According to Wikipedia, thought leadership is the idea of an individual who has influence over the decision-making process in his or her organization and/or industry. Thought leaders are individuals who have gained prominence through their research, knowledge, and experience. In terms of marketing, thought leader means that a person or brand has been promoted as a source of inspiration and advice about their topic.
"Thought leader" can also refer to an individual who has inspired innovative or original thinking among members of a group. In the marketing industry, thought leaders are individuals whose opinions are often sought by journalists and other media outlets. Thought leadership is also known as Thought Leadership Marketing.
Thinking out of the box is a prized quality for thought leaders in business, as well as in marketing. According to Wikipedia, is the idea of an individual who has influence over the decision-making process in his or her organization and/or industry. Thought leaders are individuals who have gained prominence through their research, knowledge, and experience. In terms of marketing, means that a person or brand has been promoted as a source of inspiration and advice about their topic."Thought leader" can also refer to an individual who has inspired innovative or original thinking among members of a group.
In the marketing industry, thought leaders are individuals whose opinions are often sought by journalists and other media outlets. Thought leadership is also known as is Thinking out of the box is a prized quality for thought leaders in business, as well as in marketing.
How to do thought leadership marketing?
In simple words, thought leadership marketing involves building a brand name that has the ability to influence and persuade others about its product or services offered. Simply put, there are three stages of Thought Leadership Marketing:
Thought leadership creation
How does one become a "thought leader?" There is no straightforward answer to this question. Companies can get it done in a variety of ways, including hiring individuals who can fulfill the criteria for thought leadership. They may also appoint their employees as well to take on the responsibility of being thought leaders in a certain field or industry.
Thought leadership development
While developing thought leadership is vital, it is very important that companies do this in effective ways. This means that they need to invest in tools and programs that can help their employees create quality content and spread it to the right audiences.
Thought leadership distribution
In this stage, the thought leaders from your organization will be given platforms where they can share their ideas with a wider audience. If you are not certain how to go about distributing the message, you can easily partner with a public relations company to help you shake things up and reach out to more people.
PR Profile & Reference of non PR Organizations
For overall development of a brand as a Thought leader, it is essential for the organization's/ brand's marketing team to carry out proper research on what are the needs and demands of the existing customer and those who are either going to enter into the market or already part of it. A well-drafted PR strategy should be carried out which involves various publicity/ promotion tools including website, social media presence etc.
Make use of different marketing tools like blogs, podcasts, video content on YouTube to start with thought leadership marketing. There are various tools for the brand to use it can make an effective impact on their audience.
Not all of these applied tools might be relevant for your organization as per its category but still, you should explore each and every available tool that helps you reach out to your target audience in a better way.
For example: A quick tip to make use of video for a brand working in the lifestyle segment would be: Using professional actors/models who can represent the brand and work as an interface between the product and its audience. Make sure you keep this aspect simple yet captivating enough so that it is easy for your audience to understand what lie beneath those words.
The marketing team should also remain updated with the latest trend in their thought leadership marketing campaign.
Targeting the right audience is important for your brand to reach its desired potentials, so it is vital for the team to analyze and understand their target audience's likes, dislikes, dreams and desires (It is not that much easy but it surely works!)
The marketing team should have the ability to understand audience's passions, goals and yearnings which is needed to find out how your brand can play a vital role in fulfilling their needs.
Know your client
Gather information on what is trending in the market - Not just product trends but also technology trends. You have to keep yourself up-to-date with what new advancements and technology are there in the market because it is not about just creating awareness but also providing what people want. To stay ahead, you need to keep in touch with what is happening around the industry. If your brand is going to be a thought leader then you have to be aware of all the things that happened yesterday, today and upcoming tomorrow.
The marketing team needs to update itself with the latest industry news and trends.
Brand awareness is important as this will help your brand expand its customer base. If you are able to achieve strong brand awareness then it becomes easier for you to reach out to a particular audience segment. Sometimes situations arise where companies need extra efforts to spread awareness of their brand.
A few examples are:
A company might need to launch a new product or may be it is planning for an upcoming event. In such instances, the team should make certain plans and strategies that will help them create massive brand awareness across different segments in the market.
The team can hire professionals who are known to promote a particular brand and share their experience with others.
The companies can also make use of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter etc., where they can increase awareness about the product by giving regular updates on the company's official page.
An organization must keep in mind that if their target audience is already using those social networks then it becomes easier for them to get noticed.
For example: A brand belongs to the education and training industry which wants to increase awareness of their product amongst its potential customers. So, they can make use of different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc.,
What are the best examples of Thought leadership Marketing and how can your company use these as a base for developing its own thought leadership marketing campaign?
Thought Leadership Marketing is empowering to companies. It enhances their image and credibility among potential clients, prospects, investors and other stakeholders. This is especially true when the thoughts shared by a company reflect strategic long-term movements.
Thought leadership marketing is a strategic plan that companies use to position themselves as experts in their field. It’s aimed at building a company’s reputation and credibility in the eyes of current and future clients. Companies that have strong thought leadership marketing efforts are viewed as innovators, trendsetters, and influencers.
Here are some examples of Thought Leadership Marketing to help you determine whether this strategy is right for your company:
Virgin Atlantic Airways created the award-winning “Mind the Gap” campaign, which focused on air travel trends and what passengers should expect from their airlines in different situations. Instead of focusing on price or number of flights, the “Mind the Gap” campaign focused on what customers valued most when choosing an airline. The campaign was so successful that Virgin saw a year-to-year increase in customer satisfaction by 55%.
1-800 Flowers realized their expertise wasn’t in flowers, but delivery of those flowers. They created a Thought Leadership Marketing campaign centered around the concept of “Lullaby Delivery,” a new way for parents to send flowers to their newborn babies. In this case, it was thought that would resonate with 1-800 Flowers customers. Their research indicated that their target market valued convenience and innovation in flower delivery services; hence, the creation of the Lullaby Delivery service.
Ford’s Intelligent Edge initiative focuses on building electric vehicles of the future. This Thought Leadership campaign is designed to help Ford surpass other vehicle manufacturers in developing new technologies that benefit their customers and society at large. In doing so, they also build a strong brand image for themselves as an innovative company working towards greener wheels.
Whether these are successful campaigns or not, one thing is certain: Thought leadership marketing focuses on the needs of the customer and invests in strategies that will help their customers succeed. This is a forward-thinking tactic that allows companies to grow as their customers grow, and it creates strong relationships between businesses and their customers.