Application: Marketing Communication, Diffusion of an Innovation, NSD

Figure T.1: An illustration of the development of the thought leadership work around “process re-engineering”


The Concept

Thought leadership is a term used commonly within the professions, consultancy firms, and the technology industries for the publication and dissemination of ideas for commercial advantage. The communication programmes that surround it can range from an article in a magazine to a major, sponsored PR programme or a complete book. Many management ideas, both credible and not-so-credible, have been developed and promoted in this way. Some then fail; others become established concepts, validated by academic research. The “Boston Matrix” as a strategic planning tool, process management, and quality strategy are but a few principles that are now taught routinely at business school but were developed in this way.

This is probably one of the most influential and successful marketing strategies that the world has seen and it is surprising that it appears so rarely in text books on the principles of marketing or publications on marketing communication. It is a vast, influential, and diverse range of activities, which, at its best, produces systematic, iconic work like the McKinsey ...

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