Tim Parker at The Bloom Group points out that Gartner have finally woken up to thought leadership – but have got the definition wrong:
Gartner defines thought leadership as:
“The giving—for free or at a nominal charge—of information or advice that a client will value so as to create awareness of the outcome that a company’s product or service can deliver, in order to position and differentiate that offering and stimulate demand for it.”
Tim explains why the definition is wrong and I wholeheartedly agree.
As we have previously commented, the definition of thought leadership has become increasingly muddied. Perhaps more important than its definition is its purpose:
- The purpose of thought leadership is to provide valuable insights and ideas to the reader (or listener/viewer).
- The benefit of achieving that objective is an increased likelihood that those readers will want to build or strengthen their relationship with you and your firm – which one day may result in them hiring you.
We are strong believers in the importance and power of quality thought leadership, but there is rarely, if ever, a straight line between thought leadership and demand stimulation. The B2B marketing and sales process is considerably more complex. In this regard, Gartner’s definition is off target.