C-Suite: We need thought leadership.
Marketer: What do you want to talk about?
C-Suite: That's your job, figure it out.
How do you develop thought leadership for your company?
Many mid-market b2b companies don't have CMOs. Yet a VP of marketing is typically too busy thinking about day-to-day activities and deliverables to develop thought leadership.
Thought leadership is not content. Thought leadership is a point of view. It should bring together your business strategy and your brand strategy.
How do you figure out what your thought leadership should be?
What is your company's positioning? I like to use IBM as an example for B2B company marketing. For brevity's sake, I'll over simplify. IBM's positioning could be summarized as "smarter planet". One could argue their business strategy is to make money by leading and accelerating digital transformation. Their thought leadership currently focuses on AI. That makes perfect sense: they develop thought leadership in a cutting edge area of digital transformation.
What's your company's definition of thought leadership? Does it ladder up to your brand positioning? Pressure test it with three simple questions, below.
Sandra Creamer has spent her career focused on business transformation. She's worked at Fortune 100 technology companies, a top CPG company, and several NYC based consulting firms, doing branding, marketing and innovation for many recognizable brands. In her spare time, Sandra teaches at Columbia University in the MS Program for Applied Analytics.