Value of B2B Thought Leadership Survey 2020

We track the C-suite’s attitudes and preferences about thought leadership: why they consume it, the qualities they value, the formats they prefer, whose views they seek, the sources they use and the actions they take when thought leadership hits the mark.

For this third edition we’ve surveyed over 500 senior executives at enterprise-level organisations in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific. As you’d expect there are some fascinating findings: both longer term trends we’ve been witnessing over the last four years, as well as more abrupt changes in response to the disruptive challenges over the last year.

 

OWL BE THERE FOR YOU

THE ROLE OF ADVISORS IS GROWING FAST

 

To make sense of the new world, senior executives need support and advisors help them make better decisions.

Thought leadership can attract the C-suite, but close the loop or that opportunity could go to waste.

91%

see thought leadership as critical or important to whooo they choose as advisor.

 

"We’ve seen a strong and growing understanding of the importance of thought leadership as an essential component of the firm’s overall value proposition. Clients today are looking to us to do more than simply manage their money. Providing them with compelling, tailored and actionable thought leadership content is increasingly a critical element of the relationship."
Kevin Lynam, Director, Global Investment Initiatives, Invesco Ltd

 

FOCUS POCUS

TIMEFRAMES ARE SHORTENING

29%

are zeroed in on the next three months.

49%

have their sights on the 3-12 month period.

 

Traditionally into megatrends and horizon-scanning, the C-suite are now looking to the near-term.
 
Disruption to the annual marcoms planning cycle requires a real shift in creating and disseminating thought leadership.

 

 

"Initially inundated with requests to produce content responding to the pandemic, we paused to develop a thoughtful framing that would have real lasting value for our clients. We’re still using those early frameworks now, helping clients balance managing short-term issues with positioning themselves competitively for the next normal."
Lucia Rahilly, Global editorial director, McKinsey & Company

 

THE CUSTOMIZER IS ALWAYS RIGHT

TAILORING CONTENT IS NOW ESSENTIAL

 

Senior executives want tailored thought leadership: by sector, role, company size, region.

When planning, understand why each group consume thought leadership, what qualities they value, which formats they prefer, whose views they seek, which sources they use and what actions they take when it hits the mark. One-size-fits-all won’t work.

71%

want sector-specific thought leadership.

50%

are geared to role, company size and region.

"Sector-specific thought leadership has always been important, but Covid-19 really amplified that. We produced a series of 24 sector-specific reports, with topical insights and data on a situation that was evolving. That created a lot of demand on resources  – but it was essential to get it right and give people the relevant insights they needed, when they needed them most."
Will Sturgeon, Head of content and thought leadership, PwC

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