April 13, 2011

Thought Leadership

Are we not drowning in thought leadership these days?
  • "Leading brands are harvesting the unrealized potential of the mobile experience."
  • "In the social economy, gratitude is the new PayPal."
  • "Without a viral presence, you may as well be Montgomery Wards".
  • "In order to succeed in today's challenging business environment, one thing is certain ... you must be great."
When reading all of this new media stuff, ask yourself a question:
  • "What is the author selling when writing content?"
Often, the author is selling thought leadership ... designed to move a client into the consulting purchase funnel.

Not that there's anything wrong with that ... I do it all of the time, a guy's gotta eat, right?

The challenge, of course, is to tie the content to reality.  A catalog marketer is not likely to experience unfettered success by replicating the viral aspects of a video created by a thirteen year old musician.

Next time you read something from a thought leader, ask the thought leader to demonstrate one instance where the thought leader implemented her strategy at a brand you compete with, and helped that brand experience a ten percent sales increase, on an annual basis.  If the thought leader provides you with appropriate references, then by all means, partner with the thought leader!