Thought Leadership Assessement Pov Summary Deck Alterra Group
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Creating high-quality content that focuses on decidedly relevant topics has become increasingly important as the volume of content generated has amplified. To rise above the noise, a firm must ...

Creating high-quality content that focuses on decidedly relevant topics has become increasingly important as the volume of content generated has amplified. To rise above the noise, a firm must demonstrate their valuable expertise—in part, through strong thought leadership marketing.

In this presentation, we explore an assessment-based approach that can help a firm identify critical issues and develop content that showcases the firm’s most relevant and differentiated experience and insights.

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Thought Leadership Assessement Pov Summary Deck Alterra Group Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Charting a Course to Growth: How a Thought Leadership Assessment Can Help Professional Services Firms Get the Most from Their Marketing Efforts By Bernie Thiel, Susan Buddenbaum, and Sam Brown
  • 2. Deriving greater value from thought leadership investments> Every year, professional services companies publish thousands of books, white papers, articles, case studies, and other such materials.> These documents compete for the attention of busy executives and attempt to demonstrate unique and valuable expertise on important business challenges— or thought leadership.> To rise above the noise, firms must publish content that is not only of the highest quality, but that also focuses on topics that are highly relevant to target executives.> An assessment-based approach can help a firm identify the issues most critical to their target audience, uncover aspects of those issues insufficiently covered by competitors, and develop content that showcases the firm’s most relevant and differentiated experience and insights.
  • 3. Situations in which a thought leadership assessment can be beneficial> New market entry, whether the launch of a new product or service, the debut of a new or refocused practice, or the re-positioning of the firm to take advantage of new opportunities. An assessment can help firms determine how to position their offering relative to the competition, as well as support it with relevant, differentiated content that demonstrates compelling value to target executives.> The rapid emergence of a new, critical issue—such as the implementation of an important industry standard, rise of an innovative technology, or changes in the global economy. An assessment can help ensure that a firm focuses its relevant expertise on the aspects of the issue least understood by executives or most likely to have a significant impact on clients—and subsequently position the firm as an expert in a field offering growth potential.> The entrance of new competitors or rapid changes to the competitive environment. Incumbent firms can use a thought leadership assessment to ensure their materials clearly convey the quality of their insights and, consequently, help them retain a more valuable, differentiated market position.> Firms with tight marketing budgets and limited resources. With fewer content experts and marketing professionals, as well as less money to work with, such firms must be extremely mindful of where they spend their time and money. An effective assessment can help a firm weed out lower-quality, less relevant content and create a more focused portfolio of material that aligns closely with the firm’s strongest capabilities and its target executives’ top concerns. The result is a greater positive return on those investments.
  • 4. Deriving greater value from thought leadership investments> While a thought leadership assessment can take a variety of forms, it typically has three critical steps: – Identifying a list of top issues the firm’s clients are grappling with – Narrowing that list down to a few the firm could focus on (given its expertise and the revenue potential of the topic) – Assessing how well these topics have been covered by competitors and other thought leaders
  • 5. Step One: Identify top business issues> First, a firm must identify the most important business issues to its clients and prospects, thereby ensuring its content will be relevant to these targets.> While professional services executives typically have a good understanding of what is important to their clients, it can be valuable to validate these viewpoints with research. – Because it can be tailored to a given company’s target executives and areas of focus, dedicated primary research often delivers the most usable insights. – A good alternative is a meta-analysis of studies, articles, and conference proceedings published by leading authorities in relevant segments and functional areas.> Firms should impose clear boundaries on the historical timeframe of the content being evaluated, and on the number and nature of sources studied.
  • 6. Step Two: Choose the issues on which to focus> The right issues on which to focus are those for which the firm’s most substantial expertise overlaps with the issues most important to target buyers.> There are a number of ways to arrive at this narrower list of topics: – Sessions involving lead consultants and subject matter experts – A survey of firm experts – Analysis of recent sales histories and current business plans
  • 7. Step Three: Assess quality and volume of existing content> A firm must assess the quality and quantity of its own content, as well as that of its competitors.> In our experience, seven specific criteria make the difference between effective and ineffective content (see Figure 3).> The nature of the content should be considered as well: book, major study, white paper, bylined article, etc.
  • 8. Step Three: Assess quality and volume of existing content> It is essential to tie all of these elements together into one inclusive viewpoint that drives decision making, as shown in the figure.> By systematically assessing the thought leadership materials of its competitive set, this hypothetical firm determined that while many had published related content, much of that content was of low quality. Furthermore, few of its competitors had published extensively on the topic.> Thus, the firm identified the opportunity to create a series of in-depth pieces on the topic that would differentiate it from its competitors.
  • 9. Conclusion> Judging by the content being published by professional services firms, too many are pursuing thought leadership status on too many topics. Without a competitive edge driven by uncommon insights, their investments are unlikely to result in compelling content or substantial executive attention.> To break through the cluttered marketplace for expertise, companies must identify the topics that provide them with the most promising opportunities. This, in turn, means balancing the firm’s capabilities with market demand and what competitors are saying.> In Alterra Group’s experience, one of the best ways to achieve such an understanding is a systematic, comprehensive thought leadership assessment. Such an assessment, done correctly, can help professional services firms make the most of their investments in thought leadership by publishing high-quality, relevant content that generates lasting differentiation and robust demand.Read our full point of view on this topic.
  • 10. About Alterra Group> Our Services – Research: We help firms develop the content that forms the basis of their marketing programs – Writing: Alterra helps clients articulate their point of view in the form of written publications such as a books, white papers or bylined articles – Communications: We work with clients to fully leverage their content through the most appropriate marketing campaigns using a mix of traditional and emerging tools and channels> A Sample of Our Ideas – Alterra Group’s Perspectives on Account-Based Marketing – The Value of Surveys in Generating Awareness and Leads – Making a Business Book Pay Off – Learning from Success: Survey Reveals the Keys to More Effectively Developing and Marketing Intellectual Capital – Competing on Thought Leadership: The Seven Hallmarks of Compelling Intellectual Capital
  • 11. To learn more> Visit us: – www.alterra-group.com> Contact us: – Bernie Thiel » bthiel@alterra-group.com – Susan Buddenbaum » sbuddenbaum@alterra-group.com