out thetrends. What are some of the lessons that you've learned here? Eric and ifthere's another funny story on Canadian legal impact on this process, we'reopen to it as well, man, we'll see if I can't pull something out for you. Butoverall, uh, it really does come back to the partner that you choose as faras the outsourcing. So the first project that I ever worked on back whenwe were still plan grid before getting acquired by autodesk, I wrote a lot ofthat report. So we got a first draft from our partner organization, whichwas fantastic, but we were a bit more resource constrained and weren'tentirely certain what that final output is going to look like. And so I spenthours poring over the copy, making sure the phrasing was correct, making surethat the story that we were telling was going to actually resonate with ourcustomers and our, our market. And it was a really great experience becauseit really showed me what's involved in bringing something like that to thetable, but not something that's repeatable at scale if I haveresponsibilities other than that one single report every single year. Sofrom there, you really get to step back and evaluate the internal resourcesthat you have. So yeah in there from there, you can go and decide what theresearch partner or other contractors can come in and do to share that load.So starting with the initial hypothesis and ideation, if you do have anindustry focus partner, they understand your customers and so they're going tohelp be a participant in deciding what you're going to talk about and thenultimately building the questionnaire and survey from those initial strategyIzation conversations bringing in as many stakeholders into thosediscussions internally. That makes sense. Especially people thatunderstand your target market. Well, it's much harder to course correct theresources and the survey creation later in the stage than it is to get thatinsight early on, especially if somebody comes back and says, oh, thisis wrong. It's not, it's not a good feeling that it slows the project downpretty dramatically from there. You...

...also will want to leverage your yourpartner entity for the distribution of the survey if possible. If you areusing your own database of course, like I mentioned earlier, you want to bemindful of how you go about doing that. Typically you can pass uh you I. D. S.And tokens back and forth between the the entity to identify which customershave actually answer the survey and then remove them from futuredistributions and such. And I won't get into the weeds here because I'madmittedly not a marketing operations person and only exist on the fringeswhen we're doing this part. But I do know it's inherently pretty complicatedto pair those two and make sure you're doing it well without unintentionallysharing any customer information. But um leaning on your partner or isdefinitely that first step, especially if you don't want to hit your owndatabase at all in in that outreach. So it really depends on the market are thenumbers that you're looking for two. I am not a data guy, admittedly I was inengineering briefly in college and I abandoned them for communications veryquickly because my brain doesn't work that way. And so I am thankful everyday for the partners that we select for these projects because they do theentire analysis and then we get to come in as subject matter experts within ourindustry. Because I did work in construction for many years beforejoining on your desk to actually, you know, ask some questions, poke holes inthe analysis and then make sure that we're adjusting the story and thenarrative to serve the original hypothesis that we were looking for.And then also deliver something that's useful for the readers at the end ofthe day. And if I were the one that was trying to do the analysis, I don'tthink we'd have a good report ever because it's just not my strong suit.So it's uh it's a great thing to be able to leverage leverage and otherorganization for that. And then from there, if you don't pick a partner thatcan author of that report for you, if they're not an industry focusedorganization or say adding that report...

...onto the whole survey package cost toomuch. You can take that analysis and find a contractor to come in and authorof that report for you. So it is an option to reduce the costs in a prettydramatic way, but do keep in mind that the quality that you're going to getfrom, that industry focused partner in drafting that report is likely going tobe very different from taking the analysis that you were given and havingan uninformed third party turn that into the narrative that you werelooking for. Any tips for listeners there eric if by choice or just bycircumstance, they have to find another author, another agency or anothercontractor to pull that together and and author the findings from the report.Any thoughts there on finding the right person? Any do sir? Don't that you'veexperienced? Yeah. And I think most marketing orders at this point in timeleverage contractors in some capacity to help, you know, fill their contentfunnel. There's just so much demand and it's hard to have enough FTE s toreally, you know, just push the amount of assets out the door that you need to,you know, continue meeting the demand, you know, to share your story and sellyour message. So, if you have contractors that you already know andtrust that are at least loosely familiar with your product or yourindustry, obviously that's, that's the best place to start because you'veproven them already, you know, that they can at least bring something tothe table that fits within the expectations are looking for. The otherthing to consider is trying to find contractors that have served yourmarket in the past. So a lot of the time, a good content author is going tohave experience from that specific industry, which helps them right, moreauthentic, incredible content for whatever organization they're helpingout from a contract basis. And so seeking out people who do have some ofthat industry knowledge, even if it might not be within the realm of whatyour specific report might be speaking...

