Thought leaders, whether they are people or businesses, are more likely to be called to tender approximately 72% of UK businesses if they publish enlightening and reliable material, a study by MindMetre Research reveals.

The survey, which comprised over 2,000 UK companies, was aimed at understanding the impact of thought leadership on buying and tendering decisions, with 80% of businesses confirming that independent, informative content on company websites authenticates corporate capability, as opposed to mere personal opinions.

Paul Lindsell, Managing Director of MindMetre Research, comments: “2013 may be the year when an internet business technique, known as ‘content marketing’, converges with ‘thought leadership’ to provide a compelling combination of quality content and powerful distribution channel. But amateurism and commercial myopia are very real dangers when it comes to research, and have often been seen to lead to pseudo-statistics that suspiciously support a company’s commercial interests per se without adding any value to the reader. Publishing statistics that are wrong or exaggerated can lead to huge reputational damage.”

The survey also found that whilst compiling tender lists for ‘technology and equipment’ and ‘business services’ suppliers, 61% and 70% of companies, for each respective category, research candidates on the web followed by a visit to the company website in order to certify its expertise.

Paul Lindsell continues to state: “Companies other than management consultancies are increasingly recognising that they can gain tangible competitive advantage by demonstrating commercially valuable ‘thought leadership’ in their customer markets. By addressing issues in the customer’s market the company shows that it is knowledgeable about these issues and can help find a solution.

“Buyer organisations evidently consider the demonstration of thought-leadership by potential suppliers to be important, and influential when deciding which supplier to use. So, while thought leadership confirms its key role in building a reputation for a new entrant into a market, established market players can also build their reputation further with customers, influencers, and stakeholders through the generation of interesting material.”