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  • 08.06.08

Market Moving Thought Leadership

The backbone of public relations, social media, marketing communications and advertising programs is content that engages, educates and entertains. Our methodology at Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) is to produce and/or package content once and then merchandise it across multiple channels. This approach positively impacts awareness, credibility and lead generation (via search engine optimization and sales cycle marketing).

The backbone of public relations, social media, marketing communications and advertising programs is content that engages, educates and entertains. Our methodology at Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) is to produce and/or package content once and then merchandise it across multiple channels. This approach positively impacts awareness, credibility and lead generation (via search engine optimization and sales cycle marketing).

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One of the
zingers I typically drop to a prospect during a new business presentation is
that “thought leaders have thoughts.” Sounds
elementary, yet I point out that most executives shy away from taking a stand
on issues or topics that could be controversial. And that limits the effectiveness of their
company’s external communications program.

Now, it’s
important that any thought leadership platform align with a company’s business
objectives. There is simply no ROI in
controversy for the sake of being argumentative. Additionally, ideas need to be presented in a
clear manner, supported by third-party commentary and (when possible)
statistical validation.

Salesforce.com
chairman and CEO Marc Benioff is the premier thought leader in the adoption of
innovative technology by enterprises. Salesforce.com’s “Say No to Software” launch
campaign for its software-as-a-service (SaaS) CRM product ultimately redefined
how many companies procure applications.

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Competitors
like Oracle, SAP and Microsoft initially protested Benioff’s views and then were
ultimately forced to play catch-up. More
important, Salesforce.com ignited a movement that spurred innovation across
multiple segments of the market. Strategic
clients Avectra and GovDelivery are two examples of SaaS providers that are accelerating
growth in their respective market niches.

Benioff’s
back with a new thought leadership campaign that defines what comes after SaaS. His premise:
view companies like Salesforce.com as offering a “platform as a service”
that allows entrepreneurs to write, test and deploy software without
cost-prohibitive infrastructure investments.

Citing
vendors like Google, Amazon, Facebook and MySpace that are all employing a comparable
“platform” strategy, Benioff brands this movement as Web 3.0.

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While I
find the Web 3.0 tag to be clichéd (a myriad of companies have already made a
run at using this term), I applaud Benioff and Salesforce.com for their continued
innovation in marketing and positioning.

Take a few
moments to read his guest column in TechCrunch IT. It’s a well constructed argument for
Salesforce.com’s approach and proves out that thought leaders truly do have thoughts
with the potential to move markets.

Welcome to
Web 3.0: Now Your Other Computer is a Data Center

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About the author

Hi! I am the president and CEO of Strategic Communications Group, the only public relations consultancy of its size with an extensive track record helping the world's largest and fastest growing technology, software, telecom and healthcare organizations achieve measurable return from social media marketing programs.

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