This page collects some of the most important things we believe at TLP
These beliefs shape the way we see the world of CEO communications and strategy:
- Great communication to stakeholders (employees, investors, customers, partners and regulators) is the most important job of the CEO. The best strategy in the world is only as good as the actions taken by the CEO’s stakeholders to implement that strategy. Communication is how the CEO translates strategy into action.
- Great communications have a disproportionate impact on company success in mid-stage companies. In very early-stage companies, the key success factor is product/market fit. In steady-state late stage companies, the key success factor is the financial metrics. In between early stage and late stage (and it’s a big gap), the key success factor is the story that connects the metrics to the vision.
- If a stakeholder doesn’t trust the CEO, they will never trust the organisation. No-one will deal with an organisation that they don’t trust.
- More than ever before, there is an expectation of authenticity in CEO communications. The growth of social media has pulled down the barriers around brands and celebrities.
- There have never been so many competing distractions for the attention of key stakeholders (customers, investors, employees). To capture and maintain their attention a CEO must be entertaining and interesting.
- There are no silos in today’s communication environment. A CEO cannot have multiple messages for multiple audiences. Every message must be internally consistent.
- A CEO must be proactive, not solely reactive in communications.
- As the media cycle gets shorter and more polarised, it’s never been quite so important for the CEO to own their own channel to communicate to all stakeholders.
- A CEO blog always succeeds as long as there’s 10 people who love you.
- You must talk conversationally.
- A CEO blog must be authentic. If you never talk about the negatives, people will never believe the positives.
- 20% of your posts will deliver 80% of your returns.
- It doesn’t matter who you are (or what your role is) – there’s no excuse for being boring.
- Given a great article, the difference in returns between a great and poor headline is an order of magnitude.
- The best returning CEO blog articles are both controversial and practical at the same time.
- Deep internal linking is critical to achieving returns. Links should appear approx every 150 words.
- The best CEO blog content is value aligned. It’s “intellectually divorced from your business/product but emotionally wed to it”.
- Crazy ideas + Inevitability = Thought Leadership
- Thought leadership works best as a marketing strategy where it’s difficult to understand the specific quality of a product or service before delivery
- Thought leadership achieves returns by bridging the trust gap (where there’s uncertainty in the sales process).
- You achieve trust when readers perceive you are authentic. Readers will perceive you are authentic when you are vulnerable. As a result vulnerability is a key plank of effective thought leadership
- People want to trust people, not brands
- Thought leadership only works if you’re remembered as an expert in one thing. If you try and be a thought leader in two things, you’ll be remembered as an expert in no things.
- Returns come from front of mind awareness. You only achieve this if you create content frequently. If you can’t commit to publish at least fortnightly, you’ll struggle to see returns.
- All thought leadership content must subtlety remind the reader about what it is that you’re uniquely better at (than the rest of the world). There must be a core theme of expertise that sits under all your content.
- Marketing is the engine of a great business
- Marketing starts with solving the problems of your existing customers
- Great marketing speaks to your customer in their own language
- Great marketing is focused on problems, not products
- All marketers are in the business of storytelling
- The aim of marketing is trust. Trust comes from authenticity
- We all work in entertainment now
- You must provide value first
- The internet has changed everything, and changed nothing
- Great marketing is equal parts inspiration, perspiration and iteration
- A “little bit of all the channels” substantially underperforms focusing on building an audience in just one channel.
- Email is still the most important distribution channel in B2B.