Is “Thought Leadership” Really All That Important?

Regardless of what all the social media pundits say, not everyone needs or should even try to jump on the “thought leadership” bandwagon and use these new tools. It’s more important for sales professionals, managers and executives to ensure that the message:

* Highlights value customers can accrue
* Reflects what you can actually deliver
* Provides the “type of dog food the dogs already want to eat”

Using Everett Rogers’ 1962 Diffusion of Innovations model is an excellent way to help think through the message you want to deliver and the media you want to use to deliver it.

Innovation Adoption

If your company’s products and services place it as an Innovator or Early Adopter type, you really do need to be blogging, tweeting, web 2.0-ing and social media-ing the daylights out of yourself. You need to be blasting out ALL of your well-thought-through concepts, along with your brainstorms and random seeds of thoughts at a high frequency and rate of speed. A major part of your company’s value is thought leadership, so you better be leading some thought yourself!

If your company’s products and services place it as an Early Majority type, you really do need to be blogging, tweeting, web 2.0-ing and social media-ing the daylights out of yourself. The difference though, is that you should be showcasing your aptitude at taking existing technologies, concepts and ideas and actually getting them implemented. You need to be demonstrating your expertise at harvesting real, tangible value from the new things. The Innovators are notorious for discovering awesome concepts, then almost immediately getting bored with them and moving on. Actually applying new technology and services is HUGELY important and HUGELY valuable. Showcase your prowess at generating large ROI quickly.

If your company’s products and services place it as a Late Majority type, you really do need to be blogging, tweeting, web 2.0-ing and social media-ing the daylights out of yourself. You’re the epitome of efficiency. You need to be touting your expertise at eliminating waste and wringing out every last bit of value from your existing and proven technologies. Especially right now! Given the state of the economy, with tight cash flows and limited capital investment, everybody is focused on increasing efficiency.

If your company’s products and services place it as a Laggard type, you really do need to be blogging, tweeting, web 2.0-ing and social media-ing the daylights out of yourself. You are the proverbial shoeless, shoemaker’s children. You need to be highlighting your expertise at delivering substantial value at a low price using only yesterday’s worn out tools. Ok, so it’s clear by now that I think everybody needs an “E-Rep.” All of us need to be blogging, tweeting, web 2.0-ing and social media-ing the daylights out of ourselves. It’s not a question “if,” it’s a question of “what.”