- Knowing what your organization wants to achieve is paramount for good thought leadership
- Organizations often must consider multiple audiences when building thought leadership
- Measuring what works and what doesn’t lets teams refine their thought leadership efforts over time
Ah, the sweet smell of the freshly mown grass in the outfield, the sound of the crack of the bat when the ball hits that sweet spot, and the sight of players in crisp uniforms all remind us that spring training is in full swing and that opening day is coming soon! But for B2B marketers, not every day feels like a day at the park when trying to create thought leadership. Thought leadership needs to connect our practical buyer-focused messaging with our aspirational corporate messaging – or else we wind up out in left field with ideas that don’t resonate.
Those of you who are thinking “that’s me!” will be glad to hear we’re covering thought leadership in one of our sessions at our upcoming Summit. In the meantime, here are three tips to get you started.
First, evaluate your organization to see where to focus thought leadership efforts. Not every baseball team plays the same way, and not every organization has the same thought leadership capabilities. Determine if thought leadership should be focused on great innovations, new approaches to solving problems, or your brand and reputation. Leading with your strengths can make a huge difference in your organization’s ability to execute on thought leadership ideas.
Second, identify the audiences that you want to engage with thought leadership. Often, marketers only think of buyers or customers as targets for thought leadership, but there are many potential stakeholders who can be impacted by good thought leadership. Product teams, employment candidates, and even investors may want to see and understand the great thinking that’s being done, so include them when deciding how thought leadership will be activated.
Third, measure what’s working and what doesn’t. Not every idea is the right one, so measure to see if the problem is with the idea or with how it’s being delivered. Having the right metrics in advance, like the number of customers reading thought leadership content or the number of mentions in the media, can help to provide both early insight into things that may need to be changed quickly, such as the content format, or things that may need to be changed longer term, like the topics themselves. And measurement has the added benefit of proving to the organization that the investment in thought leadership can pay substantial dividends.
It’s important to remember that whether you’re an old pro at thought leadership or a rookie getting started, that thought leadership is a team sport that requires lots of coordinated players in order to have an impact. One heavy hitter isn’t enough, and a marketing team needs to work together to be effective.
These are just the first pitches to help get your thought leadership game on track, but we hope to see you at SiriusDecisions Summit 2019 at our session on “Thought Leadership: The Critical Link Between Corporate and Product Messaging” to learn lots more. And maybe you’ll hear a few more baseball metaphors too!