“I want us to stand out from the crowd” is a common refrain from CEOs. It’s such an understandable sentiment. The theory is that if you gain attention in your marketplace, you stand a higher chance of attracting custom.
Now that idea is fully grounded in logic, but how many of these CEOs are aiming at getting the right attention?
Positioning yourself or your company as a thought leader is a proven way to solidify a professional reputation, gain trust and attention. Thought leadership is where you showcase expertise and offer enlightenment. Think of it as a loudhailer for credibility.
“A thought leader recognizes trends before they happen and applies that insight to achieve actual business results” – Numaan Akram, founder and CEO of Rally.
Build your thought leadership around insights
We surveyed 2,000 global business leaders who consume thought leadership. When we asked: “What makes you want to engage with thought leadership?”, the top response (53%) was ‘Research and insight’. You can see this and many other findings about the value of thought leadership in our Leading Lights report.
A word of warning – there’s no point in regurgitating other people’s findings, that’s the anathema of thought leadership. However, there is certainly no harm in building on the discoveries of others, adding new insights and delivering your perspectives. As long as there is genuine originality being exhibited, you can be regarded as a thought leader.
How do thought leaders find insights?
We all want to get to that ‘eureka’ moment. Discovering a game-changing trend is immensely satisfying. There are various ways to come up with insights to benefit your organization. Almost all of them can be boiled down to these three methods:
- Brainstorm with colleagues
- Examine a mountain of data
- Rely on serendipity
Reading through those, you may recognize your own tried-and-tested method fits in with at least one of them. The main point here is that none of these are wrong. Of course, putting it bluntly, the final method is very time-consuming and unpredictable by its very nature. Some fantastic ideas have come from serendipity, such as the microwave oven, Post-It Notes and Teflon, but it’s certainly far from a systematic process.
Opening up conversations with your internal staff is a common way to discover unmet consumer needs. Naturally, brainstorming-style and boardroom meetings are set up for this very notion, but this doesn’t always guarantee business success, especially if it feels like an ‘echo chamber’.
We advise businesses to expand their pool of internal voices. There are ‘hidden’ thought leaders across your organization. By increasing the diversity of your contributors, you’re enabling broader perspectives to be integrated into your organization’s problem-solving process.
“Because pure marketing is a method of getting information out to people, the actual content needs to be really credible and interesting, and educating as well, so we leverage and the whole team here gets involved in supporting the production of content to use in these marketing campaigns.” – Simon Barnby, CMO of Archax.
Daring to dive into a pool of data
“Data is the new oil”, declared mathematician Clive Humby in 2006 and since then, this maxim has been widely repeated by business figureheads. What’s often not realized is that the metaphor extends to usage. Just like oil, data needs to be properly refined and processed in order to be useful.
Exploring raw data is a heavy and daunting task. Standards need to be defined and the aggregation stage should be a serious and thorough examination. Capabilities for data modeling should be in place. Only then can the ‘insight farming’ really begin, pulling together patterns and emotions to reveal fresh wisdom.
One of the world’s biggest resources for insights
Did you know that right now, you’re just a few clicks away from getting in touch with a world-renowned insights provider? Many trusted businesses from various sectors such as financial services, legal, technology, energy, healthcare, media and telecoms have increased revenue and reputation thanks to bespoke insights unearthed for them by iResearch Services.
A famous name in electronics, Philips, approached us during the COVID-19 pandemic to uncover insights into how healthcare leaders met demands in that challenging time and to learn how they planned to work after the crisis was over. It had to cover multiple angles, such as where digital health technology was headed, new models of care delivery and consideration of future partnerships.
The intention was to create a report aligned with the company’s business goals and values. We got to work on surveying healthcare leaders across fourteen countries, collecting 3,000 responses, making it the largest global survey of its kind.
From this survey work, we provided eye-opening insights that formed the backbone of the report. We put the spotlight on a technology roadmap healthcare leaders could use to consider tools and we highlighted how sustainability concerns were shaping the future of healthcare. Many other fresh observations were included, which ensured this report gained significant media attention and brought in leads.
“There’s no doubt about it. Data-driven insights act as catalysts for business growth. We’re seeing this cross-pollination of data being integral to all sectors for internal and external decision-making. Our clients have seen unprecedented Return on Objective (ROO) and Return on Investment (ROI). More and more companies are reaping the benefits of insights and are placing more impetus on this approach for their future.” – Gurpreet Purewal, VP of Sales at iResearch Services.
How we’re geared for producing original and credible insights
The biggest strength of our research is our proprietary panel, consisting of over a million respondents – one of the largest in the world. Among them are global leaders, executives, managers and consumers, whom we regularly survey to gather insights and create compelling thought leadership pieces for organizations from various industries.
From CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to consumers in developing economies, the panel has the diversity to fit all manners of audience profiles. At the advisory stage of the process, our professional data analysts will have produced a detailed profile of your target audience. Our panel plays a huge role in discovering fresh insights that will be the foundation of your thought leadership.
Whatever sector you’re based in, we are well-positioned to deliver intriguing thought leadership content packed with astounding insights. We’ve designed captivating research programs that have boosted revenue by over 100% and our hard work has earned us industry awards. If you’re interested in meeting new customer demands and growing your business, contact us today.Back to Blogs