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What isthoughtleadership really
The term Thoughtleadership (TL) isinverymuchin vogue. However,TLisbecominganincreasingly ill-definedbroad
church of marketingcontent,PRcommentary,personal pointsof view,reports andevensalesplatforms.There is
obviouslynothingwrongwithanyof these productsbutwhatis bestpractice thoughtleadership really?
My postoutlinesmyview thatreal TL isdefinedby whyisit’saims, whoisitaim at, whatisit sayingand howisit
justifyingitsviews?
I thinkitstarts with the question:whyare creatingthispiece?(digital orphysical, videoorwrittenitdoesn’t matter
the conceptdoes!)
The answeris itought to be focusingatleastone or more of these three:
1. Creatingeffective clientencounters:whodoyouwant to be famouswith?
2. Buildingcredibilityforthe firm:whatdoyouwant to be famousfor?
3. Pipeline,revenue ormargin:howdoesthatfame convertintorevenue?
So once youhave decidedthe why,younowneedtodecide the who,asin: Whois this aimedat?The firstdecisionis
to match youraims withyouraudience.Sospecificallyunderstandyourtarget.Thiscouldbe a veryspecificgroupof
decisionmakersinveryspecificfirmsora broaderreputational piece thatispositioningfirminabroadermarket
place.The secondis what doyou wantyour reader/listener/watcherthinkfeel?Ultimatelyyou're notwritingfor
yourselves. Byunderstandingthatyouare creating for a specificaudienceandtryingtoget a response fromthat
audience,youwill begin toengage withyouraudience’s issues.Thismeans,somewhatcontroversially,thatthe focus
topicsoughtto be veryspecifice.g.aclearcountry/regionalissue orasub sector/clientsegmentproblemthatneeds
to be solved.
Obviouslythe viewsabove spill intothe nextquestion:Whatisthe firmsposition? Thisisyourpointof viewaimedat
your customersegment. A pointof viewthatisilluminatinganissue,adiagnosticof ahithertoo unknown issue or
differentperspectiveonaknown one. However, the bestTLfocuseson an innovative solution;the sowhator what
nextisthe crucial value ingoodTL. Coupledwiththisitoughttobe lookingforareasand ideaslinkedtoyourarea of
expertise.SogoodTL oughtto have genuine insightand/oractionable responseaswell asbe evidence-based.
Yes, TL mustbe groundedingoodsoliddataotherwise whylistenorreadme?Youmust combine the primaryor
secondary,qualitative orquantitative datawithyour expertvieworpractical insight againbasedonyourfirm’sarea
of expertise.Tacit knowledgeaswell asexperience ensuresdataandevidence hasapractical application.For
example, Ihave strongviewson the rugby unionplayerselection, whichIthinkare practical andworth listeningtoo.
However, my 14-year-oldsonisnotconvinced. He can see I’ve notplayedorcoachedor selectedatan international
level andpurelyuse the datagiventome by the pressand don’tanalyse itcorrectlyor questionitsusefulness.Somy
son (quite rightly) believesmy viewsare suspect
The productiondistributionandleveragingof intellectuallypropertyisbecomingamajorfocusof go to market
strategiesof a numberof industries.Butithas notbeenwell executed. Ithinkalot of content that has been
produced simply lacksinsight.positionalfocus andclarityof communication.Followingasimple setof questionswill
helpimprove the impactof thisoutput.

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We are all thought leaders now

  • 1. What isthoughtleadership really The term Thoughtleadership (TL) isinverymuchin vogue. However,TLisbecominganincreasingly ill-definedbroad church of marketingcontent,PRcommentary,personal pointsof view,reports andevensalesplatforms.There is obviouslynothingwrongwithanyof these productsbutwhatis bestpractice thoughtleadership really? My postoutlinesmyview thatreal TL isdefinedby whyisit’saims, whoisitaim at, whatisit sayingand howisit justifyingitsviews? I thinkitstarts with the question:whyare creatingthispiece?(digital orphysical, videoorwrittenitdoesn’t matter the conceptdoes!) The answeris itought to be focusingatleastone or more of these three: 1. Creatingeffective clientencounters:whodoyouwant to be famouswith? 2. Buildingcredibilityforthe firm:whatdoyouwant to be famousfor? 3. Pipeline,revenue ormargin:howdoesthatfame convertintorevenue? So once youhave decidedthe why,younowneedtodecide the who,asin: Whois this aimedat?The firstdecisionis to match youraims withyouraudience.Sospecificallyunderstandyourtarget.Thiscouldbe a veryspecificgroupof decisionmakersinveryspecificfirmsora broaderreputational piece thatispositioningfirminabroadermarket place.The secondis what doyou wantyour reader/listener/watcherthinkfeel?Ultimatelyyou're notwritingfor yourselves. Byunderstandingthatyouare creating for a specificaudienceandtryingtoget a response fromthat audience,youwill begin toengage withyouraudience’s issues.Thismeans,somewhatcontroversially,thatthe focus topicsoughtto be veryspecifice.g.aclearcountry/regionalissue orasub sector/clientsegmentproblemthatneeds to be solved. Obviouslythe viewsabove spill intothe nextquestion:Whatisthe firmsposition? Thisisyourpointof viewaimedat your customersegment. A pointof viewthatisilluminatinganissue,adiagnosticof ahithertoo unknown issue or differentperspectiveonaknown one. However, the bestTLfocuseson an innovative solution;the sowhator what nextisthe crucial value ingoodTL. Coupledwiththisitoughttobe lookingforareasand ideaslinkedtoyourarea of expertise.SogoodTL oughtto have genuine insightand/oractionable responseaswell asbe evidence-based. Yes, TL mustbe groundedingoodsoliddataotherwise whylistenorreadme?Youmust combine the primaryor secondary,qualitative orquantitative datawithyour expertvieworpractical insight againbasedonyourfirm’sarea of expertise.Tacit knowledgeaswell asexperience ensuresdataandevidence hasapractical application.For example, Ihave strongviewson the rugby unionplayerselection, whichIthinkare practical andworth listeningtoo. However, my 14-year-oldsonisnotconvinced. He can see I’ve notplayedorcoachedor selectedatan international level andpurelyuse the datagiventome by the pressand don’tanalyse itcorrectlyor questionitsusefulness.Somy son (quite rightly) believesmy viewsare suspect The productiondistributionandleveragingof intellectuallypropertyisbecomingamajorfocusof go to market strategiesof a numberof industries.Butithas notbeenwell executed. Ithinkalot of content that has been produced simply lacksinsight.positionalfocus andclarityof communication.Followingasimple setof questionswill helpimprove the impactof thisoutput.