85% of business leaders believe thought leadership plays key role in driving business strategy
Thought leadership has a critical role in driving a business’s overall strategy as well as promoting a business’s credibility and authority, according to the latest report from iResearch Services. The report also found that thought leadership plays a leading role in developing revenue by gaining customers and prospects.
The report, Leading Lights: harnessing thought leadership superpowers for commercial and cultural success, canvassed the view of 4000 business leaders across 22 countries on their definitions of thought leadership and its use cases within their organisation.
Almost half of those surveyed who digest thought leadership (47%) said it drives their decision-making process, and 57% of respondents said thought leadership affects their company’s revenue through sales generation.
There is also some disparity on which sectors are using thought leadership and who is seeing the greatest return on investment (ROI). Sectors that reported the largest ROI on thought leadership include Healthcare (59%), Professional Services (54%), IT (53%), Telecoms (53%), and Financial Services (50%).
However, a number of the people surveyed are still not seeing the results they need from their thought leadership strategy. This is primarily driven by poorly constructed content. One of the qualitative findings of the report highlighted that the challenge for thought leadership developers in 2023 is to produce quality content with original insights that digesters want to read, which will increase the return on investment.
Another key challenge that affects how thought leadership is perceived strategically and commercially is the lack of measurement and inconsistent means of doing so. Firms that are unable to track the success of their thought leadership programmes are missing out on opportunities to drive growth already demonstrated by leaders in their respective industries.
Yogesh Shah, CEO of iResearch Services commented: “Credibility and profit are two of the most important elements for any business leader and one will often result in the other. Our report has highlighted how thought leadership is a proven tool in driving a business’s credibility, especially within saturated sectors such as technology and financial services.
“We are also observing growing success for thought leadership initiatives in corporate finance, where the industry has taken cues from strategic thought leadership successes in professional services and other areas of finance.
“Businesses are operating against a challenging market backdrop that affects a company’s ability to direct capital to their marketing budgets, therefore the need to ensure a substantial return on investment is heightened. Good thought leadership is about sparking conversations, influencing the industry narrative, offering solutions to problems and, in turn, boosting company recognition.”