Times are tough for B2B marketers. At any given moment, a staggering 95% of business clients say they are not actively seeking goods or services. Lingering economic uncertainty is extending sales cycles and nearly 90% of global buyers indicate their purchase process was stalled last year, according to Forrester. Moreover, B2B buyers now prefer a self-directed journey of digital discovery.

Against that backdrop, Edelman and LinkedIn collaborated on the sixth annual B2B Thought Leadership Impact Report to examine how thought leadership influences buying behaviors among B2B decision-makers and C-suite executives. We surveyed nearly 3,500 management-level professionals across seven countries for insights into how thought leadership does more than just increase brand awareness. Done well, it makes buyers reexamine their assumptions and inoculates companies against competitors trying to woo away their customers.

The findings shed light on how your organization can refresh the way it approaches and delivers thought leadership – ultimately giving you the tools you need to convey what your company stands for and make your brand powerful and attractive to buyers.


Thought leadership that spurs business leaders to rethink their challenges is a powerful tool for stimulating demand for your business’s products and services.

It does far more than just create a favorable impression of your brand.

Effective thought leadership exerts a surprisingly strong influence on sales and pricing.

Thought leadership can be a more powerful marketing tool than traditional methods and makes people more willing to seek you out – and even pay extra for your expertise.

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Offense is your best defense: Protecting your existing customers is critical.

If you’re not helping your customers think about their challenges in new ways, someone else will. Thought leadership can help inoculate you against competitors trying to poach your customers.

Despite the clear power of thought leadership to drive business results, most organizations say it is under-resourced, misused, and not measured appropriately.

Firms adept at quantifying thought leadership ROI will be better positioned to secure the resources that can amplify their efforts.

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Effective thought leadership has three key attributes.

Doing any of these will elevate your thought leadership above the pack. Doing them all will put you in the top tier.



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