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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thought leadership: Are they media, marketers, or both?

This morning’s New York Times illustrates how the line between media company and marketing has become more blurred, as leading fashion magazines start acting as a direct conduit in the retail relationship.  Click here to see the story.

Implications:  The theme to these campaigns might be something we think of as “Thought Leadership.”  Consumers seek the counsel of fashion magazines to determine what’s in style; it is only a natural next step to click on the magazine’s website to commence the retail transaction of that style.  The consumer came to the media seeking information, and product was tucked conveniently into the equation.

Lets turn the tables and put the same principle be to work for your business.  Does your company provide information to its customers?  What kind?  How valuable is that information?  Does your messaging (marketing) include the kind of counsel or guidance which could be grown into your own Thought Leadership campaign?  Does your existing website—or could a new blog—provide the kind of intelligence that makes purchasing in your category easier?  Just as magazines have placed product close to the coverage, could you insert a knowledge campaign conveniently close to the products you sell?

We live in an age where media can be divided into three different types:  Paid (where you spend money to advertise), Owned (your company’s website, blog, publication or social media presence), and Earned (those actions on the part of your company which are covered by the press as public relations).  Thought Leadership can help you maximize all three types of advertising.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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