...to will really help bring things acrossthe line in a more credible way. And then the third thing I think about isif you're working with a more general, um, content organization, sometimesthey will have smes that lean towards one particular topic or market oranother one. And so have some really intentional conversations as yourcontract with them to say, okay, you might not tell me who the author is andI understand you do that for a reason, but can you show me things that theseparticular authors have written in the past, specifically for the market thatI'm serving. So I can have a better sense than if I want them to work onthis project or not. That makes a ton of sense eric. And it, you know,reminds me of part of our evolution here at Sweet Fish in the early days.You know, we had a pool of, of contract writers that were turning podcastepisodes in the blog post is we've grown and scaled we've brought more ofthose folks in as full time employees. But the big thing that you called outthere is now we're starting to say okay this writer on our team has reallyfocused on this industry or not even sometimes it's not just specific toindustry but these types of industries where you know there's more technicalspeak to it or you know this writer has done a lot of stuff in in I. T. And invery technical language and and done it well and I think having thoseconversations where we've initiated them or where our customers haveinitiated them, it's the same with finding the right author for yourmarket research report as much as turning your podcasts and blog postslike our team does. So eric as we mentioned earlier we've got to maketime for challenge number four and how to address that. And that's the need todistribute all of this content in your report and all the derivative contentassets that come out of it. Tell us a little bit about some of your favoriteways to get this content out there so that we go back to number one and allof this investment isn't just efficient, but it's actually driving results, yep,this is where the RL I really starts to...

...bubble up and of course it comes backto the first thing I consider being the partner organization that you didchoose. So if you did select an organization that focuses on yourmarket specifically, they're going to get as much benefit out of promotingthis asset as you would, especially if you're a smaller entity or an earlierstage startup in your contract and with a research entity that has a lot ofthose resources, you're suddenly going to get a boatload of credibility whenthey start pushing out those resources on your behalf because the insightsthat they've gathered over the course of the research obviously benefit themas an organization as well, because it's information that they didn't havebefore the research project started. And so hopefully you've, you know,served enough people during the analysis and have a really powerful. Sowhat headline that comes out of this report and that report hopefully willcapture the attention of industry focused media to hopefully facilitateyour launch. So there's a ton of assets that can come from this report. It'snot just okay, reports done, have a nice day and then you move on. Um, youreally should build a campaign around it and it's something that should lastfor the entire year and keep pointing back to that original asset. So ifyou're, if you're a zinger of a headline is big enough, you will getmedia attention and media press. So most of the reports that I've pushedout now with playing grid and that auto desk have gotten news hits in mediaattention and that drives a ton of engagement and also amplifies thecredibility of your organization, which is, you know, the prime driver as towhy you're doing this outside of that. Make sure you're reaching out to yourinternal email database. The craft, a really thoughtful message for that tiedinto your company and partner social channels. You're going to be runningblog posts. Your sales team should be using this and sending it to keycustomers or potential accounts that they're interested in targeting. Youcan also leverage this in A. B. M.

