What Are the Major Conflicts in Creating Powerful Thought Leadership Strategies?

Marketing Advice - 13.04.23
What Are the Major Conflicts in Creating Powerful Thought

For companies wanting to set themselves apart from their rivals, thought leadership can be a very valuable tool. In fact, 65% of buyers believe thought leadership can significantly improve the perception of a company, according to a survey featured in NYT Licensing.  

But creating a successful thought leadership approach is not without its difficulties, so in this blog post, we will highlight how a thought leadership strategy can positively enhance a firm's market position and its capacity to draw in ideal clients and also examine some of the potential conflicts that can arise with such a strategy.

But first, let’s take a deeper look into what thought leadership actually is. 

What is thought leadership and why does it matter 

The term ‘thought leadership’ in business refers to a position of authority and influence within a sector or specialised market that is attained via the regular circulation of fresh and perceptive viewpoints on the most important problems, trends, and opportunities the market is facing. 

Because of their distinctive insights, thought leaders are frequently sought after by others, and decision-makers and peers in the sector greatly appreciate their perspectives and ideas. 

Businesses can gain credibility and position themselves as recognised authorities in their industry by engaging in thought leadership through a variety of methods from blogging, to public speaking, writing books, creating webinars and also utilising social media platforms to reach a wider audience. 

So what is good thought leadership? 

A thinking leader can foresee future possibilities and potential threats before their rivals by continuously researching and analysing trends. This can assist the business in foreseeing and overcoming possible obstacles as well as creating new products and services that respond to the shifting demands of the market.

Moreover, thought leadership can assist organisations in fostering a continual development and innovative culture. A corporation can use the collective intelligence of its staff to stay ahead of the curve by encouraging employees to share their observations and ideas. This may result in more original and useful solutions, as well as a more enthusiastic and engaged workforce.

Thus, how does a business become a thinking leader? There are a few essential tactics that can be applied:

  • Producing original material This can include articles on blogs, white papers, podcasts, and other types of material that offer clients and potential clients insightful information.

  • Speaking engagements Companies can increase their credibility and visibility within their sector by imparting their knowledge to a live audience.

  • Networking Companies can work together on innovative concepts and keep abreast of the most recent trends and advancements in their field by developing ties with other thought leaders.

  • Social media Companies may develop a devoted following of customers and prospects who view them as a reliable source of expertise by consistently producing insightful content and interacting with their followers.

Thought leadership and conflicts

Though a worthwhile undertaking, creating a thought leadership strategy for a company can be difficult and the top conflicts that firms may encounter when building a thought leadership strategy include: 

  • Absence of defined goals It can be challenging to develop a focused and successful thought leadership strategy that is in line with the overall business strategy without specific goals.

  • Finding capable thought leaders It might be challenging to identify who possesses the knowledge, experience, and communication abilities required to clearly communicate the company's message. 

  • High-quality content development A successful thought leadership strategy calls for time, money, and experience, which can be problematic for companies with small staff or finances.

  • Evaluation of thought leadership's effects Although measurements like website traffic, social media engagement might give some indication of performance, it can be challenging to connect these numbers specifically to how thought leadership affects the bottom line of the company.

But the main conflicts that businesses encounter when building a thought leadership strategy are as follows… 

  • Future earnings versus quick returns Thought leadership is a long-term endeavour, and it may take some time before you start to realise a profit. For businesses that are concerned with immediate results and may be reluctant to invest in something that might not pay off for years, this can be challenging.

  • Comparing current and potential customers Determining whether to concentrate on current consumers or attract new ones is a dilemma that businesses confront when creating a thought leadership strategy. 

  • Competitive pressures Companies need to continuously be looking out for new opportunities if they want to stay ahead of the curve. This entails spending money on R&D, going to trade shows and conferences, and keeping up with the most recent trends and news.

  • Quality versus speed Rushing or conducting inadequate research when creating thought leadership content might harm a company's brand. On the other side, if content creation takes too long, opportunities to position the business as a thought leader in its industry may be lost.

  • A client's needs and wants To stay current with the newest trends and dialogues, this includes speaking with customers, conducting surveys and focus groups, and watching social media and other internet channels.

Thought leadership and business 

Businesses can build a strong customer base of people who trust their knowledge and experience by offering insightful information and expertise through thought leadership.

Moreover, thought leadership can support the expansion of the sector as a whole. Businesses can encourage others in their industry to innovate and grow by exchanging fresh concepts and best practices, ultimately raising the bar for everyone involved.

Nevertheless, developing influential thought leadership calls for far more than merely disseminating facts or paraphrasing what others have stated. It calls for in-depth knowledge of the market, the intended audience, and their problems, as well as the capacity to present original ideas and answers.

The bottom line is that companies that invest in thought leadership can benefit greatly, from improved brand recognition and consumer loyalty to revenue growth and industry-wide impact. 

If you’re looking for inspiration on what thought leaders to follow check out our blog 6 of the B2B  Podcasts for Every Business Leader. The podcasts feature top interviews, tips and advice from some of the world’s leading thinkers and industry disruptors sharing stories of the challenges they faced and how they ultimately achieved their goals.