Thoughts on Marketing Thought Leadership

I’m tired of thought leadership.

More specifically, I’m tired of everyone claiming they are a thought leader.

Our industry is rife with eager experts (“thought leaders”) ready to expound on the state of anything even remotely marketing, branding, or design adjacent. And the crowd is made up of other thought leaders who are also clamoring for attention—no matter how redundant or banal their position might be. It’s a classic too-many-cooks scenario. How many thought leaders do we need?

It reminds me of that line in The Incredibles, where Syndrome says, “And when everyone is super, no one will be.”

Yes, there’s plenty to talk about: Artificial intelligence, social media, user-generated content, the staggering power of digital media, which has effectively given everyone the power of a production studio right in our pocket. It’s all very disruptive, game-changing, out-of-the-box, and on the leading or even bleeding edge (and can we agree that has to be one of the most unsettling terms in business?). I just want to create great content and campaigns for clients. I don’t want them to need a transfusion in the process.

At Street Level Studio, we’ve decided that instead of dealing in abstraction, it’s time to get substantial. The team has been talking about this, and we came to a shared realization that we’re done with all this industry navel gazing. We’d rather share concrete examples of client success, fearlessly dissect lessons learned, and talk about what we feel is working day by day in the marketing and branding realm. This might mean sharing a quick case study, offering highlights from a client or vendor interview, or detailing real-time thoughts from participation at industry events.

Instead of wondering what might be going on, this blog is going to focus on what’s actually going down. We’ll save the prognostication for the futurists and the provocation for the pundits while we focus on what’s working and what isn’t. Instead of asking, “What if?” we’re going to start saying, “Here’s what.”

In other words, we’re going to show you the view from the street level.

We start sharing soon, and we think you’ll like it.

Jay Ferrari is Street Level Studio’s Senior Copywriter.