Still, marketers face significant challenges to becoming trusted advisors through their content, not the least of which are self-made as they continue to pump out more and more content. They struggle with internal alignment, ensuring that they are involving the right people, and meeting increased expectations about substance, speed, targeting, distribution, and measurement.
As a result, the very idea of what it means to be a thought leader – once limited to an elite group of businesses that truly developed proprietary knowledge – has broadened and become devalued, and is increasingly is seen as becoming an overused and self-serving tactic, one that is contributing to the noise rather than cutting through it with original insights and innovative distribution.
“How many truly thought leading pieces are out there? Thought leadership is white space.”
John Rudaizky, EY
In order to better understand the current state of content marketing aimed at business executives, we undertook research to explore the impact of the phenomenal increase in content, particularly as it relates to thought leadership, on both the executives who consume it and the marketers who are trying to reach them.
The study highlights a number of points of discord – between marketers and those they are trying to reach, and between marketers and their own colleagues — that stand in contrast to the conventional wisdom of content marketing today. The data signals a new path to thought leadership, one that raises the bar on substance and acknowledges the diversity of creative formats needed to make put that substance connect and stand out.to work. And, it illuminates a new strategic frameworks that either directly ties a company’s communications approach to a larger corporate purpose . Today’s so-called thought leaders are lauded as much for what they do as what they say. Their broad strategic positions are transformative, innovative and credible – exactly the characteristics business executives look for in the content they value. In this way, “thought leadership” is a natural outgrowth of a company’s actions.
“I think we have to pass from storytelling to story doing today. There is a difference between living your brand’s story and simply talking about it. Our key objective is creating work that matters.”
“Organisations need to be more disciplined. They approach thought leadership as a tick box exercise.”
Advisory Board member