Here we are in September, and yes, it is time to start planning your approach to thought leadership in 2024.
I’ve noticed companies that don’t have a plan in place before the start of the year tend to get stuck and not produce anything until much later in the year. Companies with a plan in place get traction from January onwards.
I think it’s because it takes time to activate thought leaders and develop compelling insights. In the normal rhythm of a year, prior autumn/Q4 planning works well because you’re already developing your marketing budgets and subject matter experts already expect the wind-down of a year to be intense. They are also already looking ahead, at least in their thinking. You move seamlessly into building on ideas and creating a realistic content plan.
At the start of the year, the focus shifts. Subject matter experts become focused on commercial targets or other OKRs for the new year. It becomes harder for marketing to get their attention and to restart lost momentum. By the time you do, it’s already June, if not even September/October before anything substantive gets published. It’s a scramble. It’s also an unnecessarily lost opportunity as competitors stay visible and get out ahead.
So, back to the beginning, start planning now. Pull together the resources you need to have a thought leadership strategy and editorial calendar ready to go (bought into, approved, and budgeted) by 1 December at the latest.