thought leadership 

Thought leadership is storytelling that motivates action.

Man Bites Dog thought leadership definition

Thought leadership is the smart business growth strategy for intelligent brands. It is ideas-led selling that harnesses the power of storytelling, supported by substantial data, to position business brands as leaders in the Next Economy.

The Man Bites Dog approach to thought leadership

Man Bites Dog is the definition of a story – a big idea with the power to change the world.

By combining powerful stories with substantial research and impactful global activation, we help business brands lead the Next Economy.

Our end-to-end B2B thought leadership offer takes you from thought to market to deliver reputation, relationships and revenue – and increasingly talent recruitment, employee retention and real-world impact.

As the world’s first dedicated B2B thought leadership consultancy, we deliver integrated global thought leadership campaigns for multinational companies, financial institutions and advisory firms across sectors from professional and financial services to technology and sustainable infrastructure.

We specialise in turning thought leadership campaigns into sales by mobilising future thinking throughout your organisation, engaging your stakeholders, and ensuring that your campaign has a powerful call to action to generate direct revenue.

Our team of thought leadership experts specialises in developing ideas, designing research and economic models, and creating and activating content that resonates with the C-suite and gives your B2B brand authority on the global stage.

Central to our approach is promoting your experts and business leaders, making them a critical part of the journey, and putting a spotlight on their expertise and value to your clients and customers. 

Develop your stand-out thought leadership campaign.

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Why does thought leadership matter in B2B marketing?

With the C-suite increasingly critical to B2B buying decisions, your organisation needs content with the power and reach to engage senior decision-makers and support a new level of consultative selling. We call this rewiring your organisation for ideas-led selling, or thought leadership. 

Thought leadership has the power to build your organisation’s reputation, deepen your relationships with clients and customers, generate revenue and achieve real-world change. 

Thought leadership is also increasingly used to build employer brand, fostering a sense of pride in the organisation’s innovation and leadership, increasing engagement and supporting the recruitment of high-value talent. 

It can help your organisation to develop new propositions, broaden stakeholder relationships, reach high-value decision-makers and support profitable conversations. 

Thought leadership enables you to: 

  • Demonstrate your expertise: Intelligent brands – knowledge economy businesses that are built on expertise – must showcase the expert insight they are selling in order to demonstrate how they can help their clients and customers to navigate the Next Economy.
  • Evidence your transformation: Transitioning brands – companies undergoing significant transformation in response to major forces like climate change or technology disruption – can harness thought leadership to demonstrate their future vision and direction of travel to critical stakeholders, from customers to investors.
  • Unite your brand: Thought leadership provides a “north star” that can unite a diversified organisation behind a single message. It provides a golden thread to connect the various aspects of your company, especially if it is large and complex, has diverse business units, or has grown through M&A. 
  • Take the lead on a new, emerging agenda: Thought leadership can lay the groundwork for new products and services when you’re innovating into unknown territory or at the edge of new technology. 
  • Innovate new propositions: If your brand is offering new services without a track record, thought leadership can help you build authority while your experience catches up. 

Financial services

Standard Chartered: Zeronomics

Zeronomics highlighted the critical role of finance in the greatest corporate challenge ever undertaken: decarbonisation.

View Case Study

Citrix: Work 2035

Work2035 combined scenario planning and opinion research to envision and explore four alternative future worlds of work.

View Case Study
Professional services

Korn Ferry: The Global Talent Crunch

The Global Talent Crunch forecast the mismatch between skilled talent supply and demand in 20 global markets – threatening $8.5 trillion in lost annual GDP.

View Case Study
Built environment, infrastructure and engineering

GHD: Aquanomics

View Case Study

Read more of our thought leadership case studies

See our work

How does thought leadership drive sales?

Thought leadership is storytelling that motivates action. We have pioneered a new approach to “ideas-led selling” that harnesses thought leadership content to support C-suite conversations and high-value sales enablement. 

Thought leadership content equips business leaders, advisors and sales teams to have high-quality conversations – it helps to educate the prospect, showcases your understanding of their opportunities and threats, and builds their trust in your credibility. Shifting from sales to ideas-led selling ensures your conversations are providing genuine value to your clients and prospects. 

There is no conversion without conversation: Man Bites Dog research has found that 82% of C-suite executives are more likely to engage with a potential supplier if they consider them to be an expert thought leader. 

Reputation: Thought leadership builds the reputation required to be front-of-mind for a buyer’s shortlist – which matters in B2B where buying cycles are often long. Getting the brand right is key; it’s not just about demand generation for those with immediate intent to buy, but about long-term awareness and credibility. 

But that’s just the beginning.

Relationships: Powerful thought leadership content enables you to unleash the power of your business leaders and consultants, and equip your sales teams for consultative selling. It empowers your consultants and sales teams to have business-level conversations about topics that really matter to your clients, elevating your brand and giving you a substantial platform from which to sell your services. 

Revenue: Thought leadership helps you translate your reputation and relationships into revenue, through direct calls to action that promote the problems you solve and the opportunities that you help clients to seize, linked directly to your offer via assessments and benchmarking, “gateway services”, executive education programmes, communities, and other conversion strategies. 

What is a thought leader?

A thought leader is an expert authority with a big idea that mobilises change. Brands, business leaders and experts benefit from thought leader status.

Your CEO is expected to be “thought leader in chief”; clients and customers demand expertise.

Thought leadership is also key to making your organisation investable: research amongst Man Bites Dog’s $50 Trillion Club community of investors finds that 90% use a leader’s profile and “the ideas they share” as a proxy for a company’s innovation and future orientation, and 86% of investors are more confident in the future success of a business with a CEO who is seen as a thought leader.

How does Man Bites Dog activate thought leadership?

Successfully activating B2B thought leadership is all about deploying the right assets at the right point in the sales funnel. 

Once we’ve identified a predictive, Man Bites Dog story that is evidenced with substantial data and linked to a problem your organisation solves, we unleash a full range of content marketing techniques to amplify and generate genuine engagement with the central big idea. 

A powerful B2B thought leadership campaign should push prospects through the whole sales and marketing funnel, from awareness, through consideration to action. This involves a multi-channel approach with content that builds reputation, forges relationships, and generates revenue. And, most importantly, empowers your most important sales channel – your people – to have powerful conversations with prospects and clients. 

Man Bites Dog has a team of skilled content strategists and copywriters who are fully embedded in the project teams and work closely with our consultants to develop powerful content for each thought leadership campaign. 

From detailed whitepapers to interactive microsites, media campaigns and toolkits to benchmarking tools, webinars and gateway services, we develop substantial, data-rich content that engages your target audience and has real-world impact.

Man Bites Dog team at the Brighton bandstand

Our team of thought leadership experts

The Man Bites Dog team was built to create global B2B thought leadership. We are experts in the whole end-to-end process that takes campaigns from thought to market. We develop the strategic idea that is anchored in your business, design and conduct the research needed to generate substantial data, and develop and activate the content and assets.

We combine the creative culture and big ideas of an agency, with the market intelligence and research capability of a think tank, and the strategy and activation power of media and marketing. Unlike other consultancies, we bring together marketing strategy, research and economics, and content, PR, communications, digital marketing and sales enablement expertise.

Immersed in business, sustainability and future trends, our award-winning team is renowned for the quality of our strategy, our big ideas and our remarkable campaign impact.

Our thought leadership consultants have deep knowledge of the issues, channels and networks to engage key decision-makers, including the corporate C-Suite, investors, governments, regulators, entrepreneurs and broader stakeholders including NGOs and the public.

Contact us to kick-start your future thinking.

Get in touch

+44 (0) 1273 716 820
[email protected]

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