Edelman and LinkedIn recently conducted a survey of almost 3,500 management-level global business executives, which found that decision-makers are more likely to value thought leadership over traditional product-oriented marketing during an economic downturn.

Thought Leadership Content

The survey revealed that 55% of decision-makers would cut products and services that they consider “nice-to-haves” rather than “must-haves” during budget cuts. However, non-critical providers can increase their chances of winning business by demonstrating that they can help a prospect increase their profit margins, minimize losses, retain customers, and win market share.

To achieve this, thought leadership can play a strong role. 61% of decision-makers believe that an organization’s thought leadership can be more effective than traditional product-oriented marketing during an economic downturn. Additionally, 55% of decision-makers believe that non-critical providers must produce high-quality thought leadership to win their business during an economic downturn.

What elements make thought leadership effective?
Decision-makers expect non-critical providers to identify new opportunities or industry trends stemming from the economic downturn, give them information and insights that will make them more effective/successful in their job, and explain how the organization can help their business do well despite the economic downturn.

To increase the value of thought leadership, decision-makers look for content that is quick and easy to consume and absorb, with 51% rating this attribute as a top-1 box score. Additionally, 49% believe that it is crucial for thought leadership to reference robust research and strong supporting data. B2B buyers have previously stated that content including research and data is crucial, and vendors can improve their content quality by incorporating more research and data.

B2B marketers need to focus on thought leadership content during an economic downturn to demonstrate their value to decision-makers. By providing quick, easy-to-consume content that references robust research and strong supporting data, marketers can increase their chances of winning business during tough economic times.

To learn more, download the study.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 3,449 global business executives, using the LinkedIn platform to survey LinkedIn members. Respondents hailed from the US, Canada, UK, Singapore, Australia and India, and the majority (60%) work at companies with more than 200 employees.


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