Correlation… or causation? How great content marketing goes hand-in-hand with business success
By Alistair Norman

Correlation… or causation? How great content marketing goes hand-in-hand with business success

Businesses with great content marketing enjoy more market awareness. This infographic explores what drives what, backed by data from the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Report.

As any statistician knows, there’s a big difference between correlation and causation. A sudden storm may cause people to rush into an umbrella shop; event A led to event B. But buying an umbrella on a sunny day won’t make it rain. If the heavens open later on, that’s just a correlation.

The Content Marketing Institute’s new B2B Report has a bit to say about correlation. It seems the most successful companies tend to have terrific content marketing, too — in other words, their footprints across the web grow with the size of their business. But does one lead to the other? Is great content that audiences find useful truly a driver of business success, or is it just a side effect?

We decided to investigate. And we’ve collated the results into this handy infographic. Why not cast your eyes over the figures and see if you agree with our findings? Infographic - Correlation… or causation

So it seems asking what came first — the chicken and the egg, or rather business success versus successful a content marketing strategy — was the wrong question. Great content marketing drives stronger customer relationships, which improve your business … but a better business lets you invest more in content marketing. Perhaps this is the real lesson: nothing happens in isolation. Many thanks to the CMI for conducting this research.


  • Content marketing builds credibility and trust with customers without the hard-sell
  • Learning from results matters — content marketing isn’t just about your next campaign, but about what you learned from the last one!
  • Successful content marketers are enthusiastic users of technology — not as an end in itself, but for the data and insights it reveals
  • Business success and content marketing are intertwined — but not independent
  • Content marketing strategy is part of your overall business strategy — and inseparable from it

If you’d like to read more about the trends building those virtuous circle, download The Future of Content Marketing: 10 interviews with leading CMOs on the trends they’re using to disrupt in 2019.

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