19 Jun 2012
In the space of a month I have heard from two different sources that clients are looking for customised thought leadership.
The first is Merryn Stewart who has spearheaded E&Y’s thought leadership efforts for four years and has been at the coalface of thought leadership for 15 years. She is encouraging the E&Y partners to personalise their thought leadership material as much as possible.
The second is Fiona Czerniawska from Sourceforconsulting who in Issue 24 of her publication White Space, says that the evidence, after researching over 400 clients across Europe and the Middle East, shows that while they value thought leadership, they see a lot of it.
Fiona’s research highlights that what they really value is someone making a personal effort to tell them why they should read a particular piece of material. They want someone to say: “Read this particular chapter/piece/article because it’s important to you and your business.” Or: “Come to this event as we will be covering x, y and z which is of particular relevance to you right now.”
Think about how, where and to whom you send your thought leadership
What does customising your thought leadership mean? For starters it means no longer producing content which you merely spray to as wide a market as possible and hope it has an impact. It does mean thinking more strategically and carefully about to whom and how you send your thought leadership material, who it comes from and what personalised message can be attached to illustrate that an element/s of your material can help address one or more of their business challenges.
It’s important to show you understand the issues impacting their business and as a result why a particular piece or section of the thought leadership material you have produced is important to them.
Interestingly when Sourceforconsulting asked about the effectiveness of different ways of marketing, clients put thought leadership at the top alongside events and regular contact from someone they know in the firm.
In this 24/7 online world, it’s good to see that value is still attached to personal contact.
Are you customising your thought leadership or have you received a piece of customised thought leadership lately? If so I’d love to hear from you about the impacts it has had on your clients or on you.
I’m a director at Sydney-based, Cannings Corporate Communications. Please check out my book: Brand Stand: seven steps to thought leadership, follow me on twitter @thoughtstrategy or join me on LinkedIn.
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