East and Partners Asia, a leading global B2B consultant and research firm covering the travel and entertainment (T&E) sectors, firmly believes that thought leadership drives innovation and is a competency for businesses to set themselves apart from their competitors, regain market share and increase new customer acquisitions.
T&E service providers are known to be scale businesses that drive the need for profitable market share and critical mass. Market share for T&E businesses relates to being able to retain current customer base, acquiring new customers and increasing the share of wallet.
There has been a change in traditional drivers and predictors of market share. Driving engagement and customer advocacy is no longer working for businesses who want to truly differentiate themselves in an otherwise noisy marketplace. What has emerged as the dominant predictor of market share wins or losses are share of customer mind and brand awareness. These are the factors that are the levers for enhanced customer satisfaction though effective thought leadership.
The monomers of effective thought leadership are being able to build a customer centric view of the T&E market, and to have a deep knowledge of what is exercising your customers mind. Transitioning your business from pitched-based communication to active, thoughtful listening is where impact will be most felt. By making the customer the centre of the relationship, businesses can connect the dots of their value proposition with greater ease and confidence. Lastly, and the most important is execution. Delivering actionable outcomes for your audience is imperative.
Be clear on knowing that as a business, you are serving two separate audiences: internal and external. Internal audiences are those within the company who will need to embrace thought leadership as part of the business culture. The external audience relates to customers, external influencers, relationships with insight-based media companies, platforms for conversation, action and lead generation all culminating to achieving high ROI for your business.
Customer-centric thought leadership has become just about the most important driver of customer mindshare in T&E services. In a market which has stopped advocating, evidenced-based content is being increasingly valued by business customers and is now the most powerful predictor of wallet share improvement for brands and providers. Building trust in uncertain times has never been more important.
In summary, thought leadership in the T&E market should be designed to meet the specific needs of a business’ clients and should be developed through a collaborative process using both internal and external audiences in order for businesses to truly reap the benefits.