Learning is not compulsory...neither is survival.
—W. Edwards Deming
For the most part, traditional thought leadership applies to individuals. A modern marketing approach called content marketing, however, takes thought leadership to a different plane and raises the expertise profile of the entire firm. Content marketing works because it capitalizes on the changing habits of buyers and their increasing reliance on the Internet for information.
In a nutshell, here's how it works:
Firms that adopt a content marketing strategy are able to build their reputations online by freely sharing their knowledge with people who want or need it. In this way, firms build a loyal following who, when ready to buy services, will naturally prefer a firm whose expertise they already know and trust.
Consider this: when professionals encounter a thorny business problem, where do they turn first? Today, they tend to fire up their web browsers and do an online search. Whether people need to educate themselves on a specific issue or want to find a new service provider, they expect to find answers online. And they expect the information they find to be free.
This new reality is transforming the way professional services are bought and sold. This isn't to say that traditional marketing techniques are dead. They are, and will remain, a critical part of the mix. But firms can't afford to ignore the way technology is changing how people communicate, gather information, and make decisions. ...