How Long Has It Taken You To Get It Together On Thought Leadership?!
Thought leadership is by no means new; it’s something that has been around for a long time and is just as important now as it’s ever been. But two separate studies this month have shown that B2B brands are finally waking up to the power of thought leadership. Recent figures, as I discovered in an infographic on the Marketing Week website, reveal that, while boosting brand awareness and strengthening customer relationships is still high on B2B brands’ agendas, thought leadership is now taking the front seat position.
The studies, by Omobono and B2B International, have shown that the importance placed on various elements has now shifted. Some 61% of B2B marketers surveyed believe that deepening customer relationships is their priority, while 63% put the emphasis on strengthening thought leadership – an increase of a staggering 13% in the last year alone.
Omobono’s founder, Francesca Brosan, believes that B2B brands are realising that, while customer relationships are still extremely important, there are other things to consider, too. After all, effective thought leadership can also help to improve customer relationships. Interestingly, the studies found that smaller companies view thought leadership as more important than larger firms do, and they also put more emphasis on raising brand awareness.
Brosan claims that it’s not good enough just to be “known” these days; you have to be “known for something” - and this is where thought leadership comes in.
I think thought leadership directly relates to part of a content strategy, to aid the decision-making process. If a brand is recognised as being innovative, or as having leaders in innovation, because of the thought leadership pieces they have created (these pieces will have been seeded across social media, etc.) then they may just have the edge over their competitors, winning new business as a result.
Many companies have been talking about thought leadership for a long time – we certainly have here at Proctor + Stevenson. But, for numerous reasons - including time, resources and, well, procrastination! - brands just haven’t got around to it. It’s only now that people are finally realising the benefits that come with thought leadership. Have you?