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News & Views

Thought leadership drives business strategy 

Thought leadership has a critical role driving a business’s overall strategy and developing revenue, according to 85% of firms surveyed by iResearch Services (

In addition to promoting a business’s credibility and authority, thought leadership plays a leading role in developing revenue by gaining customers and prospects, says the report, Leading Lights: harnessing thought leadership superpowers for commercial and cultural success.

Canvassing the views of 4,000 business leaders across 22 countries on their definitions of thought leadership and its use cases within their organization, the report found that almost half of those surveyed who digest thought leadership (47%) say it is driving their decision-making process, whilst 57% of respondents comment that thought leadership affects their company’s revenue through sales generation.
There is also some disparity on which sectors are using thought leadership and who is seeing the greatest return on investment (ROI). vSectors that reported the largest ROI on thought leadership include Healthcare (59%), Professional Services (54%), IT (53%), Telecoms (53%), and Financial Services (50%).
However, some survey respondents say they are still not seeing the results they need from their thought leadership strategy.  This is primarily driven by poorly constructed content.  Another key challenge that affects how thought leadership is perceived strategically and commercially is lack of measurement and inconsistent means of doing so. Firms that are unable to track the success of their thought leadership programmes are missing out on opportunities to drive growth already demonstrated by leaders in their respective industries.

“Credibility and profit are two of the most important elements for any business leader and one will often result in the other.  Our report has highlighted how thought leadership is a proven tool in driving a business’s credibility, especially within saturated sectors such as technology and financial services.  We are also observing growing success for thought leadership initiatives in corporate finance, where the industry has taken cues from strategic thought leadership successes in professional services and other areas of finance,” explains Yogesh Shah, CEO, iResearch Services.

“Businesses are operating against a challenging market backdrop that affects a company’s ability to direct capital to their marketing budgets, therefore the need to ensure a substantial return on investment is heightened.  Good thought leadership is about sparking conversations, influencing the industry narrative, offering solutions to problems and, in turn, boosting company recognition.”
The Leading Lights: harnessing thought leadership superpowers for commercial and cultural success report can be found at

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