Latest campaigns and real thought leadership examples: Winter 2021

Ben Harrison

What’s new in thought leadership and B2B campaigns? Here, with your quarterly digest of the latest campaign examples, we’ve got plenty to share. Check out last quarter’s campaign launches here.

The final stretch of 2021 was a bumper quarter for FT Longitude’s clients, launching a record number of thought-provoking thought leadership campaigns that engage, educate and influence hard-to-reach audiences. From hot topics and timely insight to creative ideas and inspiring content, here we showcase a selection of those campaigns that pass the test for real thought leadership.

If you’d like more information on any of the latest campaign examples featured, please get in touch — we’d be delighted to tell you more about them and help find ways you too can innovate with your next campaign.


Fresh in Financial Services

Climate Research Studyreal thought leadership examples
Fidelity International
Joe Dalton, Group Editor

The warnings are stark: to limit global warming to 1.5°C, we need to establish a net-zero economy by 2050. If we don’t, there will be dire consequences for the planet and its inhabitants.

FT Longitude and Fidelity’s latest study into the impact of the climate on investment decision making focuses on the role asset owners have to play in addressing this global challenge. Surveying 800 asset owners globally, the study reveals that investors are setting more ambitious targets to decarbonise their portfolios – but are running into challenges as they attempt to implement changes at strategic and asset class level.

ACTIVATE: Unveiling the new research at Fidelity International’s Sustainable World Summit in December 2021, FT Longitude Group Editor Joe Dalton presented the findings to an audience of Fidelity’s top clients and contacts – which subsequently formed a key component of the collection of campaign assets hosted on Fidelity’s digital properties.


real thought leadership examplesDon’t get lost on the way to Paris
M&G Investments
Piers Tomlinson, Editorial Director

Asset owners are setting bold net-zero targets. Rather than simply excluding carbon-intensive assets from the portfolio, many want to play a more meaningful role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. But making pledges and announcing targets is the easy part.

Working with global investment manager M&G, we examined the effects of aligning investment strategies with the 1.5-degree target set out in the Paris Agreement. Backed by a series of in-depth interviews with a number of executives from M&G and beyond, the result is a timely examination of ESG investments, with key takeaways and insights to spark thought for all readers.

ACTIVATE: The findings and interviews from “Don’t get lost on the way to Paris” are hosted on a standalone microsite, allowing M&G to effectively chapterise their content ensuring maximum consumability. The commentary concludes with important takeaways that ensure readers glean actionable insights from the content.


The World Targets Changereal thought leadership examples
State Street Global Advisors
Joe Dalton, Group Editor

ESG investing is a well-trodden topic and a hotly contested area in financial services. And for good reason. ESG is now well and truly mainstream across the globe. Soon ESG investing will be investing, or at the very least a fundamental component of all investing.

Leading the conversation with fresh insight is State Street Global Advisors, whose latest report, in collaboration with FT Longitude, reveals an industry poised for a groundswell of portfolio decarbonisation and net-zero target-setting over the next three years. