May 2013WithOPEN© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedThought Leadership Marketing in IndiaLeadingThought
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Prayag Consulting: Thought Leadership Marketing in India (May 2013)

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Prayag Consulting: Thought Leadership Marketing in India (May 2013)

  1. 1. May 2013WithOPEN© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedThought Leadership Marketing in IndiaLeadingThought
  2. 2. Submit Feedback2© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightContent is KingMaking ThemselvesHeardOutcomes Corporate Podium Our TakeReportSnapshotAbout the ReportContentsCover PageAbout the Report 3Introduction 3Key Trends 4Who’s included 5Tool Box: Getting the Basics Right 6Are companies serious about thought leadership? 6Who do they target? 7Content is King 8Content Diversity 8Are Thought Leadership Individual Campaigns or Company Driven? 9Making Themselves Heard 10Outcomes 12Corporate Podium 13Our Take 15Report Snapshot 17Home Contents PrintHome Contents Print
  3. 3. Submit Feedback3© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightContent is KingMaking ThemselvesHeardOutcomes Corporate Podium Our TakeReportSnapshotIntroduction Key Trends Who’s includedAbout the ReportWelcome to the first edition of ‘Leading with Thought,’ PrayagConsulting’s first report on thought leadership marketing in India.For many years, we have been advising clients on setting up thoughtleadership initiatives for their companies. It is a familiar path but notone that is very well trodden, and we have seen companies struggle tosustain their efforts. A well-crafted thought leadership plan can deliverthe desired results – positioning within the clutter, brand prominence,media attention, higher recall and eventually more business fromcustomers – but these are mid- to long-range benefits. The lowchances of immediate success in the thought leadership game poseschallenges to its adoption as a key marketing strategy.Increasingly, however, technology companies operating in India aredemonstrating their commitment to formulating creative thoughtleadership strategies. The purpose of this report is to study theapproach to thought leadership strategy within large companies in theIT industry (both services and products). We have restricted the studyto large companies as it is these companies that have the resourcesand appetite for creating sustained campaigns.The report looks at the span and depth of the thought leadershipcampaigns of these companies as well as the quality of contentand how well they have sustained their campaigns. We have alsostudied the manner in which the campaigns have been marketedand distributed as well as, most importantly, the key outcomes of thethought leadership initiatives.About the ReportHome Contents PrintHome Contents Print
  4. 4. Submit Feedback4© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightContent is KingMaking ThemselvesHeardOutcomes Corporate Podium Our TakeReportSnapshotKey TrendsLimited Budgets - Key Challenge●● Even within the large companies studied, budgets for marketingremain low (1% - 2% of revenues) and in spite of this majorconstraint, it is interesting to see how companies have managedto carve out an effective thought leadership program. This primarychallenge is compounded by lean marketing teams struggling tojuggle various priorities with few resources.Read MoreAbout the ReportIntroduction Key Trends Who’s includedIBM has established a sustained thought leadership programwith●● Publications like the Idea Watch newsletter that caters to 11different verticals, showcasing its breadth of thought leadership●● The IBM Institute for Business Value initiative that regularlyconducts research and analysis to offer practical insights for thebusiness executive●● Frequent and relevant presence on social media platforms likeFacebook, Twitter, blogs etc.●● The Smarter Planet campaign that won the 2010 Global Gold Effieaward for market success and creativity●● As a possible result, the campaigns of some companies fail tocommunicate a point of view and instead appear to be more on aself-promotion mission. In such cases, publications are typicallyone-off productions with little coordinated effort to leverage newthinking into multiple formats, networks, and channels.Cognizant effectively uses several mediums such as●● Its Future of Work microsite, outlining the opportunities andefficiencies latent in tomorrow’s workplaces, showcasing theintellectual capital that resides within Cognizant. This campaign alsowon the 2011 ITSMA gold award for driving business with thoughtleadership●● The channel Cognizanti which assembles the best mindsworldwide to share insights as well as the biannual thoughtleadership journal Cognizanti, which does its bit towards building athought leader brand image●● The web with regular publication of white papers, establishing asocial media presence, with blogs, etc., showing that they want toconnect with their stakeholders●● The print media with regular thought articles / interviews innewspapers and online journalsDespite this, our research found several examples of thought leadership initiatives that stand out for their approach and effectiveness, whilehighlighting best-in-class ideas and practices.Home Contents PrintHome Contents Print
  5. 5. Submit Feedback5© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightContent is KingMaking ThemselvesHeardOutcomes Corporate Podium Our TakeReportSnapshotWho’s IncludedThe report studies the thought leadership practices of 30 largetechnology companies operating in India with revenues in the range ofUS $ 50 million – US $ 100 billion+. The scope of the report is thoughtleadership initiatives for the India region but in the case of globalcompanies, international collateral visible to Indian customers andprospects has also been included in the study.The report includes●● Services and product companies●● Indian companies and MNCsDefinitionsIT Services: Companies deriving most of their revenues from diversevertical and horizontal servicesIT Products: Companies deriving a major portion of their revenues fromsoftware productsIT Services IT Products61%39%Indian Companies MNCs71%29%Distribution of companies by business type Distribution of companies by ownershipWho’s includedKey TrendsAbout the ReportIntroductionHome Contents PrintHome Contents Print
  6. 6. Submit Feedback6© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedContent is KingMaking ThemselvesHeardOutcomes Corporate Podium Our TakeReportSnapshotAbout the ReportAre Companies Serious about Thought Leadership?Large companies are increasingly according mind space and budgets to thought leadership programs through booklets, whitepapers, blogs andwebcasts. In most cases, these initiatives are driven by senior management executives.Tool Box: Getting theBasics RightAre companies serious about thought leadership? Who do they target?In-depth publicationson specific topicswhich showcaseAccenture thinking andperspectivesCognizant’s CognizantieCommunityA private, online community for senior ITexecutives and business leadersInfosys BlogsDomain-specific blogs focused onissues revolving around businesstransformation and innovationWhite Papers, Webcasts, BlogsNetApp’s AdvancedTechnology Group(ATG)Attached to the CTO’soffice, the ATG isfocused on new thinkingrelated to the storageindustry that goesbeyond areas coveredby NetApps, establishedproduct linesFuture-oriented technical publications for verticalsunder the title “Capgemini Point of View — the waywe see it”IBM Institute ofBusiness ValueA business research organizationwith dedicated consultants toprovide industry and businessperspectives for business executivesWipro’s Council for IndustryResearch (WCIR)In collaboration with leading academicinstitutions like Knowledge@Wharton andindustry bodies, WCIR conducts studieson business and industry issuesCisco’s GlobalEducation GroupAn organization engaged in improvingeducation on a global basisHome Contents PrintHome Contents Print
  7. 7. Submit Feedback7© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedContent is KingMaking ThemselvesHeardOutcomes Corporate Podium Our TakeReportSnapshotAbout the ReportCisco C ClubAs the name suggests, the club catersto C-level audiences giving them freshperspectives on technology, strategyand business leadership through books,online resources, and interactive forums.AccentureIts financial services industries thoughtleadership is clearly intended for CEOsand CIOs.HCL TechnologiesOne of the few companies withemployee-focused thought leadership.Who is the Target Audience?Typically, clients, influencers, and alliance partners are the intended audience. Occasionally, companies target employees.Who do they target?Tool Box: Getting theBasics RightAre companies serious about thought leadership?Home Contents PrintHome Contents Print
