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Mina Seetharaman - Thought Leadership Disrupted



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Mina Seetharaman

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Mina Seetharaman - Thought Leadership Disrupted

  1. 1. New rules for the content age June 2016 THOUGHT LEADERSHIP DISRUPTED #TLDisrupted IN ASSOCIATION WITH @minaseeth
  2. 2. 2 WE SURVEYED 2 838 business thought leadership consumers executives <$500m >$5bn 806 marketers C-suite or equivalent 57% YES 43% NO 29% Western Europe 25% Rest of World 21% North America 25% Asia Geography Samples annual global revenue 66% 15% C-suite or equivalent 30% Western Europe 20% Rest of World 23% North America 26% Asia Geography 41% YES 59% NO<$500m >$5bn Samples annual global revenue 53% 22%
  3. 3. 3 ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS 3 Aina Bolstad, Senior Marketing Communications Manager, Microsoft Rebecca Edwards, Chief Communications Officer, GE Oil and Gas Nicholas Graham, Global Director Digital Marketing, Huawei Technologies Rachel Grant, Global Director of Media Relations, McKinsey Sandra Higgison, AVP Product Marketing, Genpact Hamish Rickman, VP Marketing, Virgin Atlantic Severin Roald, SVP Corporate Communications, Telenor Mark Rose, Brand Communications Manager Europe, BP John Rudaizky, Partner, Global Brand & External Communications Leader, EY Andy Weitz, SVP, Global Marketing & Communications, Aon
  4. 4. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP ˈthôtˈlē-dər-ˌship The practice of influencing a community of interest by developing information, analysis and insight that helps its audience understand its world and plan for the future. It can be delivered in any medium, and can help companies raise awareness, shift perception and increase the status of their brand. 4
  6. 6. 3 in 5 global executives admit sometimes feeling confused or overwhelmed by the volume of content they encounter: with only 5% thinking it has decreased 56% think that intrusiveness has increased Nearly 16% think the value of content has decreased somewhat or a lot 68% agree that volume has gone up, AUDIENCES ARE REACHING CONTENT OVERLOAD 6
  7. 7. 7 AND, AS A RESULT, ARE REFINING THEIR SHORTLISTS • In the last 12-24 months, nearly 75% of executives became more selective generally about the thought leadership they consume, with just over 80% citing the volume of content as the reason for this change. • 44% engage with less than 20% of the thought leadership they see. 7
  8. 8. 8 80% of marketers plan to increase the amount of thought leadership content they produce in the coming 12 months <20% Nearly half believe that less than 20% of their current output gets engagement BUT MARKETERS ARE UNDAUNTED BY POOR RESULTS 8
  9. 9. 9 AND WE CAN SEE WHY… 9 z 76% of senior executives are influenced in their purchasing decisions 67% would be willing to advocate for that brand or organisation externally 83% would be influenced in their choice of potential business partner Thought leadership can build loyalty and sales
  12. 12. 12 MARKETERS ARE NOT TRULY FOCUSED ON THE AUDIENCE 12 Nearly half of all marketers (47%) cite differentiating their company from the competition as a primary objective. 42% cite gaining recognition for their company or key individuals as experts/authority in their field. Only 28% of marketers cited helping their audience to become more knowledgeable as a key objective. Only two in ten cited social media shares or time spent with content (24%, 21%) as a top measure of ROI.
  13. 13. KNOW YOURSELF 2.
  14. 14. 14 FIRST, WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF OUR OWN WAY 14 More than 60% strongly agree or somewhat agree that internal alignment is a barrier to thought leadership production.
  15. 15. “It’s important for all companies to have a clear idea of their brand internally before you go ahead and talk about how that manifests itself externally. To be credible you have to have a clear understanding of what you want to portray.” Hamish Rickman, VP Marketing, Virgin Atlantic 15
  16. 16. 16 When asked about who was NOT involved in the planning of thought leadership, but should be marketers cited: Media partners All employees Customers/other outside sources 50% 49% 47% DON’T BE LIMITED INVOLVE OUTSIDE EXPERTS 3.
  17. 17. 17 Trust is established through the quality or nature of the research and whether the data is ‘credible’. ‘Challenger brands’ who want to break through and make the shortlist must employ rigour: for an unfamiliar source to prompt engagement, it needs to be a ‘source of hard facts’ (47%). 55% LESS IS MORE RETURN TO THE FUNDAMENTALS 4.
  19. 19. 19 DESPITE THE NOISE, EXECS ARE STILL HUNGRY FOR HELP 19 68% consume thought leadership on at least a weekly basis. 33% do so daily. 20% have increased consumption “a lot” over the past 12 months. < 5% have reduced consumption either a little or a lot.
  20. 20. 20 THE BAR IS SET HIGH AND GETTING HIGHER 20 Executives and marketers agree: Compelling TL is ‘innovative’, ‘big picture’, ‘credible’ and ‘transformative’. According to executives unimpressive TL is ‘superficial’, ‘sales-driven’ and ‘biased’
  22. 22. 22 EFFECTIVE THOUGHT LEADERSHIP PUSHES BOUNDARIES 22 of consumers like to encounter thoughts and ideas that go beyond current thinking. 96%
  23. 23. “It’s mindshare before market share.” Rebecca Edwards, Chief Communications Officer, GE Oil & Gas 23
  24. 24. 24 THE NEW RULES 1. Know your audience – put them first 2. Know yourself – know where you have a right to play 3. But don’t be limited – involve outside experts 4. Less is more – return to the fundamentals 5. Think big – build a relationship over time 6. Stop trying to be a thought leader – be a thought partner
  25. 25. #TLDisrupted Mina Seetharaman SVP, Global Managing Director, Marketing Solutions The Economist Group @minaseeth