How To Use Research To Build B2B brand Visibility and Authority

Emma Keates

Is your company known for its fresh ideas and smart thinking in your field or does it aim to be? Can it help clients with the big challenges they face, and show the bigger picture? Among the myriad strategies employed to gain an edge in the market or to advocate for change, one method stands out: publishing solid research. Research that delivers unique, insightful data, that offers a fresh perspective or uncovers trends. 

By conducting in-depth research into topics that matter most to your audience, organizations can demonstrate commitment to understanding and addressing the challenges faced by the world, the industry and potential customers. In short, it helps you to tell your story better and factualize it.

Using research to stand out

The purpose of industry research is not just about collecting data—it's about finding unique insights that help you to understand trends in the market better, explain it better to others and give you something to talk about with your audiences for quite a while. It builds narratives short term and it builds authority in the long run. 

For example, the MACH Alliance, a prominent advocate for a new approach to building digital experiences, conducts research annually. MACH, an acronym for Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, and Headless, represents a modern architecture that prioritizes flexibility, scalability, and agility. Each year, the MACH Alliance conducts comprehensive research into adoption trends surrounding these principles. The data provides invaluable insights for businesses navigating the digital landscape, and supports the Alliance’s narrative with substantive proof points every year. It helps the Alliance fine tune its course, it provides MACH companies with in-roads to meaningful conversations and it underpins ‘being the authority’. 

Another good example is the Edelman Trust Barometer; Edelman being a Corporate Communications and PR firm sells to help companies build a reputation and visibility. How well companies are trusted and how they should deal with the ‘trust trends in the world’ is what Edelman helps navigate and therefore needed to show their authority on.  Each year for the last 20 years, Edelman conducts a global survey to measure trust across various institutions, including government, business, media, and NGOs. By tracking changes in trust levels over time and exploring the factors that influence trust, the Trust Barometer not only offers valuable insights into consumer behavior, public sentiment, and societal trends, but they have become the global authority on Trust. Everyone - media, politicians etc - quotes the Edelman Trust Barometer when they want to describe societal trends. Businesses leverage the Trust information to enhance their reputation, build stronger relationships with customers, and navigate complex geopolitical landscapes. Movements and advocacy groups use it to craft compelling narratives, mobilize support, and affect meaningful change. In all cases, the Trust Barometer serves as a beacon of truth in an era characterized by skepticism and uncertainty. This is an amazing example of how building authority is done (as you would expect Edelman to do well!).

Beyond these examples, numerous other studies underscore the power of unique data in driving business and movement objectives. Whether it's Gallup's polling data shaping political campaigns, Nielsen's consumer insights guiding marketing strategies, or Pew Research Center's demographic studies informing social policies, research is a powerful tool.

Three reasons to invest in research

What sets these studies apart is their ability to uncover insights, challenge conventional wisdom, and spark meaningful conversations. Whether it's identifying emerging trends, understanding shifting attitudes, or predicting future developments, unique data has the power to shape narratives, inform decisions, and drive progress.

As well as giving you a data-backed story to tell, research serves a deeper purpose:

Research can help you tell your story in a way that grabs attention. By sharing new data and insights, you can show your expertise and for any company that wants to be known for solving big problems, research is key. 

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