Tag Archives: thought leadership development for management consultants

Thought Leadership: It’s not just for the C-Suite

Most B2B companies are now seeking to develop conversations with the C-suite via the creation of thought leadership-level content marketing initiatives, as UK based consultancy Longitude detailed in a recent article.

Thought leadership:  A superior element in the content marketing toolbox

Thought leadership in the context of content marketing is regarded as superior, according to Gabriel Shaoolian of Blue Fountain Media in New York, because it’s “more compelling….[and] has built-in authority, clear perspective, and inherent trustworthiness.”  Importantly, as Shaoolian further explains: “Because thought leadership showcases expertise and authority within an industry, it has the benefit of building trust between a brand and its audience. Consumers recognize a brand’s expertise in their industry as a signal that the brand is among the best at what they do.”

The value of content marketing in the broader context (and thought leadership specifically, therefore) is succinctly summed up by Michael J Schiemer, who explains that it measurably increases website traffic, search engine optimization (SEO), branding, exposure, and ultimately more prospects and clients/customers.  And importantly, as Schiemer explains, it increases the perception your organization is connected and legitimate, while being able to be seamlessly integrated into an organization’s overall business development and marketing strategy.

Refined thought leadership an avenue to precision-targeting within organizations

Longitude persuasively argues that in the strategic development of thought leadership, focusing on the most senior people isn’t the most appropriate strategy when buyers of your services may be within different business units.  They argue, therefore, for the creation of thought leadership content that takes into consideration buyers of your services from other business units, while at the same time being mindful of the influence the C-suite may have in those purchasing decisions.

“Big purchasing decisions within large corporates are typically made across a leadership team. Thought leadership campaigns, therefore, need to speak to each of these different stakeholders as individuals”, they explain.

Quality thought leadership leads to revenue in shorter time frames

Longitude concludes by emphasizing that thought leadership is fundamentally characterized by quality.  In some cases, they note, a single thought leadership piece can generate a meeting which results in an immediate engagement. Superior thought leadership can, therefore, cut through the noise generated by an avalanche of generic content marketing to help achieve substantial revenue in short time frames.

John Grimley helps clients produce superior thought leadership aimed at securing the attention of discerning audiences.  For more information or to arrange a discussion, please click here.

Thought leadership’s importance to management consulting growth

In a recent Forbes article, Russ Alan Prince details how competitive pressures among management consultants has made thought leadership an effective way to secure new clients.

And Braden Kelly explained in a recent article how these competitive pressures are as a result of an abundance of information online.  This abundant online information has created a buyers market for management consulting services. Buyers of management consulting services, he writes, are now seeking out thought leadership to inform their buying decisions.

Russ Allen Prince highlighted how McKinsey & Co pioneered industry thought leadership with McKinsey Quartely, a highly successful journal “replete with descriptions of the firm’s successes”.  The Management Consultancies Association (MCA), the representative body for management consultancy firms in the UK, showcased other leading examples of leading industry thought leadership from firms including PwC, KPMG and Deloitte — at their 2016 MCA Awards.

Challenges to thought leadership development

Braden Kelly detailed how “consulting firms are struggling to identify and provide the content necessary to help them maintain (and possibly extend) their success in this new [competitive] environment.”

Firms are struggling, according to Kelly, because they “tend to under-invest in thought leadership and as a consequence…find themselves vulnerable to new entrants.”

Thought leadership is often not the primary focus inside some consultancies.  Firm partners, focused first on new revenue generation — have limited time for thought leadership, particularly novel initiatives that support “expansionary growth” Kelly explained.  This lack of focus can keep firms treading water or losing ground on new business generation via a sustained thought leadership campaign.

Another challenge to thought leadership development is the importance of social media visibility — in addition to excellent thought leadership content creation.

Looking forward

Well-developed thought leadership can support successful new business generation efforts by management consulting firms, according to Kelly.  But these efforts require a commitment of time and resources to realize their full potential.  

Need help with creating content or managing social media?  Click here for more information or to arrange a discussion.