Tactics where you print out the reportitself and mail it to somebody who you think really should read it if they'rean important customer or potential customer and then from there, if you'remessaging and insights are impactful enough for your audience, you have achance to bake it into things like conference presentations and if yourpartner organization is industry focused, they want to co present withyou at that one. You host webinars again co presenting with your partnerif it makes sense, podcast episodes like this, I've had a number ofconversations about the Trust report that Autodesk released last year on acouple different podcast specifically supporting the project. And there'smore opportunities that will continue coming from that one down the line thatI'm envisioning, so I'm excited about that. And then of course you get tointegrate it into some of your product marketing assets as well. And this iswhere you get to step out of that product agnostic track a little bit anduse the data and insights you've discovered to drive attention to yourown offering. But keep in mind that this product focus part should be veryseparate from the campaign that you're running, associated with the report andall the supporting materials itself, simply to make sure that you're notunintentionally deluding your message with a sales conversation in anunexpected fashion. But you absolutely should be leveraging this data and yourproduct stuff and you can cite your report all day long because it's uh,it's your report to use as you feel. Uh yeah, now when it's time then then gothere. Yeah, I love it. Well eric we've talked about, you know, the fourobstacles to meaningful market research, the investment, gathering enoughresponses, the resources needed to do thorough analysis and the resourcesneeded to really distribute it well. And I think you've given some givenfolks some pitfalls to look out for like uh incentivizing responses inCanada and some some great ideas on distribution and tackling some of theseother challenges. I like what you said about the print piece and incorporatingthat into A. B. M. Using your podcast to then promote that. Where it comes upin conversation linked to that in the...

...show notes of your podcast. Use thatand follow ups to the folks who attended a webinar. Hey, you want to godeeper. We have this full report. All of those are fantastic ideas. Eric ifanyone listening to this has now become a fast fan of yours and maybe they wantto become a friend of yours as I have as we've worked together over the lastyear or so, What's the best way for them to reach out, get in touch withyou or maybe learn more about what you and the auto desk team are up to thesedays. Yeah, if you're looking for more information about autodesk constructionin particular, you can go to construction at autodesk dot com. Ifyou want to reach out to me, linkedin or twitter are probably the best waysto do that. So linked in, I'm eric thomas manager of construction, thoughtleadership, so you should be able to find me there. Otherwise, I have afairly active digital builder twitter account, which is builder underscoredigital. And then of course, if you want to check out the show that I host,which comes out every other monday, you can go to construction dot autodesk dotcom forward slash podcast and all of our most recent episodes will be thereas well. I love it. We've got to get a plug in for your podcast there. You'vebeen doing a phenomenal job and if folks go to the podcast landing page,you'll see a great video of you explaining the themes and and havingsome fun promoting the podcast. They're great example as well. If you likedthis episode, two others, I would recommend to you. If you've got somemore podcast listening in front of you will link to these in the show notes.We've got an episode on how to use your podcast to create more originalresearch content. So addressing a number of the obstacles that ERictalked about in today's episode and we did a great episode with Ian luck fromcustomer gauge about conducting original research as well. So if youlike this topic, you want to keep going on it and you got some more listeningtime, check out those to follow up episodes in the show notes. Uh ERicback to you. I really appreciate your time today. Thank you so much for beingon the show. It's been a pleasure as with every one of our conversations andglad we got to record this one. Yeah,...

...this has been a ton of fun and it'sgreat when I get to combine now, my my two favorite things that I do at work,one is the market research and like I said, it's, it's a complicated project,but the reward at the end of the day is super exciting and it's really fun tolaunch these and bring them to market and see the excitement. And then thesecond fun thing that I get to do at work now, which I'm excited to sharewith you today is of course just the podcasting piece. So all fun stuff fromhere and I definitely appreciate your friendship and continue to look forwardto working together. Awesome. Well eric have a great rest your week. Thanks somuch for being on the show man. Yeah, likewise, one of the things we've learned aboutpodcast audience growth is that word of mouth works. It works really, reallywell actually. So if you love this show, it would be awesome if you texted afriend to tell them about it and if you send me a text with a screenshot of thetext you sent to your friend meta, I know I'll send you a copy of my book,content based networking, how to instantly connect with anyone you wantto know. My cell phone number is 4074 9033 to eight. Happy texting.

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