Taking The Thought Out Of Thought Leadership

Taking The Though Out Of Thought LeadershipPromoting thought leadership through content marketing is showing no signs of abatement. In fact many companies are producing content for their content marketing programs at what could only be termed a prodigious rate. White papers, tip sheets, reports, videos, infographics—you name it and it’s there. And it’s there, and there, and there.

This leads to a dangerous trap for all of you trying to improve your industrial marketing through content marketing—taking the thought out of thought leadership.

So, how does one take the thought out of thought leadership?

When thought leadership is contributing to the noise rather than diminishing the noise you have taken the thought out of thought leadership.

I believe true thought leadership must add value and not be a rehash of what is already out there. This seems to be the biggest challenge of all for industrial marketing professionals. While it may be an overstatement, you may well have noticed that many companies are producing content that at best is a variation on a theme and at worst is adding nothing new.

The result of this can easily be gleaned for anyone with even the slightest bit any industrial marketing knowledge. The result of undifferentiated content is no different than that from an undifferentiated company, commoditization.

Here are two of the more obvious examples.

If I read another piece of content extolling the virtues of marketing automation software I really don’t know what I will do. I think most anyone can grasp the essence of marketing automation software without having to plow through yet another piece of content. Think autoresponder on steroids with sophisticated analytics and prospect-behavior based lead nurturing capabilities that informs you when certain online activities have occurred and that pretty much explains it. Perhaps saying a totally hands free way of converting prospects into leads is an even easier way to explain it. Greatest thing since sliced bread, we get it.

Another equally tedious subject is content marketing. As with so many other areas in business it becomes tremendously over-intellectualized. Here is my take on content marketing in one sentence: Produce and make available unbiased and educational content for prospects that aligns with where they find themselves in their buying process and helps them to make quality decisions. Do we really need a library of information being produced about content marketing on what seems to be a daily basis?

As you know, prospects are drowning in a sea of information and over-communication. In my opinion a great deal of thought leadership out there is the equivalent of throwing prospects a bucket of water—the last thing they need. If you want to produce content be certain it creates clarity and cuts through the marketplace noise.

If the content you are thinking of producing does not cut through the industrial marketing noise and offer your prospects unique value or a unique perspective then don’t bother this website. Remember your Marketing 101 lesson, if everyone is saying the same thing then nobody is saying anything.

Andrew Shedden

Andrew is the president of Broadfield Communications. When he's not working he likes reading history and biographies. He enjoys classic cars, music, and everything about rural settings. He loves to travel the world.