With a softening global economy and volatility in 2023, the key theme of Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Report  is about businesses that are “need to have” vs “nice to have” in the eyes of their customers — and how they can effectively communicate their value during uncertain times.

The report is a collaborative effort to evaluate the impact of thought leadership on the purchasing behaviors of global B2B decision-makers and C-suite executives. Based on insights from almost 3,500 global B2B decision-makers, here are three key takeaways:

  1. Economic downturn preparation is underway: Within this recessionary environment, sixty four percent of C-suite executives say their companies have already begun tightening their procurement processes. Forty four percent of decision-makers also claim they will be less receptive to sales calls or marketing outreach, making it harder for businesses to attract new clients.
  2. Even in a recessionary period, decision-makers are still open to non-critical businesses, as long as they demonstrate their value. Ninety one percent stated that these non-critical businesses can take actions to attract their business in this competitive environment.
  3. Decision-makers expect high-quality thought leadership to offer a strong, data-backed point of view on how to succeed during a downturn. More than half of decision-makers say that during an economic downturn, it’s essential that non-critical suppliers produce high-quality thought leadership if they want to earn business. They value compelling data, insights, and points of view that can help identify new opportunities or actions to take around industry trends stemming from an economic downturn.

As we continue into 2023 calendar year, thought leadership will become an even more critical aspect of marketing communications strategies. Businesses should act quickly to adjust their publishing strategy for the period ahead. Edelman Business Marketing is focused on helping B2B companies generating business demand through integrated communications programs centered around strong thought leadership content. Our strategic approach helps brands cut through the noise of today’s buying experience and deliver targeted messages that influence buyers in the right places, at the right time.

We encourage you to check out the full report for more data and insights found here.

Dave Whiting is ‪Executive Vice President, Global Client Leader.