The Makings of a Thought Organization

Paige Stortz | December 16, 2020 | thought leadership marketing, thought organizations

We all have that one friend. 

The one you want on your trivia team. The one who seems to have an endless list of fun facts. The one who got straight As while you struggled through calculus. 

The one who, if you have a question, you’re asking them for the answer. 

These friends are your own go-to experts.

They've got the answers.

Some organizations, we call them thought organizations at Modthink, are uniquely positioned and equipped to provide the right answer at the right time. Like that brainy friend of yours, thought organizations know their stuff, and people (customers in particular) turn to them for answers. 

But thought organizations don’t just have expertise. To a great degree, expertise is the thought organization’s business. Customers buy from them because of their knowledge.

But, get this: In our experience, many thought organizations don’t even realize they are one.

Once they identify this strength, a world of opportunity presents itself.


What is a Thought Organization?

Thought organizations are industry leaders that provide quality products and services for customers who do their research. These organizations are the experts and offer the best of the best.

To identify a thought organization, look for these four characteristics:

4 Characteristics of a Thought Organization: High-value products or services, knowledgeable customers, longer sales cycles, subject-matter expertise

Thought organizations generally offer high-value products or services that customers may need to save up for. These purchases aren’t as expendable as typical, day-to-day purchases. In turn, this calls for the customer to do their research. 

Customers of thought organizations know that in order to make the right decision, they must be well-informed. They often conduct thorough research, ask questions, and/or find price comparisons to gain confidence in their decision.

All this naturally lengthens the amount of time it takes for a customer to make a purchase. Longer sale cycles emerge from an extensive decision-making and transaction process.

But it's the fourth characteristic, subject matter expertise, that really makes a thought organization.

Expertise is a highly valuable but often neglected asset.

Don’t expect “expertise” to be listed on your balance sheet—you won’t find it. While it may be hard to spot initially, it is there, and customers are waiting for you to share it.

Members of thought organizations are well-versed in the industry and are specialists in their particular field. This expertise is sought after by consumers.

They're subject matter experts.


Is Your Business a Thought Organization?

A business can have all the makings of a thought organization—longer sales cycles, higher valued products/services, knowledgeable clients, and significant subject matter expertise—but lack the self-awareness to capitalize on their own expertise.

So, the crucial question is: Are you part of a thought organization?

Although not a scientific measure, at Modthink we use an eight-question inventory to help businesses and non-profits evaluate whether they belong a thought organization.

Give it a go yourself. 

The Thought Organization Inventory

So, is your company a thought organization? If so, why does it matter?

In our experience, it matters a great deal. 

We’ve found that thought organizations have a marketing edge.

They can effectively practice thought leadership marketing.


Thought Leadership Marketing

Someone is looking for your company’s expertise. Humans are knowledge-seekers; asking questions and looking for answers are second nature for us. Just think, there are billions of Google searches a day. 

Successful thought organizations not only acknowledge, but also act on this innate curiosity. They understand the importance of using a company’s assets, including expertise, to the fullest.

MT | BLOG - V2 Is Your Company a Thought Organization-03

And when it comes to expertise, thought organizations don’t keep it under lock and key. They share their insight and specialized knowledge routinely. They practice thought leadership marketing (TLM). 

As we defined elsewhere, TLM is...

An approach to marketing that uses digital content and distribution to proliferate the work and industry knowledge of subject matter experts in order to demonstrate the organization's expertise, assist customers in purchase decisions, and ultimately grow the business.

TLM harnesses a tried-and-true inbound marketing philosophy. In this way, TLM is a "purer" form of marketing, relying less on gimmicks and more on valuable content. 

And TLM is the domain of thought organizations. Other companies have other marketing approaches, but TLM is an edge enjoyed by thought organizations particularly. 


Want Help with Thought Leadership Marketing?

If you belong a thought organization and you're ready to start providing the answers, you've come to the right place. At Modthink, we specialize in thought leadership marketing. It's what we do.

Just click below to reach out. We're always ready to talk TLM. 

Ready to talk thought leadership marketing? Contact us!


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