Thought Leadership - Access Marketing Company

Thought Leadership

Buckle up buttercups for another walk down buzzword lane. Y’all are gonna love this one because I’m going to call buzzword bull$#!t on something our own agency team says and works on all the time: thought leadership.

Let me start out being transparent that our team works with clients to promote their thought leadership all the time. It helps establish trust and social proof in the marketplace around their brand and actually greases the skids for sales teams. HOWEVER, I’m sucking “thought leadership” into our buzzword vortex because we also encounter many companies that want us to do thought leadership marketing when they don’t actually lead any area of thought.  We’re not friggin’ miracle workers people!

Again, my problem here isn’t the idea of using thought leadership in marketing to achieve business goals, but rather with the use of the term when it doesn’t apply. In order to promote your thought leadership, you first have to BE a thought leader. I hate to break it to you, but if you don’t have original ideas, insightful perspectives or unique knowledge on a topic, you are not a thought leader…you are a follower…or you are just a solid business filling a need (here’s to your success!)

When this concept of “making us a thought leader” is brought up by clients in our consulting and agency gigs, the first thing we do is find out in what areas they might have special knowledge or insights. If they’re not sure, we do one of two things: 1) look at the market and help them figure it out (you’d be surprised how many businesses don’t realize where they have novel ideas), or 2) break the news to them that we might want to try some demand gen and PR instead.  When a client does have nascent thought leadership to offer, we pull it kicking and screaming out of whoever has been hoarding it and we disseminate it to the world in its full glory (hyperbole notwithstanding).

So, as I wrap this episode of buzzword bull$#!t, I’ll summarize for you: Be a thought leader, then promote that leadership. As will all buzzwords, saying it is easy. Doing it…not so much.


Brandon Larocque

Managing Partner

Brandon is Managing Partner at Access Marketing Company. He contributes to client strategies in addition to running operations of the company. And in case you didn't notice, he's got a few opinions about good marketing.

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