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Survey reveals lack of thought leadership

Only 10% of thought leadership is produced by subject matter experts, despite nearly 60% of firms saying thought leadership affects their company’s revenue through customer/prospect conversations, relationship building, and lead generation, according to the latest data from iResearch Services ( in its report, Leading Lights: harnessing thought leadership superpowers for commercial and cultural success.  

Canvassing the view of 4,000 business leaders across 22 different countries on their definitions of thought leadership and its use cases within their organization, 38% of business developments teams say they are outpacing their marketing counterparts (32%), with 14% of firms saying they have a designated editorial department, whilst a further 18% have an insights and research department.

“Our research shows that 85% of firms say thought leadership is already playing a strategic role in their organization that is aligned to business objectives and specific business units, and almost half of those surveyed (47%) say it leads their decision-making process, whilst a further 47% say that thought leadership helps to inform their decision-making process – highlighting the emerging strong business case for thought leadership investment,” explains Yogesh Shah, CEO, iResearch Services.  

“It is a common perception that the marketing team leads on thought leadership.  However, our survey shows a different picture – one that demonstrates clear links between thought leadership and business development, as well as a growing trend for direct C-Suite, Sales and operational involvement.  This, along with the important role thought leadership plays in driving decision-making, reinforces the commercial opportunities that an effective thought leadership strategy can bring to a firm.”

The Leading Lights: harnessing thought leadership superpowers for commercial and cultural success report can be found at

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