Two years in – what have we learned?
Guy Dunn, CEO, Euromoney Institutional Investor Thought Leadership
It is about two years since we first started talking to potential clients about how we could help them with their thought leadership initiatives. In that time we have had hundreds of conversations with marketing professionals about what they need to position their businesses as forward-thinking authorities on the issues that matter most to their clients and prospective customers. Happily for us, a number of those discussions have resulted in our business being chosen to research, produce and disseminate thought leadership content for some very prestigious organisations.
Back in 2015, there were a number of assumptions supporting the establishment of Euromoney Institutional Investor Thought Leadership:
1. There was space for us in the market
We were aware that a number of companies were already well established in providing third party content for the purposes of thought leadership. Indeed, many of us had worked for those organisations previously. We have found that traditionally large buyers of thought leadership content are interested in having a broad and diverse range of suppliers to choose from and that there is genuine interest in new players like us in terms of what different things we could bring to the table.
2. We had something new to offer
We knew that simply replicating the approach of others when it came to thought leadership projects was unlikely to be enough. We understood that the effective dissemination of thought leading content to the right audience was equally, if not more important to organisations than its production. Indeed, we had seen many examples of great thought leadership in search of an audience. We knew we had a distinct advantage with our Thought Leaders Network of over 6 million professionals worldwide and so it has proved. It has been deeply satisfying to surprise our clients with how quickly we have been able to conduct research and at the results we have been able to achieve in driving an audience to it.
3. Links with our wider organisation would help
It is not unusual for thought leadership businesses to be set up from within established publishing organisations but we believed that our organisational structure would set us apart. Firstly, the hugely diverse nature of businesses within the Euromoney group means that our potential client base is unusually broad and extends beyond traditional buyers of thought leadership. Secondly, traditional advertising and sponsorship clients of Euromoney group businesses are increasingly looking at thought leadership as an important component of their marketing spend and we now have an “in-house agency” that can respond to those needs. As well as developing our own business directly with clients, we have been fortunate to be involved in a number of projects where we have worked in conjunction with specialist Euromoney businesses in areas such as M&A, aviation and regulations.
Looking back, it is gratifying to see that the assumptions we made have largely proved correct. Of course, it hasn’t all been plain sailing and start-ups like us, without a list of past projects, have to work especially hard in order to prove ourselves. We were enormously helped in this by being able to prove the worth of our survey panel through the deployment of quick-to-market “pulse surveys” that demonstrated to clients that we could conduct reliable research at speed. We were also fortunate that a couple of our early projects allowed us to prove our value in disseminating content back out through our research panel, resulting in unusually high rates of engagement for the client.
It is interesting to me to see the range of projects that we have been involved with in this relatively short space of time. There are long-established programmes where we have been chosen to bring a new dimension as well as completely new initiatives where the client is breaking new thought leadership ground and has seen us as a flexible and innovative partner. Some rely almost entirely on our substantial research panel while others are driven completely by the ability of our team of managing editors to create great content.
I had always felt confident that we would eventually be regarded as an important addition to the ranks of thought leadership providers. That it has happened so quickly is testament to the quality of what we have produced as well as the willingness of our growing list of clients to try something new.
CEO, Euromoney Institutional Investor Thought Leadership
P.S. Here are some examples of the projects that we have been working on with our partners. I hope they demonstrate the variety of research that we have been able to conduct and the innovative ways that we can deliver it:
Capital confidence – a renowned and long-standing M&A research project (produced for EY)
Artificial intelligence – a survey-based, interactive digital report (produced with Baker & McKenzie)
Aviation finance – research and interviews with 400 senior industry executives (produced with Deloitte)
Trade secrets – survey and report of senior executives across multiple industries (produced with Baker & McKenzie)