  8. 8. Submit Feedback8© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightMaking ThemselvesHeardOutcomes Corporate Podium Our TakeReportSnapshotAbout the ReportContent Diversity: How Companies CompareFrom technical to a combination of business and technical, thought leadership topics vary across the industry. Services companies are moreactive in creating thought leadership than product companies. The latter also tend to focus on technical topics.Some companies express clear views successfully, have stronger content and hence are able to establish credibility for newer ideas; while someplay it safe and adopt a dual approach, presenting both new points of view and generic approaches. Smaller companies in general take the lessrisky and well established route.A Fresh Perspective – Clear thinking carries the day for the companies below who project a clear POV in their thought leadership campaigns.Content Diversity Are Thought Leadership Individual Campaigns or Company Driven?Content is KingLatest ThinkingThoughts for Tomorrow’s EnterpriseCognizantPerspectivesInsightsHome Contents PrintHome Contents Print
  9. 9. Submit Feedback9© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightMaking ThemselvesHeardOutcomes Corporate Podium Our TakeReportSnapshotAbout the ReportAre Thought Leadership IndividualCampaigns or Company Driven?Although thought leadership is mostly tied to the company brand withcredits attributed to contributors, there are a few successful caseswhere companies have showcased individuals as thought leaders.Here are two examples that stand out.Padmasree WarriorChief Technology &Strategy Officer, CiscoSystems -As of March 20, 20131,445,021 followers onTwitter11,526 TweetsSeveral blogsVineet NayarVice Chairman & JointManaging Director, HCLTechnologies –As of March 20, 201313,445 followers onTwitter3,722 TweetsContent DiversityContent is KingAre Thought Leadership Individual Campaigns or Company Driven?Home Contents PrintHome Contents Print
  10. 10. Submit Feedback10© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightContent is King Outcomes Corporate Podium Our TakeReportSnapshotAbout the ReportWhat are the Different Tools usedto Promote Thought Leadership?From traditional tools such as articles, newsletters, books, workshops,public lectures and seminars, white papers, and research reports tonewer digital and social media tools such as podcasts, videos andblogs, companies are using all available channels to drive their thoughtleadership programs.Typically, the company website with a blog platform, internal TVchannel and internal magazines/newsletters are the tools used toconnect with internal audiences. On the other hand, magazines, whitepapers and research reports, events, online portals (third party), socialmedia channels like YouTube, podcasts, blogs, and certainly, thecompany website are used to engage with external audiences.A few companies have embarked on co-branded programs and itis easy to see why these are attractive. Co-branding is a powerfulway to gain a new audience through a partner’s established andloyal audience base. It is also a means of securing a highly credibleendorsement for your point of view. Such partnerships, especiallywith highly sought-after institutions and research companies help ITcompanies break through the competitive clutter and heighten brandawareness. However, very large companies prefer to rely on their ownbranding engine and rarely take the co-branding route.Making ThemselvesHeardHome Contents PrintContinued >Home Contents Print
  11. 11. Submit Feedback11© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightContent is King Outcomes Corporate Podium Our TakeReportSnapshotAbout the ReportMaking ThemselvesHeardInternal channels External channelsVideos oninternalWipro TVVideos oninternalAdobe TVCompany websiteshowcases thoughtleadership contentPoint-Of-Viewnewsletter andSynnovationmagazineInternal newsletter—SpeakSocial media sites such asYouTube, LinkedIn, FacebookTMPremium sponsor for Outsourcing-Center, through which Wiprowhitepapers are publishedMicrosoft CIO TonyScott and membersof his staff share theirperspectives on IT onMSDN BlogsHCL, TCS, Cognizant,IBM, Microsoft, Wipro,Mahindra Satyam andseveral othersMaking oneself heardForrester, Gartner, IDC, andseveral others have beencommissioned to createThought PapersNetApp and research/advisory companiesBlogs in ForbesHome Contents PrintHome Contents Print< Back
  12. 12. Submit Feedback12© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightContent is KingMaking ThemselvesHeardCorporate Podium Our TakeReportSnapshotAbout the ReportOutcomes – Where has all this led to?While it is rare for thought leadership initiatives to be recognized and commended, a few programs have won awards, honors and/or mediamentions. In every case, they have contributed to the overall positive brand visibility of the companies awarded.OutcomesMedia Awards Analysts●● Favorable thought leadershiprankings for Infosys and theTata group●● Poll conducted in USA Todaypositioned Adobe as “a thoughtleader to the mass market“●● IBM won the Diamond Award inthought leadership marketingat the Marketing Excellenceawards 2009 held by ITSMA●● Mahindra Satyam receivedthe PEGASYSTEM’s thoughtleadership partner award 2012●● Gartner’s acknowledgementof Capgemini’s Technovisiondocuments – the ‘CapgeminiPoint of View’ series●● Forrester discussed thefindings from a Global CIOstudy published by the IBMInstitute of Business ValueHome Contents PrintHome Contents Print
