For consulting firms looking to differentiate themselves on groundbreaking thought leadership, building a strategy focused on developing quality research and content can seem like a daunting task. A strong thought leadership portfolio can place a consulting firm at the forefront of trending ideas and cement their role as a provider of crucial insights. Michal Radziuk and Satyajit Saha, two executives from data analytics firm Evalueserve, recently made the case for how the use of technology and benchmarking can help consultancies track trending content, enhance customer engagement, and improve their marketing return on investment.
The two advised that the first step for consulting firms is to benchmark their existing efforts against their competitors, studying the share of voice in different topics, sectors, and regions to determine next steps.
The effective use of data analytics plays a strong role in this step, with tools such as Evalueserve’s Insightsfirst revealing multiple competitive insights by tracking thought leadership publications of major consulting firms, showing that while three of the Big Four consulting firms published the largest portion of thought leadership across all sectors, slightly over half of analyzed publications do not focus on any specific sector.
Data insights play a role in the duo’s recommended second step too — providing answers to important questions surrounding audience engagement and content targeting. Evalueserve’s tools provided additional insights such as the seasonality of thought leadership publications (May and June are the busiest months for content teams), trending topics (ESG is high on the thought leadership list), and when topics are most popular (DEI posts reached a peak in March, likely due to International Women’s Day.)
Lastly, Radziuk and Saha advised that consulting firms make use of whitespace analysis to benchmark and develop topics that could draw greater marketing traction and ROI. By analyzing content topics and making note of uncovered areas (whitespaces), target audiences can be effectively identified and potential niche areas can be marketed to more effectively.
Both established players and newcomers to the consulting market have learned to be effective at utilizing thought leadership to gain a competitive advantage, with different firms building content strategies for different regions, sectors, and practices. Technology can aid this process by providing fresh insights and helping marketers refine their content strategies.