How the sale has changed and what it means for marketers and thought leadership


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The ways consumers and clients research, educate themselves about a brand, product or service had changed. Consumers have become contsumers - devouring content online. Yet brands run the risk of being lost in a sea of meaningless content.

A thought leadership position on the other hand can provide great insights and the ensuing trust in that brand by its audience. Get it right and the rewards to the business are huge.

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How the sale has changed and what it means for marketers and thought leadership

  1. 1. Thought Leadership From consumer to ‘contsumer’: how the sale has changed and what this means for your business By Craig Badings, Leading Thought
  2. 2. Agenda • How the consumer has changed • Content is king, queen and subject • Brands need schema cracking ideas • Enter thought leadership • Having the right culture for it • Content and lead nurturing/generation
  3. 3. Thought Leadership is not
  4. 4. Delivering new ideas and content to your target publics based on deep insights into the business issues and challenges they face. The value you deliver should go well beyond merely selling your product or service. “Your point of view should differentiate you from your competitors, establish you as the ‘go to’ expert in that field and position you as a trusted advisor - all with the intent of underpinning the sale.” Craig Badings Thought leadership definition
  5. 5. What follows in the next few slides is a brief summary of compelling sales research showing how your client/customer has changed. It means everything to they way you market to them. Content, specifically thought leadership content plays a critical role in this. You ignore this research at your peril!
  6. 6. Research of B2B companies about sales and marketing found three key things:
  7. 7. Buyers don’t care about your products and services rather they buy into your approach to solving their problems.
  8. 8. Companies market features and benefits but these are quickly copied. Bold ideas and deep insights are difficult to copy and create trust in your brand.
  9. 9. Marketing and sales are often involved too late in the buying process. Buyers need to be engaged early in their problem-solving journey.
  10. 10. 2nd piece of relevant research by OgilvyOne conducted with over 1,000 selling professionals in the UK, US, Brazil and China found one key thing:
  11. 11. Brands of choice are delivering useful, insightful client or consumer issue driven content. It’s not product or service centric!
  12. 12. Today consumers search , educate themselves and buy differently – they have moved from a:
  13. 13. The stats 91% B2B marketers use content marketing 82% B2C marketers use content marketing 78% of chief marketing officers think custom content is the future of marketing 67% more leads are generated by B2B companies with blogs 14.6% vs 1.7% is the stat for organic search lead close rates vs outbound lead close rates Source:
  14. 14. What does this have to do with thought leadership? Content and preferably thought leading content, is not a nice PR or marketing gimmick. Instead, find a common consumer/client enemy or issue provide the insights or solutions and it will be a game changer.
  15. 15. Every piece of marketing content and thought leadership material you put out should be with the intent on lead nurturing, lead generation or engaging in conversations.
  16. 16. Old: Pushed message/ready to sell/qualify pipeline New: No longer in control Need to facilitate/engage/ two way - don’t ‘sell’ Lead Nurturing/ Generation (70% consuming your content will buy from you or someone else) Not ready to buy/talk Own research In control Know your brand Relevant, quality content, maintain conversation and build trust
  17. 17. Thought leadership is about insight selling. These insights come from research and data analytics. You can then have conversations that matter to your prospect or client.
  18. 18. The best thought leadership campaigns go to the heart of the pain points, frame new debates about the way to do things or shift paradigms. These are typically long-term campaigns not a quick easy fix
  19. 19. The best thought leadership cracks people’s existing schemas
  20. 20. For Thought Leadership to flourish Environment Strategy People
  21. 21. Innovative thinking = Supportive environment Culture of thought leadership Environment
  22. 22. Thought Leadership Client focus Mission Vision Strategy
  23. 23. Bold thinking Provoke Question Challengers People