How to secure effective "return on insight"

By James Ralph, Senior Associate Director, Good Relations


A brief search of media outlets shows that more than 6,000 pieces of “thought leadership” were issued in the last 18 months across the UK and US. Of these 90% failed to achieve coverage or mentions outside of the originating organisations owned channels. Considering the investment of internal man hours, agency time and primary research, it is little wonder that many executives doubt they secure effective ROI on thought leadership. In this article we’ll explore how to boost your Return On Investment and your Return On Insight.

The importance of evaluation to an effective thought leadership programme cannot be underestimated. Thought Leadership is defined as expertise that is sought and rewarded, and is one of the best ways to build individual’s and organisation’s brands.

Here at Good Relations we take a four step approach to each measurement metric, tracking inputs, outputs, outtakes and outcomes. This is important as it covers both the rational outcomes, such as sales and commercial impact, but also the emotional outtakes, trust and reputation amongst your key audiences.

We’re also firm believers in the importance of channel integration. Adhering to the “rule of seven”, that is a prospect has to be exposed to your ideas seven times before they’ll take action, it is crucial that your thought leadership makes use of all channels.

We've made an example evaluation grid (see below) to assess the return on insight from a thought leadership programme.

We calculate that following a robust and integrated marketing approach to your thought leadership achieves a boost in Return On Insight far in excess of traditional routes that focus on a media first approach. On Thought Leadership campaigns that we have run for clients such as BSI and Airbus, we have raised our Return On Insight three fold by simply adding one or two more channels.

 Good Relations' example evaluation grid to assess the return on insight from a thought leadership programme

Good Relations' example evaluation grid to assess the return on insight from a thought leadership programme

Thought leadership works. If you are interested in finding out more about how it could work better for you, join our LinkedIn group, or if you would like to attend one of our events, contact Holly on hdedman@goodrelations.co.uk