I was speaking last week at the London Law Expo and the title of my talk was "Driving Business growth with Expert-to-Expert Marketing". Whilst doing my research in the run up to the event I came across a fascinating piece of research carried out by the Global Communications Marketing firm Edelman in conjunction with LinkedIn. Well worth a read if you get 5 mins.
People have been trying to create insights, send out newsletters and demonstrate expertise for years but have often struggled to measure the impact of doing that - and without some sort of ROI it is very difficult to convince people it is a good idea.
When done well, the report talks about the ability to drive actual business growth. Indeed, with the advance of marketing automation and CRMs, companies can not just anecdotally see the business benefits but actually measure it very accurately. Gavin Bradbury, previously SVP Global Marketing at NTT Security has been able to measure the impact of his team of experts creating regular digestible insights:
Very importantly, Joe Kingsbury, U.S. managing director, B2B, at Edelman goes on to say that thought leadership is a "Double-Edged Sword" and that if it is not high quality, insightful and relevant it can have a negative impact on the business. This is why I am such an advocate that the thought-leadership has to come from the heads of the true experts in the business. The people who live and breathe that subject matter, the people who are reading about and deciphering news in their industry every day and those who know what is actually relevant and indeed useful to their clients and prospects.
“Earning the trust of customers is vital in the B2B buying process, where investments are large and the professional reputations of decision-makers may be at stake,” said Joe Kingsbury, U.S. managing director, B2B, at Edelman. “The study points to a reality many marketers have struggled to quantify: the ability to demonstrate valuable insights about trends and customer challenges is critical for engaging with senior executives and can lead to tangible, positive business outcomes.”