The channels through which companies deliver their messages to consumers has shifted quickly. This transformation has necessitated a corresponding alteration of the messages themselves. Rather than simply pushing promotional messages, brands started looking deeper to make meaningful connections and provide education and value to their target audience.

Here, thought leadership was given its first set of wings – and it has soared ever since.

That said, thought leadership and customer experience often are viewed and managed independent from one another. What happens if we marry the concepts together? That would mean even better consumer experiences with brand marketing.

Let’s take a look at how they can both be used together for the ultimate betterment of the consumer experience.

1. Getting More Human – AI
There is a lot of generic content out there.

Worst of all, some brands create thought leadership content not to provide value, but to achieve organic reach. When brands develop common, unspecific, uninspired thought leadership focused simply on keywords for search engine bots and platform algorithms to rank, rather than for the benefit or enjoyment of the audience, it falls flat and does not resonate.

With the use of AI, though, thought leaders can achieve organic reach and gain desired value.

AI helps analyze big bodies of data in such little time and even indicates trends and maps out patterns. This can be used to identify real-time patterns in consumer behaviors, which can be infused into the next wave of thought leadership campaigns.

2. Doing More for Locals – Location Intelligence
At iResearch Services, one of the services we offer is in-depth combing of the target market for growth markers which companies can exploit to hack their developmental process.

There is a huge difference between treating the market as a general unit and treating it as several smaller units that comprise the main market. Doing the latter is more effort-intensive, but it brings the best results.

An airline, for example, caters to customers in different parts of the world. Even a local airline will have to attend to the needs of customers in different parts of their country, where people may exhibit quite different tendencies, preferences and behaviors. Here, it will be effective to develop specialized content that will resonate with various target sets.  

This is where location intelligence comes in. Combining data (such as population demographics, traffic and weather patterns, among others) and making sense of it, companies will find it easier to address the specific needs of the audience in such a market.

This will render better-curated campaigns, ads, content and much more – and best believe the audience will be grateful to have such a personal touch.

3. Measuring Right – Metric Tools
We are huge proponents of measuring and tracking progress on all campaigns. Too often though, brands focus on the wrong things. While it is important to see how many people your content is reaching – or how many interactions it has had so far – that should take a secondary role to customer experience.

Beyond the reach and impressions, how many consumers find your campaigns helpful? It is one thing to interact with something just because it is the only thing there, and it is another to find the content meaningful and useful.

It is time to drop the pride from getting the most impressions in the market to start looking for how well you can connect with your audience. These are the metrics that matter most.

4. Ambient Advertising – Social Media/ Other Platforms
The fact that a set of consumers love you does not mean that you should be in their faces everywhere. True, social media is a great place to reach your target audience, but best believe that most people going to social media do not want to be bombarded by ads.

No matter how much thought you have put into the content going into those ads, you have to remember that you are disrupting someone’s experience when your content continually pops up on their timeline. This is usually not the fault of the publisher (read: yourself) alone, but the social media platform, too.

Thus, thought leaders will need to band together with social media and other ad distribution platforms so that they can formulate the best frequency and cadence. The best way will be to ensure that thought leadership content (especially the promoted ones) shows up in an ambient way, such that it never diminishes the consumer experience in any way.

Conversely, that helps the brand to make sure their campaign strategies aren’t making them lose taste with a potential consumer.

5. Unlocking New Channels – 5G
The pending rollout of high-speed 5G networks, holds vast promise. This is the best time to start looking for ways to deliver better, more customized experiences which would be aided by 5G. That means richer and deeper designs, more immersive campaigns and robust platforms – since they can be supported by improved network speed.

Conclusion
The place of either digital innovations and thought leadership cannot be overlooked in shaping the customer experience, but they work better together than alone. Using one to inform the other, and vice versa, stands to make a big difference for you and your audience.