When Randall Rothenberg, the president and CEO of IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), a trade association for interactive marketing in the United States, talked with the other section of my Intro to Professional Writing class last week, one thing he mentioned was this idea of thought leadership. Thought leadership, he explained, is the “application of all manner of organizational assets to establish a position for that organization as a leader,” both strategic and operational. When one is a “thought leader,” your ideas are discussed openly, and allowed to be shared with other aspects of your industry.
He highlights Procter & Gamble, a leading corporation that is at the forefront as a thought leader in consumer marketing, as the company is revolutionary in defining how to connect with consumers. What is of note is that the executives at P&G published their ideas in trade publications, distributing their marketing strategies to others in the industry with the idea that “when the tide rises, the better boats rise higher.”
Rothenberg, who’s involved in the “business of media” introduces thought leadership as “business jargon,” but its a fascinating term in the sense of what it is intended to do – influence a widening sphere for the business and marketing world with which to develop and culture new strategies. This is important when thought critically about in terms of a personal branding mechanism; if one could set themselves apart as a thought leader, who has invested interest in the success of the company and its value to the world of consumers, it could be a definitive characteristic to maintain.