HCBE Faculty Articles

Operationalizing Thought Leadership for Online B2B Marketing

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2019

Publication Title

Industrial Marketing Management

Abstract/Excerpt

Research is emerging on the vital role that social networking sites and digital content play in advancing B2B buyer/marketer relationships. But little is known of the influence these channels and content have on purchase decisions. This study examines how a marketer’s content and dialogue behaviors in social media contribute to a thought leadership reputation that is worthy of earning a buyer’s selective attention and patronage. From an exploratory inductive study and survey of leading marketing consultants, thought leadership was operationalized in the context of its determinants and outcomes. Results show that a B2B marketer’s trusted authority recognition mediates the influence that thought leadership competencies have on the marketer’s bridging social capital. The latter, a proxy for measuring content resonance, is partially influenced by the operational helpfulness offered by the marketer’s content. A marketer’s thought leadership competencies, in turn, are influenced by their perceived operational helpfulness, market foresight, dialogic responsiveness, and sharing generosity.

DOI

10.1016/j.indmarman.2017.11.005

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