I’m shocked by how often I see clients spend tens of thousands of dollars on content (research studies, white papers, etc.) that they CANNOT EVEN USE without significant rework and additional cost.
On the one hand, it brings me business when their sunk costs need rescuing. On the other, YIKES!
So what can companies do about it?
- Include a thought leadership strategist from the outset. One of the biggest problems is that the entire project starts without a clear direction of travel.
- Design surveys and research plans for what you actually want to find out. An incoherent collection of questions will not magically become coherent just because of the answers.
- Begin to rough out your output as early as possible. You won’t know the answers, but it creates a framework for all the research, analysis, survey results, findings, etc.
- Vet your provider for writing skills. It’s a simple question. Do they produce high-quality, well-written, and insightful content consistently? If not, how else are you going to produce something readable?
- Consider the entire package, not just the one major anchor piece. How will you message, slice, dice, and disseminate the final results of your work? You can easily plan this in advance and have it ready to go starting on day one.
Need help with any of these things as you start a major thought leadership project? Syncresis can help you get it right the first time.
Of course, there’s another option. Get in touch with me if you already have a mess on your hands. When we’re not working with clients proactively, we are also in the “thought leadership rescue” business. Even if you feel stuck in the muck, all is not lost.