  13. 13. Submit Feedback13© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightContent is KingMaking ThemselvesHeardOutcomes Our TakeReportSnapshotAbout the ReportDescribe your company’s efforts on thought leadership and outcomes achievedSpecific examples of initiatives and what they led toThought leadership is a very important part of marketing efforts at Cisco. It helps build brand awareness,establish preference, support demand generation, and enhance customer relationships. Thought leadershiphelps demonstrate our leadership in technology and also showcases how customers can improve businessby using our innovative solutions. It also helps us predict trends and take a look at how technology willimpact specific industry verticals.At the beginning of our fiscal year 2012-2013, we devised a strategy for thought leadership across targetedcustomer segments based on a combination of country, company and Cisco’s business priorities. To executethe plan, we used a combination of offline and online channels including social media.I can give you some recent examples of what we did -●● Taking the advertising route, we tied up with a leading business daily for a series of 12 advertorialsspread over as many weeks. This series featured various Cisco spokespersons who talked abouttechnology innovations, while customer CIOs explained how they benefited from Cisco solutions.Editorial support plus a relevant advertisement for the particular technology in focus were also part of theexercise. The advertorial series helped invigorate our thought leadership initiative, provided visibility toour stakeholders and ensured customer satisfaction in the bargain.●● Hosting CIO summits – We regularly organized CIO forums for specific technology segments. TheCable Summit, which we conducted in 2011, was one such effort. It served as a platform for analysts,government officials and our own executives to discuss the cable TV digitization bill and its impact oncable TV operators and consumers. Cisco’s efforts at the Summit helped increase the sales pipeline andsubsequently the revenues.●● Association with industry bodies – Traditionally, Cisco has associated with industry bodies such asNasscom, IBA, FICCI where we take advantage of our global pool of experts and share best practiceswith key stakeholders.Nand Kishore BadamiSenior Vice President,MarketingCisco India & SAARCCorporate Podium: How Cisco plays the Thought Leadership GameCorporate PodiumHome Contents PrintContinued >Home Contents Print
  14. 14. Submit Feedback14© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightContent is KingMaking ThemselvesHeardOutcomes Our TakeReportSnapshotAbout the ReportHow do you define the success of a thought leadershipinitiative?Thought leadership helps to spread awareness and hence it is difficultto measure the impact directly. At Cisco, we consider different aspectsto get a composite view — market share gain, incremental business,impact on C-level people, customer and employee feedback, analystquotes, citations in magic quadrants and the like. Tactical metrics suchas number of whitepaper/case study downloads, reach of advertisingand so on indicate the impact of a specific initiative. To make it asaccurate as possible, we also track what we call ‘marketing influencedopportunities (MIO)’. If there is spike in MIO, we can directly attribute itto thought leadership activities.A combination of the above provides us with a pretty good view of thesuccess of our thought leadership initiatives.Have you seen any change in the way your stakeholdersperceive you?Yes, most definitely, and on all fronts. On the customer side, we haveseen that doors open more easily as we engage more deeply withcustomers through our thought leadership initiatives. Customers’awareness of Cisco’s solutions has gone up significantly. Customerendorsements and case studies have motivated their peers to workwith us.Corporate PodiumHome Contents Print< BackHome Contents Print
