Friday, June 17, 2016

Color of the Year

"Society is a troop of thinkers, and the best heads among them take the best places."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

After Pantone each December announces its "color of the year," you'll see that color throughout every piece of marketing collateral you run into for the next 12 months.

"Thought leadership" is 2016's color of the year.

B2B marketers who've donned the color aren't fooling anyone, according to a new study by Hill+Knowlton and The Economist Group.

"The very idea of what it means to be a thought leaderonce limited to an elite group of businesses that truly developed proprietary knowledgeis increasingly seen as an overused and self-serving tactic, one that is contributing to the noise rather than cutting through it," says Jeff Pundyk, a coauthor of the study.

Nearly 1,650 executives were asked their opinions of the "thought leadership content" they encounter:
  • Three in five say they're confused and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of that content. Ironically, eight in ten marketers plan to produce more in the coming 12 months.
  • Seventy-five percent say they've become more selective about the thought leadership content they consume.
  • Executives are compelled by thought leadership content only when it's “innovative,” “big picture,” “credible,” and “transformative;" they're turned off by content that's “superficial,” “sales driven,” and “biased.”
"Executives continue to rely on credible, fact-based content; in fact, they are consuming more of it but from fewer sources," Pundyk says.

"Today’s business executives are no longer looking for thought leaders; they are looking for authentic thought partners."
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