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The New Marketing Environment – Thought Leadership

With the birth of the internet two decades ago came dramatic change to the common business model. Businesses now have access to market not only to the consumers in their direct region, but to consumers all over the world using the internet. Along with this dynamic, consumers have also changed. ads-720184The days of internet pop-up ads and spam are unfortunately still among us. I for one, read these ads, decipher exactly what company is doing the advertising, and then I make sure I never buy any product or service from that company.From a small business perspective, direct marketing is now a thing of the past.

The key to implementing a successful marketing strategy online is to provide consumers with thought leadership content using blogs, vlogs, podcasts, etc. For in depth strategy formulation and testimonials, check out David Meerman-Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing & PR.  This is a great book that provides step by step insight into each source of media and then goes on to provide information on how to implement. It’s also a BusinessWeek best seller to boot! The term thought leadership is being tossed around a lot and I’m sure a lot of you are wondering what exactly it means. The title “thought leader” was actually coined in 1994 by Joel Kurtzman who was the editor-in-chief at the time for the Booz, Allen & Hamilton Magazine, Strategy and Leadership.Thought leaders are people or organizations that understand the outside world, their consumers, and the marketplace enough to provide information that will benefit the lives of their stakeholders. For example, a company that provides gardening products could provide consumers with a blog on how to use their products effectively or even tips on what types of seeds to use in conjunction with the products.

Providing thought leadership content sympathizes with the customers and gains their loyalty, not by directly marketing, but by offering to be a source of information. In addition, using platforms like blogs, vlogs, forums, podcasts, etc. are extremely cost effective.  To successfully market to the modern day consumer, we must adapt to the new business environment. Use thought leadership to leverage your brand name!

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David is an avid social entrepreneur and Boston sports fanatic. He founded Diversified Data Technologies way back in 2009 and stuck around to see it grow. His party quarks include unnecessary dancing and being an overly hospitable host. When looking, he can be found capturing the twitterverse at @DLanphear, being professional on LinkedIn, or bouncing around town with Foursquare.

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