Beyond Random Content: Four Steps to Thought Leadership Success

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B2B marketers know that demonstrating thought leadership around core customer challenges is essential. But many programs are thinly funded, episodic, and superficial. This presentation outlines a four-step approach to building a disciplined, and effective thought leadership program.

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Beyond Random Content: Four Steps to Thought Leadership Success

  1. 1. Beyond Random Content: Four Steps to Thought Leadership Success Avitage Thought Leadership Webinar Series June 3, 2010 Rob Leavitt Principal, Solutions Insights
  2. 2. Marketers’ interest in thought leadership is at an all-time high Most important marketing tactics for 2010 Source: ITSMA Budget and Metrics Survey © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 2
  3. 3. Our customers are fed up with most of our marketing © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 3
  4. 4. But they are looking for new ideas to improve performance CEOs are: ●  Struggling to keep up with change ●  Seeking out customers for collaborative innovation ●  Adapting business models, often substantially ●  Adding capabilities and partners for global integration ●  Deepening commitments to social responsibility Source: IBM, The Enterprise of the Future, 2009 Global CEO Study © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 4
  5. 5. Our customers are scouring the Web in search of new thinking C-suite executives are: ●  Using the Web first for information ●  Searching themselves, not delegating ●  Focusing heavily on search, video, webcasts, and online communities ●  Shifting demographically toward Generation Netscape Source: Forbes, The Rise of the Digital C-Suite, 2009 © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 5
  6. 6. Start-and-stop buying cycles demand yet more content Buying cycle in theory: Awareness Interest Consideration Purchase Buying process in reality: Revised Department New Budget Strategy Reorg CFO Cuts © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 6
  7. 7. Amid buyer chaos, thought leadership should support the entire buying cycle “That’s interesting, tell me more” © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 7
  8. 8. For many marketers, thought leadership remains underfunded and episodic Does this sound familiar? © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 8
  9. 9. “Random acts of content” undercuts thought leadership potential © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 9
  10. 10. Thought leadership success relies on a four-step process © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 10
  11. 11. Compelling Points of View provide the basis for thought leadership content ●  Choose the right issues ●  Do the research ●  Test and refine the POV © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 11
  12. 12. Internal education builds go-to-market alignment and support ●  Educate across the organization ●  Get people involved ●  Build a thought leadership culture © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 12
  13. 13. Sustained engagement enables broad presence and targeted conversation ●  Make the commitment ●  Leverage content ●  Go broad and deep © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 13
  14. 14. Programmatic discipline ensures focused impact and improvement ●  Invest what it takes ●  Clarify roles and responsibilities ●  Set clear strategy ●  Measure for continuous improvement © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 14
  15. 15. A thought leadership roadmap helps identify next steps Getting Getting Building Building Started Focused Organization Leadership Individual- and Issue-based, some Editorial agenda, Theme-based, product-oriented, research, initial ongoing research, deep research, Points of personal opinion differentiation new ideas customer View collaboration, breakthrough ideas Ad hoc and Modest, broadcast Deliberate, Substantial, multi- Internal informal orientation functional tiered, ongoing, Education orientation, social collaborative One-off Campaigns, Substantial, Continuous, broad Sustained publications multiple formats, integrated online and deep, Engagement and presentations customers and and offline, social collaborative influencers Ad hoc, junior Initial funding, Focused budget, Strategic funding, support, no budget mid-level support, senior direction, exec. direction, Program or metrics research partners, dedicated staff, cross-company Discipline PR metrics marketing metrics collaboration, business metrics © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 15
  16. 16. Final thoughts ●  Narrow your focus ●  Do the research ●  Engage and empower internally ●  Leverage good content ●  Invest in expertise © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 16
  17. 17. Questions © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 17
  18. 18. Thank you! Rob Leavitt Principal Solutions Insights rleavitt@solutionsinsights.com +1-508-654-7181 www.solutionsinsights.com Blog: www.reputationtorevenue.com Twitter: @Robleavitt © 2010 Solutions Insights. All Rights Reserved. 18

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