We hear a lot about thought leadership these days, but so much of it is a misnomer. When the term was first coined by Joel Kurtzman, editor of strategy+business, in 1994, he was referring to the publication’s interviewees as people with “ideas that merited attention”.
Today, companies far and wide are creating basic content marketing and slapping a ‘thought leadership’ label on it, cheapening the brand. Which is what makes research-driven thought leadership even more essential today.
Momentum ITSMA defines thought leadership as “original, authoritative and insightful content that differentiates your brand and helps your clients, leading to mutually beneficial commercial opportunities”. It helps to define your brand, to bring attention to your vision, to set your people up as experts and ultimately generate leads.
Still, thought leadership suffers from its association with cheap and cheerful content production, especially in the B2B world. Why should a brand invest in research-driven thought leadership – something that takes time and effort – when they could pump out quick content for SEO or campaigns?
The thing about thought leadership – true, top quality, well-done thought leadership – is that it’s something senior business leaders crave.
Our research shows thought leadership helps to inform their decisions when appointing advisors, to guide their thinking about strategy and partners, and to keep them up to date with industry movements.
Here are five reasons why we believe B2B organizations should give serious consideration to investing in thought leadership, backed by robust data from our Value of B2B Thought Leadership survey.