Cooking up thought leadership success

Published: 06 December 2018

Five key ingredients for a successful campaign.

Collaborating with key target audience members as part of the research helps achieve the overall objectives, but it also creates a powerful army of advocates for your work.

With the festive season already in full swing, many will be dusting off recipe books to help them bake the perfect pud or mix some Christmassy cocktails.

Getting the ingredients right is not just an important mantra for the kitchen, though. One of the most common questions we get from organisations who want to become known as thought leaders is: what are the essential elements of a good campaign?

Regular readers of this newsletter will know that we recommend following a process. And while this process does contain several critical elements, much like a good recipe, it works because it allows for flexibility depending on circumstances, objectives and tastes.

In 2018, Linstock worked with wealth management firm Saunderson House to develop thought leadership content which explored financial wellbeing among High Net Worth individuals. The following elements, central to our thought leadership process, have been critical to the campaign’s success so far.

1. The senior team was involved from the outset
The campaign kicked off with a workshop to shortlist three potential themes, selected because they were relevant, timely topics of interest to target audiences. We dug deeper and unearthed a clear front runner, which we presented back to the client and secured their agreement on the best route to take.

2. Objectives were crystal clear
As we settled on the theme, we set out objectives, target audiences, and a hypothesis to test via research. Throughout the process, from research to content drafting and promotion, we referred back to our objectives to check whether the tactics or tweaks we were considering supported those objectives or not. If they didn’t, we dropped the idea.

3. Business development and marketing were on board
Good thought leadership content provides fresh perspectives on pressing issues. PR activity was a key element of this campaign, but it was far from the only show in town. Saunderson House also wanted these insights to provide opportunities to go direct to existing clients and prospects and demonstrate an understanding of the issues that audiences face. This was fundamental to building relationships and creating commercial opportunities.

4. The research delivered
We carried out in-depth interviews and quantitative research with High Net Worth individuals, alongside desk research. It delivered. Not just in terms of results, which proved parts of our hypothesis correct and raised questions about others (the latter is no bad thing, by the way). It also created multiple opportunities to engage directly with clients and prospects. Collaborating with key target audience members as part of the research helps achieve the overall objectives, but it also creates a powerful army of advocates for your work.

5. We were flexible
The research findings were used in a core report, marketing materials, speaker notes at events and social media content. Despite such a broad roll-out though, we remained flexible. So, when we spotted something interesting in our data which we knew would grab journalists’ attention, we went for it. Our story on High Net Worth fears about a change of government made headlines in the FT and the Times in the middle of party conference season.

Alongside media coverage and engaging content, internal and external feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Equally important, the thought leadership material has been used to open up a number of commercial conversations.

So, while your attention may be dominated by Die Hard, The Grinch and Love Actually over the Christmas period, please get in touch to discuss how we can help you cook up a successful thought leadership programme for 2019.

Simon Maule


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