Value of B2B thought leadership survey: planning global thought leadership campaigns




Global thought leadership programmes need to engage multiple audiences and require significant investment so success is critical. To help marketing professionals maximise return on investment, we compared how the C-suite in the US, Europe and Asia/Pac view and use thought leadership by surveying 500+ senior executives across the globe.

Uniformly informed

Senior executives uniformly give the same three reasons for reading thought leadership: to gain advantage over competitors, to keep informed of emerging trends and to enable better decision-making.


of US execs are looking for an edge over competitors


of Asia/Pac respondents seek to make better business decisions

“While planning is done centrally to create a master narrative and suite of global assets, local offices get the campaign over the line, applying their local knowledge to tailor the story accordingly.”

Amy Greenshields, Director, Integrated Communications, Global Advisory, KPMG


of US execs prioritise hearing their customers' views

Whose views to peruse?

As to whose views senior executives want to hear, all three regions put their customers at number one, emphatically so in the US; they share the remaining top four albeit in a different order.
“The focus is to ensure the findings are appropriate, usable and practical in all regions.”

Alex Bellinger, Head of Brand and Sector Communications, CMS UK

Blog's standard & print’s charming

Irrespective of region, the main formats of choice are blogs and articles in the trade press; the first is the most favoured in Europe, the second is the most successful in the US and Asia/Pac.


of European senior execs follow blogs


of US respondents favour articles in the trade press

“BearingPoint’s ethos is that thought leadership needs to be daring – you need to take a stand. The data provides evidence, but you need to go beyond the data and draw conclusions.”

Julie Short, Director, Market Influence and Knowledge Group, BearingPoint


of Asia/Pac execs find information via online search


of the same respondents follow social media

Top tips on tap?

Professional networks are in the top three preferred sources of information in all regions; online search and social media are more important in Asia/Pac.
“The marketing team ensures wider buy-in to the project by running an internal education programme, helping the firm understand the tools created and how to use them.”

Nicole Revers, Global Marketing and OD Director, SI Partners

It's a hit, now what?

When thought leadership hits the mark, senior executives typically review related articles and explore what the trade press says about the problem or opportunity.


of those surveyed in Asia/Pac turn again to the trade press for further information

Download the report

“Gowling WLG’s biggest lesson has been to get the primary region sorted and make it work there – it’s easier to extend the reach if you have a proof of concept and internal advocates.”

Rebecca Scully, Head of Marketing Communications, Gowling WLG UK