As a means to differentiate their service offering, it’s become mandatory for agencies and other professional service firms to begin thinking more like a publisher by creating their own “Thought Leadership” platforms.
The idea being that by publishing forward-thinking content that is valuable for a specific prospect, you will create a warm, inbound marketing program, which will in turn lead to bigger and better opportunities.
But, let’s face it. It’s an arduous task to first identify your firm’s “thought leaders” and then incent them to create a steady flow of content that is worthy of being considered “thought leadership.” Part of the problem has been how to attribute ROI to the effort, as even the most enthusiastic program will lose momentum if impact is anecdotal at best.
Well, that aspect should no longer be a challenge as a fascinating research study conducted by Edelman, and powered by LinkedIn, details the impact – both positive and negative – a thought leadership program can have on an agency throughout all phases of the purchase funnel:
Awareness Phase: Decision makers value thought leadership
Consideration Phase: Thought leadership leads to RFP opportunities
Preference Phase: Thought leadership increases decision maker trust
Purchase Phase: Thought leadership leads to winning business
The research finds that there can also be a big downside if your thought leadership content is perceived as anything less than meaningful.
Making Thought Leadership Work For You
A well-conceived thought leadership program will drive tangible inbound and outbound business results. But it’s essential that you be consistent and timely in your efforts, apply a tough love, level of editorial integrity, and most importantly, initiate all thinking from the perspective of how it will help your customer solve a problem.
You can download the full study from Edelman here.
Creating a meaningful agency positioning statement that establishes clear differentiation amongst your competitors is the first step in creating a re-energized new business pipeline.Read more