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10 Trailblazing Thought Leadership Trends In 2023

Our society faces crises that include climate change, lagging productivity and profit, ill-health and the cost of living, to name a few. We need businesses, third sector and public bodies to search for answers.

Thought leadership is the catalyst to bring together communities of interest to solve our most pressing problems.

Throughout 2023, thought leadership will continue to transform businesses and organisations, and how they convey ideas and strategy.

We know thought leadership content is more trusted and sought after. Thought leaders give back to their community or the wider society and reap rewards in return. Having better insights can shape your culture for the better, leveraging higher productivity, performance and profile.

With all that it offers, every individual or organisation committed to becoming a thought leader needs to know how to stay on top. So here are our top ten trends for thought leadership to turn you into a trailblazer in 2023 and beyond.

Top Ten Trends

One: Less is more

We live in a world overwhelmed by content. Launching AI platforms like ChatGPT will only add to it and bring the added risks of misinformation spread. The solution for content marketers is to do more with less. Quality and depth, mediated through multiple assets used strategically, matter for maximum impact.

Two: Purpose, People, Planet

Purpose-orientated thought leadership is becoming increasingly critical, to be shortly joined by people and planet.

It’s not just a moral imperative. Research by PwC found 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that stands up for the environment.

Three: Taking The Pulse

2023 is bringing more ‘pulse of the market’ content. Discussions of, and responses to, new technologies (the metaverse and AI being key examples) and global/community issues, such as sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), will continue to grow in importance. Thought leadership can address our fears with reason and insight. It can combat misinformation and disinformation.

Four: Emotions

Emotional connection will become more critical to B2B marketing. Emotions drive purchasing decisions, employee engagement and wellbeing in these turbulent times.

Five: Personalisation

There will be deep upgrades to the UX/UI on how you digest thought leadership, creating the possibility for more personalisation based on the categorisation of your audience type.

Six: Seat At The Table

Thought leadership will become integral to how a company works, leading to communications centralisation and chief thought leaders sitting under the CEO office, playing a pivotal role within the C-Suite. Thought leadership marketing budgets will double in the next five years. Through our research, we have already seen investment in thought leadership grow across particular sectors, such as financial services.

Thought leadership is growing in importance; consequently, companies are aware it needs accountability and oversight.

Seven: Influencers

Influencer marketing will be prevalent, further blurring the lines between thought leadership and content marketing. The popularity of video content – Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, TikTok, and many more (they will continue to evolve) – underpins this trend.

Online content 59%Digital media 59%
Social media 51%Online events 49%
Online events 45%Social media 34%
Own website 35%In-person events 33%
In-person events 35%Print media 28%

Eight: Data innovation

Faster insights and more modes of data apart from traditional surveys, such as data science, social media listening, intent data, competitor research and more, will shape the narrative and insights.

Nine: Share Of Thought

Traditional analytics are guided by share of voice and share of search. There will be accepted industry-standard innovations in analytics to gauge share of thought.

Ten: Talent

Brands need to invest in learning and development in their workforces because technology drives skills agility. Thought leadership will be critical to this, and necessary to attract talent and work with people who share the same values.

Read Leading lights: Harnessing Thought Leadership Superpowers For Commercial And Cultural Success to discover the benefits thought leadership can deliver to your organization.

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