In this instalment from our interview series on building the business case for thought leadership, we hear from Nicole Revers, Global Marketing & OD Director at SI Partners, on how she attained approval and budget for their recent thought leadership programme.
What does thought leadership mean to you?
For me, thought leadership is about lead generation, nurturing and positioning.
How important is it to get colleagues involved in the development process?
You can easily pitch a piece of content and people go ‘great – do it’. But how will it be used to its full potential? Is it really pertinent? Does it deliver? The challenge in creating impactful thought leadership is in engaging people across the organisation to share their specialist knowledge at the concept phase. This ensures you have the angles that will really resonate with your audience. In addition, engaging the wider team from the outset aids understanding of how sales and account teams can use thought leadership content to continue the conversation with prospects and clients. That’s what moves the dial and delivers really effective thought leadership.
You can drive a lot through central marketing. But in a B2B setting it’s often your wider team that can push and amplify your content through their networks that makes the step change.
How did you get ultimate buy-in from colleagues?
The more you can focus on what the thought leadership tangibly delivers, the easier it becomes. It is always a balance between meeting competing needs across the organisation’s service lines and geographies versus what you can plausibly deliver within the time and budget available. That said, your CMO or MD will likely understand the benefits; the real sell-in comes with engaging colleagues who will use the thought leadership in outreach and nurturing. If you can’t engage the team to share their expertise to answer your audience’s burning questions with authenticity and a real depth of knowledge, you run the risk of creating a product that adds to the noise rather than cutting through it.
Why is thought leadership important?
Thought leadership is a critical part of any B2B marketing programme. Producing engaging content is what your audience expects of a credible organisation. Your content validates you once someone is ready to engage with your brand. If you’re building a relationship, trying to reach new people and manage a long-sales cycle, you have to be helping your audience solve their problems.
Advice: Engage leaders as early as possible and road-test ideas in-house first to be sure you are creating the most impactful end product.
This interview was taken from our guide, ‘How to get buy-in from the board for thought leadership’.