Thought Leadership, the creation and dissemination of ideas that lead, is the most effective form of marketing for the knowledge economy, but it’s also the trickiest to get right. Nowhere is this more fundamental than in the “thinking” professions, whose success depends on how they develop and promote their intellectual capital.
Man Bites Dog set out to investigate the particular thought leadership challenges faced by professional services marketers. We interviewed 100 CMOs, marketing and communications directors at top 25 legal, accountancy and management consultancy firms and asked them to share their candid views about thought leadership in the professions.
While CMOs told us that thought leadership is now the key battleground for their industry, they were also frank about the scale of the challenge they face in establishing thought leader status. Ironically for a sector built on expertise, original ideas are a rare commodity and firms are struggling to match increasing demand for thought leadership with insights that really matter to clients.
Our research shows that thought followership is rife in the professions, with firms locked in a giant echo chamber of copycat ideas. Three-quarters of marketing leaders complain that their firm tends to “jump on the bandwagon” rather than set the agenda and CMOs admit that nearly two-thirds of their own so-called thought leadership content is worthless thought followership.
Follow The Leader examines the seemingly inexorable rise of thought leadership, its critical importance to the professions, the gap between rising investment and falling effectiveness, and what firms can do to achieve elusive thought leader status.
We hope you find our report a useful guide on your own thought leadership journey.
If you have any questions about the study or would like to speak to us about your own thought leadership, call us on 01273 716 820 or email the team at [email protected].