TLA 5: Defining the audience

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Your thought leadership programme has been launched. Now the hard work starts. You will need to support your candidates to ensure that you get best value out of them and the programme.

The first step is to define your audience. 

Thought leadership begins (and ends) with your audience. Your target audience needs to be at the heart of everything that you do. It is therefore worth spending some time thinking about exactly how you define them, and making sure that your candidates do the same.

A good starting point is to create some buyer personas. Get to know your target customer as an individual. Understand their needs and wants, and think about how your company can help them to address these. Try to be as specific as possible in developing your buyer personas, because this will be most helpful in considering how to address them with your content. 

It is also a good idea to take the time to talk to your customers and prospective customers. Getting information direct from them is key to understanding their issues. You need to understand why customers and potential customers might or might not choose your company to do business, and what criteria your customers use to make buying decisions.

Remember to keep checking up on your audience to make sure that they are still where you thought. Finally, share your insights with your thought leaders. They, after all, are the ones whose content needs to speak to your customers. 

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