More Thoughts on Thought Leadership

Whether you call it “thought leadership” or “content marketing”, such a program has three main goals for a B2B services company:

  • Improve brand awareness
  • Position the company as an industry thought leader
  • Generate qualified leads and start client conversations that lead to contracts
  • Provide the Sales force with high-quality content that becomes integral to the Sales process and corporate messaging

In an earlier blog, Thought Leadership on Customer Experience: Part 2, I discussed the foundational elements of a content marketing program:

  • A compelling meta-theme
  • Credible eye-opening customer research
  • Data-packed white papers
  • Key findings segmented into a few key themes that can be used for marketing campaigns

Then in Thought Leadership on Customer Experience: Part 3, I outlined the program toolkit – the various techniques and channels you can use to deploy your customer experience program internally and externally for maximum impact.

You may wonder what this looks like when it all comes together… I’m glad you asked!  Since joining Vantiv, one of the nation’s largest payment processors, I’ve been working to implement such a program.  It’s coming together nicely, with lots of runway for the future, and I hope you’ll take a look:

Q1 2012:  The Vantiv Insight Series Research:
In February 2012 Vantiv contracted with Mercator Advisory Group to conduct primary research on payment trends in the U.S. We asked 1200 consumers details both how they currently make payment and how they expect to do so in the future. Based on this data, we developed a series of campaigns designed to help merchants and financial institutions understand changing customer expectations around payments and identify areas of opportunity.  The research, campaigns and deliverables are all referred to as the “Vantiv Insight Series .”

Q2 2012: Top 10 Payment Trends of 2012
This first major campaign features Vantiv and Mercator executives discussing the Vantiv research on consumer payment experiences.  The Top 10 approach provides a framework for touching on a number of Vantiv’s areas of expertise in a way that sets up future campaigns. To learn about the Top 10 Payment Trends, visit  Start by viewing the interactive infographics and the video.  Then, for deeper insight, download the Top 10 whitepaper and replay the recent webinar.  You may also want to check out the blogs and supporting papers.

Q3 2012: The Case For Prepaid Cards
The second campaign dives into the Insight Series research on the evolution and growth of prepaid and gift cards.  Prepaid cards have traditionally been considered as gifts or a device for the unbanked—but looking ahead, they are growing in popularity for a wide range of uses.  There’s lots more to learn on   As with previous campaign, you can view the interactive infographic, check out the video, download the prepaid whitepaper, replay the recent webinar and read blogs featuring commentary from Vantiv’s prepaid experts.

My team, including employees and vendors, has done a tremendous job extending the Vantiv brand across all the deliverables in a way that combines credibility and readability.  We are currently working to get the materials ready for the final two campaigns of 2012.  The third Vantiv Insight Series webinar, “Payments Go Mobile” will take place on September 19 at noon ET, and the fourth “Executive Disconnects and Opportunitieswill take place on November 21.

This blog is getting lengthy, so I’ll wait to describe other elements of the campaigns (such as social and traditional media) and how the program is gaining traction.  There’s a whole story to tell around building external awareness and the kind of internal adoption that will turn this from a branding device into a revenue generation machine.  It’s an exciting journey, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

Vantiv Insights Header

About Lorena Harris

Lorena Harris has more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience with large business service companies. Her expertise is in designing research-based content marketing programs for brand building and demand generation. Since earning her MBA from Duke, Lorena has built revenue-generating marketing programs for $B+ B2B service companies such as Fiserv, First Data and Vantiv (financial services), ADP (employee benefit services), Convergys (contact center services) and Donnelly (publishing services). More information available on
This entry was posted in B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Customer Experience Research, Financial Services, Thought Leadership and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to More Thoughts on Thought Leadership

  1. Marty DeWitt says:

    Lorena, It sounds like Vantiv and you are ahead of the game when it comes to building your brand and generating sales leads using online channels. Marty

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