The Marketing Strategist:

Five Hallmarks of Truly Great Thought Leadership

September 8, 2014

Dianne KimIn a market inundated with me-too messaging, thought leadership has shifted from a nice-to-have to a must-have. Thought leadership today is a key differentiator and an integral part of the value proposition provided to customers.

ITSMA has identified five hallmarks of truly great thought leadership programs, from development to dissemination:

  1. Develop a positioning statement. Adopt a strong point of view on why an issue is important, what’s going to happen, and how to deal with the ramifications.
  2. Gather proprietary evidence. Use external research sources and/or conduct primary research to validate findings and build credibility.
  3. Build powerful examples and elicit trustworthy testimonials. Create a thought leadership network of leading business executives, academics, industry analysts, or customers to support your position and get outside validation.
  4. Move from a publishing mindset to one that enables conversations. Sales enablers train and educate their salespeople on how and when to use thought leadership in conversations as part of a process leading to a buying decision.
  5. Measure the activity metrics and business outcomes. The thought leadership dashboard should cover both output and activity, as well as link to sales key performance indicators and eventually to business outcomes.

To read more on what organizations with best-in-class thought leadership programs are doing, read the ITSMA Update Thought Leadership in Practice by Bev Burgess.

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