If you are a CMO or marketing executive, one of your primary jobs is to define and own a distinct position in the minds of your target audience. Your company’s thought leadership strategy and content play a crucial role in making this happen. The true test to determine if you are executing a disciplined thought leadership strategy is to ask yourself this question:
“Do we have clearly defined and documented thought leadership positions that drive every dimension of our strategy?”
What’s a thought leadership position?
A thought leadership position is a clearly defined statement that captures the position you want to own in the minds of your target audience. It guides every facet of your thought leadership strategy. And most importantly, it is something the entire C-suite gets behind and supports through sustained and consistent thought leadership content.
CMOs must clearly define the thought leadership positions they want to own if they hope to earn a definitive and defensible space in the minds of their customers. Remember, thought leadership is different from content marketing. Content marketing asks, “How do we generate leads?” Thought leadership asks, “How will this content help us own a specific position in the minds of our customers over time?”
What position(s) do you want to own in the minds of your customers?
Remember, a thought leader is an individual or firm that prospects, clients, referral sources, intermediaries and even competitors recognize as a foremost authority on a specific topic, issue or trend. That’s why it is so important that CMOs clearly define and document ownable thought leadership positions. To make this happen, they must work with the C-suite and answer some difficult questions. What does your executive team want the company to be recognized for or be an authority on? How do they want to change the conversation in the market? Asking your executives these and other critical questions as you guide them through an intentional process, will ensure you land on thought leadership positions that are rooted in deep convictions.