Building Trust and the Value of Thought Leadership

Building Trust and the Value of Thought Leadership

Building Trust and the Value of Thought Leadership
 Building Trust and the Value of Thought Leadership

Good thought leadership shapes the perception of your brand, products, people and services. It is a critical ingredient in building trust and it can address your business’ most pressing questions.  When it comes to trust today, the recent release of Edelman’s 2017 Trust Barometer paints a bleak picture. Trust in politics, news, and the overall reporting of facts has diminished significantly — creating new credibility challenges for thought leadership. 
When it comes to business, most organizations struggle knowing if thought leadership actually drives deals. This is because marketers remain focused on channel measurement rather than the psychological and emotional drivers of purchase behavior.  Factoring in these dimensions, Edelman and LinkedIn partnered to learn how thought leadership influences the B2B purchase process. 
Surveying 1,300 C-suite executives (CXOs) and business decision-makers (BDMs), we found thought leadership has a profound impact on all stages of the buying journey.  But there is a disconnect: content creators underestimate its influence. In fact, 82% of BDMs say thought leadership increased their trust in an organization, while only 49% of content creators say the same. In the B2B space, trust in an organization is paramount. Investments put resources and reputation on the line and the mechanics of decision-making can be emotionally charged. 

And the value of thought leadership continues, as:      
  • 9 in 10 BDMs believe that it’s important, very important or mission critical that organizations produce thought leadership.     
  • 63% of BDM believe “Reading [a company’s] thought leadership is one of the best ways to get a sense of the type and caliber of thinking an organization is likely to deliver.”     88% BDMs and 89% CXOs say thought leadership enhances their perception of a brand.     
  • Thought leadership is more than twice as effective at winning business, with 20% of content creators citing it helped vs. 45% of BDMs.
When done right, thought leadership can showcase your organization's knowledge and mitigate risk.  However, if done poorly, thought leadership can be detrimental to trust and your reputation. 
  • 45% of BDMs and 53% of CXOs have been disappointed by the promise of a company’s thought leadership.     
  • 30% of BDMs and 35% of CXOs said poor thought leadership directly led to them deciding NOT to award a piece of business to a company.
In my last post, I talked about customers and prospects flocking to “watering holes.” Thought leadership is the water that fills the holes and nourishes your customers and prospects with the answers to their questions. As one of those watering holes, LinkedIn is an ideal platform for thought leadership because it aligns with our user's expectations around professional success.  

LinkedIn believes very strongly in the power of thought leadership. You can see it through platform improvements and our progress connecting professionals worldwide. Combining the two, we find that our joint research demonstrates that thought leadership has tremendous, under-examined potential for driving positive business outcomes and growth.
If you want to read more, download the full report: The Impact of Thought Leadership on Demand Generation
The Author: Penry Price
                                    Penry Price
+20 years of media experience, between publishing and digital media.  Sales Management and scaling of teams  Strategic partnerships and business development  Currently leading LinkedIn's Marketing Solutions business.  Past member of executive team at Dstillery(formerly Media6Degrees). Led revenue generation and marketing efforts for 110-person organization. Collaborated on overall strategy, product road maps/prioritization, partner development, and P&L management.
Built entire organization and strategy for multi-billion $ business inside of Google.   Oversaw the operations of a global team with direct-line and indirect management responsibilities of fastest growing channel at Google.  Many public speaking appearances including keynotes and panels at industry-leading events/forums. Appearances/mentions include TV, newspaper, magazines, and radio.   Inducted into AAF Advertising Hall of Achievement and recognized on AdAge Digital A-List  Specialties: Team building, revenue driving, marketing/branding, sales strategy, client focus, resource allocation, ad technology, and online/offline publishing

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