Jay Baer once said, “A thought leader is someone with proven expertise and experience who isn’t afraid to share it with the world without direct compensation.” This quote is very relevant because when it comes to thought leadership, CMOs and CEOs must have courage. They have to answer the tough questions.
What do you want to be known for? What expertise exists within the company that is unique and ownable? What do leaders say behind closed doors, but are unwilling to share publicly? What issues are at the heart of your customer’s business? How can you change the conversation with respect to the status quo in your industry? Answers to these and other questions will help you land on defensible, intriguing and ownable thought leadership positions that you want to share with the world. Positions that matter to your target audience and make them stand up and say “company x truly thinks differently on this topic.”
What does a thought leadership position include or sound like? Here are a few examples:
“We have a truly unique point of view on how renewable energy will drive innovation in third world countries.”
“We see a world where in just five short years wearables will completely replace mobile devices.”
“e believe cloud computing is history and a new type of computing environment will drive business by 2020.”
Thought leadership positions are used by the executive team, content developers and subject matter experts to ensure they stay true to the strategy. To be successful, they should also anchor the subject matter expertise, opinions and points of view of the content that is produced and shared throughout the customer experience.
Formulating a winning Thought Leadership Strategy starts by getting in a room and digging deep into the hearts and minds of the executive team, leading them through a deliberate and intentional process of identifying the thought leadership position(s) they want to own in the minds of your target audience.