  15. 15. Submit Feedback15© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightContent is KingMaking ThemselvesHeardOutcomes Corporate PodiumReportSnapshotAbout the ReportOur TakeAs part of the thought leadership study, Prayag undertook a thoughtleadership ranking of the country’s top information technologycompanies. Other than Mindtree, all the companies posted revenues inexcess of US 1 billion, and many of them several times that. The studywas restricted to high revenue companies as this largely levels theplaying field in terms of the financial commitments that a company canmake to a thought leadership program. Many of the companies in thelist are global players but they were chosen as they targeted India as amarket. While examining their artefacts, only those that were targeted/available for their Indian audiences were chosen.Key Parameters studied●● Basic Thought Leadership Hygiene Factors• Was the company committed to a sustained thought leadershipprogram? Did it have a clear target audience?●● Content• Messaging/quality/sophistication/range of topics●● Reach• Distribution spread/channels and partners●● Outcomes• Media impact/idea ownershipOur TakeMature CompaniesCompanies in this group have managed topropagate a clear thought leadership positioningfor their brands. Their high quality content is targeted atspecific audiences and has a clear point of view. They typicallywork across multiple channels and some of them have built highlyvaluable partnership programs for thought leadership.Developing CompaniesCompanies in this group are in the process of securing a foothold in thethought leadership market. They focus on technical issues or tendto play it safe by treading the established path while expressingviews. They use fewer platforms than the top players. Contentdiversity may be low and while there may be attempts atcampaign style strategy, their thought leadershipprograms are not sustained. Clear ideaassociations may not be visible forthe brand.Developing to MatureHome Contents PrintHome Contents PrintContinued >
  16. 16. Submit Feedback16© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightContent is KingMaking ThemselvesHeardOutcomes Corporate PodiumReportSnapshotAbout the ReportIBMAccentureIntelCiscoMicrosoftOracleNetAppNvidiaMcAfeeSymantecSAPCapgeminiInfosysTCSWiproCognizantHPDellHCLiGATEMindtreeLenovoAdobeBroadcomMahindra SatyamAditya Birla MinacsAnd how theresults played outOur TakePace settersHigh PerformersPotential UpstartsAlso-ransCompanies that set the standards of thought leadershipin the business, who are able to match style withsubstance. Typically the innovators of thoughtleadership plays, these companies have tasted thesuccess that being a thought leader brings and arekeen to push the envelope further.Companies that are just behind the leaders whenit comes to implementing thought leadership plans.Typically what differentiates them from others is theirability to establish ownership of an idea and gain medialeverage from the same.These companies lag behind the leaders when it comesto content delivery style and breadth of distribution.They may not always be able to translate strategies intobusiness outcomes in the thought leadership game.These companies are at the starting point when itcomes to thought leadership planning, strategy andexecution. They need to improve the depth of theircontent offerings and spread of distribution.MatureDevelopingHome Contents Print< BackHome Contents Print
  17. 17. Submit Feedback17© 2013 Prayag Consulting All Rights ReservedTool Box: Getting theBasics RightContent is KingMaking ThemselvesHeardOutcomes Corporate Podium Our TakeAbout the ReportKey Reasons for Failure in Executing aThought Leadership StrategyLow marketingbudgetsJournals & specializedpublicationsWhitepapers EventsResearch initiativesand reportsSocial MediaKey TargetsEmployeesLack of aclear point of viewNo long termoutlookClear ThinkersPower of PartnershipOutcomesMultiple Channels in PlayWhose Voice is Heard?Prospects InfluencersClients AlliancepartnersBlogsWebcastsVideosCommunitiesService companiesare more active thanproduct companiesSome companies use powerful partnerships to enhance the reach of their thoughtleadership programsFavourable MediacoverageAwards Analyst MentionsWipro Technologies andKnowledge@WhartonNetApp and Forrester,Gartner, IDCThought Leadership Marketing in IndiaReportSnapshotHome Contents PrintHome Contents Print
  18. 18. Prayag Consulting Private Limited45/B, 2ndFloorFront Wing, 1stMainJ P Nagar, 3rdPhaseBangalore - 560 078Phone: (91) 80 26593328/29 / 41200439Fax: (91) 80 26593328Thank you for reading our report. If you have any queries orcomments, please write to us at info@prayag.comSubmit Feedback18 Home Contents Print
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