Why Thought Leadership Matters, by the Numbers

Seven reasons to make sure it’s part of your content marketing mix.


Thought leadership is more than a buzzword—it drives real results. If you’re not giving serious thought to thought leadership in your content marketing, you should. Here are seven reasons why.

1. It can drive growth with existing customers.

60% of B2B decision-makers bought a new product or service they were not previously considering after engaging with a piece of thought leadership content.

2. It can win business opportunities.

58% of decision-makers say thought leadership has directly led them to award business to an organization.

3. It can help command a premium for services.

61% of C-suite executives are more willing to pay a premium to work with an organization that has articulated a clear vision versus one that does not publish thought leadership content.

4. It keeps you competitive.

Even if you’re not reading it or producing it, you can bet your competitors are. Almost 70% of business leaders read thought leadership to get an edge over competitors.

5. Brands underestimate its impact.

About 49% of suppliers of thought leadership think it builds trust in an organization. But among actual decision-makers, that number is actually 87%.

6. It influences new business partnerships.

99% of respondents said thought leadership was critical or important when assessing the suitability of new advisers.

7. It can differentiate you from your competitors while spurring action from your audience.

After reading strong thought leadership material, 26% of readers will contact a firm, 24% will review service offerings, and 20% will review case studies.

One word of warning, though: Thought leadership done wrong can be a double-edged sword. Although 92% of decision-makers said thought leadership has increased their respect for an organization, 46% said thought leadership content has decreased their respect for an organization. So if you’re going to do thought leadership, make sure you do it with accuracy and credibility.

Sources: 2019 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact StudyColeman Parkes Research and Grist: The Value of B2B Thought Leadership Survey 2018