Yet, with nearly half of all B2B decision-makers spending an hour or more every week consuming thought leadership content, perhaps, it isn’t as hard to quantify after all. The difficulty seems to be less about quantifying content and more about the quality of the content itself. With only 15% of B2B decision-makers rating the quality of thought leadership content as “excellent,” this creates not only a strategic opportunity but also a revenue opportunity.
According to a 2020 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Impact Study,
Now that we have your attention, the question you might be asking is, ‘How can my brand, (especially if you are a challenger brand) use thought leadership to increase revenue?’ Let’s look at one example of a B2B tech company that did just that.
As a new entrant into the Account-Based Marketing (ABM) space, 6Sense needed a revolutionary idea to break through a highly competitive and noisy marketplace. What makes selling ABM technology difficult, similar to most B2B SAAS offerings, is the number of people in the actual buying process. According to Forrester Research,
And as many of these influencers/decision-makers represent different personas, 6Sense understood any thought leadership series needed to have a broad appeal. Initially, the 6sense marketing team considered creating an award-program that would cultivate a broad community of industry leaders.
Then, Chief Market Officer, Latané Conant, sought AE Marketing Group’s strategic advice.
While our team appreciated the award concept, we saw an opportunity for a longer-term play that included a wealth of new branded content and owned media for 6Sense. To achieve that outcome, AE Marketing Group conceived TalkingSense™.
TalkingSense™ is a collection of conversations with industry leaders who are using technology to drive demand, foster relationships, and grow revenue.
6sense would highlight these individuals’ accomplishments to help the entire B2B sales and marketing community grow together. This gave the brand the opportunity to…
Build stronger relationships with key decision-makers and influencers to increase acquisition and retention sales efforts.
Gain insight into buyer personas to improve marketing, sales, product development, and customer experience.
Showcase its point of differentiation.
Feature individual achievements of industry leaders from a unique perspective.
Humanize B2B technology.
To bring TalkingSense™ to life, AE Marketing Group produced ten video episodes featuring conversations between Latané and ABM industry leaders, corresponding blog posts for each TalkingSense™ episode, and branded designs/photo assets for social media promotion.
The video format made the conversations visually appealing and engaging while the corresponding blog posts condensed the episode takeaways and main points, making the content easily consumable.
TalkingSense™ was an instant hit.
“The thought leadership series allowed us to become an authoritative voice in the ABM space while elevating the customers, partners, and industry experts who have been guests on the show,” said Michael George, VP Brand & Digital Experience at 6Sense.
“It was such a breakout project for us. TalkingSense™ gave us a major brand boost which continues to pay off today – 2 years later,” said 6Sense Chief Market Officer, Latané Conant. “ I’m glad we thought long and hard and worked with AE Marketing Group to create a differentiated experience and medium.”
In addition, TalkingSense™ was key to improving its “Share of Voice” among direct competitors from single digits to number one in the market (over 40%) in its first year.
“We couldn’t have got TalkingSense™ off the ground without the outstanding knowledge, expertise, and guidance of Brian Walker and AE Marketing Group.”
As the second year of TalkingSense™ wraps up, not only did 6Sense capture the strategic advantage of B2B thought leadership, but also the revenue lift that can come along with it.
204% growth in customer base since 2019.
100% revenue growth for 2 consecutive years.
Named the leader in The Forrester New Wave™: ABM Platforms Q2 of 2020.
CMO Latané Conant launched her first book.
To learn more about how we help customers like 6Sense or how AE Marketing Group can help your brand breakthrough industry clutter – drop us an email.