Thought Leadership


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Thought leadership is frequently included as an element in Marketing Works’ strategic marketing plans. But, sometimes it’s difficult for the client to understand exactly what we mean by thought leadership and how that translates into value for their company. We’ve put together this presentation for our readers to help break down the idea.

To view a more in-depth discussion, check out our two-part blog post:
Leader of the Pack Part 1:
Leader of the Pack Part 2:

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Thought Leadership

  1. 1. Thought Leadership:An Introductory Overview April 1, 2013
  2. 2. “We are transitioning from a knowledge-based economy to a wisdom-based economy. It’s no longer just about what you know, but what you do with what you know.” -Glenn Llopis, Forbes 2
  3. 3. Value • Strategic differentiation • Entry point to relationship • Help close sale for current clients • Retain clients, interest them in new services • B2B-specific – The thought leader can spec out the contract to their competitive advantage – If the contractor has demonstrated unique capabilities, a competitive bid might be skipped altogether 3
  4. 4. Define Thought Leader 1. A thought leader is an individual or firm that prospects, clients, referral sources, intermediaries and even competitors recognize as one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialization, resulting in its being the go-to individual or organization for said expertise. 1. A thought leader is an individual or firm that significantly profits from being recognized as such. -Forbes 4
  5. 5. General Misconceptions• Any subject-matter expert can be a thought leader• Thought leaders are the leading experts in their field• Thought leaders are always forward thinking 5
  6. 6. Elements of Good Thought Leadership • Don’t sell anything except ideas • Always give it away • Have a unique perspective • Focus on one thing at a time • Address a specific audience 6
  7. 7. Elements of Good Thought Leadership • Address a specific audience • Get involved • Admit what you don’t know • Make your audience feel smarter • Market thought leadership like a product 7
  8. 8. Opportunities • Speaking engagements •Infographics •Research & surveys – Panel discussions •Online groups – LinkedIn – Workshops •Videos – Associations •SlideShare • Writing an article (or being •Speakers Bureau a source for) • Networking • Board positions • Webinars • White papers 8
  9. 9. Final Notes Effective thought leadership is a result of consistent, cumulative efforts 9
  10. 10. Final Notes Team comments? 10
  11. 11. Sources• How Thought Leadership Can Help Companies Avoid the RFP (Business to Community)• The Golden Rules of Creating Thought Leadership (Fast Co)• Become a World Changing Thought Leader (Inc)• 10 Steps to Successful Thought Leadership to Elevate Your Career and Your Organization (Forbes) 11