In today’s noisy marketing and PR world, recycling doesn’t work. Markets are evolving, influences shifting, the media changing, and so are the mechanisms for reaching all the cross sections of ideas, influence and buyers spread across various social networks. And even though we know “Content is King”, just pumping out content won’t put your company in the limelight. To be seen as a thought leader in your specific technology market, your company needs to paint a vision of the key issues, challenges, needs and requirements that truly concern customers. In doing so, companies become an invaluable resource to the media and potential customers.
Future-focused companies that provide meaningful insight and guidance to support buying decisions (vs. just providing marketing fluff) are often rewarded with more press coverage, better lead generation results, and a shortened sales cycle. We recommend companies stretch beyond the “cookie cutter” approach to marketing and deliver fresh ideas and campaigns that have the potential to really capture the attention of industry influencers.
Here are some proven tactics that can help technology companies emerge from a crowd and be seen as a thought leader in their space.
- Find a unique but defendable position for your company, gather up a crowd of customers, partners and other third party influencers who are willing to be evangelists around your market (not product) message. Next, systematically meet with industry anaylysts that can validate your position and become leading advocates in your efforts. If it’s possible, can you define a uniqiue category of coverage where your company is seen as the originator and leader in this new space?
- Continually promote your company’s spokespeople as thought leaders among key constituents – customers, partners, media, bloggers, and analysts – so they become trusted sources for stories, blogs and other industry commentary.
- One great way to get this tactic rolling is “rapid response” PR which puts you on the offense instead of the defense. Simply begin tracking the topics where you’d like to be seen as a thought leader. When a story is published, take time to contact the blogger/editor and introduce your company and why its credible – then offer up your stable of experts to provide valuable commentary on future stories.
- Demonstrate knowledge of your prospects’ business and vertical market issues and suggest timely and relevant solutions to those issues. You may even offer to include them in an editorial article or feature their company in a leaders roundtable, where super performing, forward-thinking companies are discussing the industry’s hottest topics.
- Build credibility, trust and interest with key constituents by fostering relationships based on an industry-centric vs. product centric approach. Never ask for a product endorsement. Invite them to offer their unique insights utilizing your campaigns as a vehicle for their objectives, not yours.
Finally, the key to being successful in your thought leadership efforts is innovation and consistency. If you’re willing to push the envelope with unique approaches and commit to these efforts with the required budget over the necessary time frame, it’s possible your company can become a true leader in your market space.