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The Social Strategist - Why and how ‘Thought Leadership’ can lead you through a downturn.

The Social Strategist - Why and how ‘Thought Leadership’ can lead you through a downturn.


Every year I look forward to the ‘Edelman-LinkedIn’, Thought Leadership Impact studies. A collaboration between ‘Edelman’ – A global communications firm and ‘Linkedin’ – The Digital Professional Network.

The studies are essential reading for anyone in a company leadership position, but especially a business owner, business development, sales and/or marketing professional. They provide deep insight and analytical justification into what leaders and buyers are looking for from the supply chain these days and this year they have given the study a subheading - 'Breaking though to buyers in economic uncertainty'.

It presents the perspectives from 3500 B2B Decision-Maker Company executives who consume thought leadership and are involved in making final decisions on their company’s choice of professional service providers or products - C-Suite Executives Company owners, partners and founders with complete or partial ownership of a company, or C-Suite Level executives with responsibility for a business function.


"As we face a potential economic downturn, this year’s research reveals that high-quality thought leadership will be more important than ever for organisations seeking to break through with decision-makers at current and prospective clients. It also identifies what B2B decision-makers and C-suite executives expect from thought leadership during this time”.


  1. Most B2B companies are planning for an economic downturn in 2023. That means it’s going to be more challenging than ever for suppliers to get the attention of decision-makers and successfully pass the procurement process.
  2. If a downturn does materialise, those products and services deemed non-critical will likely be first on the chopping block. Sellers navigating a stricter procurement process cannot just “meet the brief” and expect success. Instead, they must prove they can help prospective customers succeed, even during tough times.
  3. Thought leadership is one of the most effective tools an organisation can use to demonstrate its value to customers during a tough economy – even more so than traditional advertising or product marketing, according to B2B buyers.
  4. Decision-makers expect high-quality thought leadership to offer a strong, data-backed point of view on how to succeed during a downturn. And they report it can make a difference in winning their business.
  5. Producers of thought leadership have high expectations for its ability to support their business during a downturn. Yet, many have low confidence in its quality. This period of unpredictability offers an opportunity for B2B companies to improve the way they deliver thought leadership and measure its impact.

For any professional in the B2B space, these learnings important...

Times are tough and may get tougher in the B2B world,

Selling will be challenging,

High Quality Thought Leadership is key,

There is significant opportunity for companies to shine through.


"Thought leadership refers to content that offers expertise, guidance, or a unique point of view on a topic or in a field.

It includes content like thought pieces, essays, videos, webinars, live presentations, PowerPoint slides, and research reports that organisations make available to the public for free (or in return for registering or giving contact information).

In your business context, your thought leadership is you and your team’s expertise, your specialism, your history, knowledge and perspectives on your markets, your sector and your industry.

Your buyers and the decision makers in your prospect base want High Quality Thought Leadership to allow them to see you, understand you and form a conclusion that you are the one true value solution to their business…

…and they report that it can make a difference in winning business.

"55% of decision-makers say that during an economic downturn, it is more important than ever for suppliers who do not offer products/services that are essential to operations to produce high-quality thought leadership if they want to win our business".


Make it quick and easy to consume and absorb – catch the attention and make it worthwhile.

Reference robust research and strong supporting data – back it up with facts.

Offer provocative ideas that challenge people’s assumptions – push boundaries to stand out.

Offer concrete guidance on how to respond to the issues or opportunities discussed – Accentuate your credibility.

Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE

Published: 16-03-2023

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