The Importance of Thought Leadership in Manufacturing Marketing

Research has shown thought leadership in manufacturing marketing makes a difference for B2B brands. In a recent survey, more than 60% of decision-makers said that thought leadership is one of the top ways to gauge the caliber of thinking that a company can provide.

And there’s plenty of space left for creativity and incisive ideas in manufacturing marketing.

As a whole, B2B manufacturing is still reeling from the digital transformation. While technology has been embraced on the shop floor, many marketers are still wondering about the best way forward in a world no longer defined by a set calendar of industry events.

Companies with the will to break marketing ground can be handsomely rewarded.

What is Thought Leadership? Why is Thought Leadership in Manufacturing Marketing Important?

The term thought leadership has been used – and perhaps over-used – in a variety of different senses. Tracing it back to its roots, however, it is about shaping the conversation in a particular field: Not only introducing different ideas, but creating dialogue about why they are better.

Thought leadership is often opposed to orthodoxy and the status quo in any space.

How Can You “Do” Thought Leadership?

Thought leadership is demonstrated by deep, insightful information – including, for example, original research that defines the latest trends rather than simply responding to them. The best thought leadership is consonant with an industry’s needs, but its voice and presentation marks it as clearly coming from a specific source: It synthesizes usefulness, originality, and brand values.

thought leadership in manufacturing marketingDoes All Content Need to Be Thought Leadership?

No! Marketing teams can still develop Web content that, for example, serves as a more general overview of a topic. After all, this content reflects the kind of needs your prospective buyers have at a specific point in the customer journey … and it’s always best to meet those needs.

Thought leadership is a single prong in your content strategy, never the whole thing. In order to produce excellent thought leadership content, however, you need to have writers, researchers, and other specialists for whom its development is a top priority.

What Are Some Examples of Thought Leadership in Manufacturing Marketing?

These are just a few examples of great manufacturing marketing thought leadership:

  • Independent research and analysis on industry or market trends relevant to customers.
  • Trade publication articles and industry event presentations on industry developments.
  • Future-facing forecasts with strategic predictions for enterprises in five, 10, or 20 years.
  • Webinars or other events that create community while solving customer dilemmas.
  • Videos, infographics, or other visual content addressing strategic challenges.

Thought leadership helps differentiate your company, not merely in terms of its current offerings, but also its brand and overall capabilities. Thought it won’t be the core of every company’s marketing, its opportunities shouldn’t be overlooked.