Signature thinkers. Thought leadership workshop. Dec 2012


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Signature thinkers. Thought leadership workshop. Dec 2012

  1. 1. The rise of the visible expert. Grooming thought leaders. Getting closer to the revenue. Excerpt from the thought leadership workshop ITSMA Annual Conference Cambridge, MA December 2012
  2. 2. Evolving the thought leadership model.2
  3. 3. We live in the era of expertise.3
  4. 4. Our world is increasingly complex + confusing. source: Corporate Executive Board4
  5. 5. Thought leadership is about helping people share + ignite ideas.5
  6. 6. The digital revolution continues to shake things up. Digital first. Decision-makers and influencers go online before they go to peers. •51 million blogs •340 million Tweets each day •187 million LinkedIn subscribers…2 new ones added every second •100 million active users on Google Face-to-face is still where relationships are built and most ideas are hatched and expanded. The discipline of thought leadership is evolving as •1.8 million USonline channels and real-world venues. much as events annually sources: LinkedIn, Google, Twitter, Speakerfile6
  7. 7. Thought leadership has become a big business. Tens of millions of dollars. That’s what leading firms are spending to create and distribute thought leadership. It’s central to strategy. But, costs can get out of hand. Thought Leader is LinkedIn’s newest feature…a likely sign that the term {although not a favorite by most} will become more widely adopted. 22% of US adults own a tablet… Brand journalism is a new career category. Editors and 2x the number as last year. reporters have gone corporate. Content stacks provide online and print publishers with huge new sources of revenue. Big firms have found a way to dominate premium space. Self-publishing is the rage. Tablet devices and smart phones are changing how and where we consume information. Thought leadership awards programs are emerging. source: Pew Research Center ITSMA received a record number of submissions this year.7
  8. 8. Expanding your idea culture means... Finding + developing visible experts who •Address issues that matter to clients •Build a reputation for bringing insights + ideas •Respond quickly when new regulations reshape your clients’ business + financial landscape •Have a compelling point of view about technologies + processes that can accelerate clients’ innovation and differentiation, creating business value •Are comfortable sharing their own story to add the human element8
  9. 9. A few truths… Decision-makers… •Still prefer to buy local •Will tap experts in small- to mid-size firms when the talent + thinking is on par…and they can find them! •Want alternatives to long-term contracts and retainer-based terms In thought leadership… •As true costs become clear, we may be headed toward our own fiscal cliff •Understanding clients + issues remains central9
  10. 10. Create an idea culture, with Marketing at the center, because… •There’s an outside in perspective •Multiple stakeholders are considered…clients, influencers, partners, competitors, media, colleagues •Brand-building is balanced with business-building – There’s alignment with themes and a deep dive into issues – Creativity is still key – The focus is on creating rock bands, not rock stars •Insights + ideas can be aligned with the decision-maker’s journey (epiphany through client loyalty) •There’s access to key channels + know-how to use them •Marketing analytics can capture key measures + marketers can make sense of them10
  11. 11. Developing visible experts. {It’s about people.}11
  12. 12. Your visible expert12
  13. 13. Narrow the focus. • Specific + timely business issues • Specialized expertise • The first name that comes to mind • Potential to command a premium13
  14. 14. Personalized + customized. • Get granular • Broaden positioning in strategic accounts14
  15. 15. Be agile. • With the foundation in place, be strategic + fast • Mine content that’s pre-approved • Share. Listen. Evolve. • Pivot when needed • Flexibility can drive innovation15
  16. 16. Bring something or someone new to the table. • The best answer may come from inside the organization or out • Create a network of strategic partners…traditional and unconventional16
  17. 17. Be credible. And likeable. • Demonstrate deep expertise (beyond the CV) • Breath life into each person’s profile Substance + Style17
  18. 18. Balance online + real-world presence. • Be visible online • Build relationships in person • Balance the portfolio – Optimal minimal18
  19. 19. Protect great ideas. • Align with legal + IP creation teams.19
  20. 20. Re-think the campaign model. General campaigns Getting closer to the revenue Who Broad groups of business executives, Highly targeted to individuals… decision- grouped by industry and role — working makers focused on specific business issues from largely unqualified prospect lists What Focused on evergreen themes and broad Specific, actionable insights supporting each business issues phase of the client’s decision process, at the intersection of industry, role, company. Timing Content distributed to broad audiences Timely issues require rapid sequencing. when materials are ready or synched with event Content and programs aligned with individual decision-makers when they need it, throughout their buying cycle. Measures Numbers of people contacted: The bigger • How decision-makers engage the distribution list, the better. • Number of meetings • Pipeline • Proposals • Sales • Value delivered | created Mix of More, new and different Reframe…recycle, repurpose, reuse content type20
  21. 21. Measures21
  22. 22. A framework to determine priorities and align measures that matter. Reputation Reputation Relationships Relationships Revenue Revenue22
  23. 23. “Be so good they can’t ignore you” ~ Steve Martin23
  24. 24. Create remarkable content. Substance + style • Build a solid foundation, then… • Breakthrough the noise24
  25. 25. Tap the network.25
  26. 26. Exercise. Building the business case.26
  27. 27. Wrap up. Comments. Questions.27
  28. 28. The rise of the visible expert. Pauline Weger @Visible_Expert 703.272.3822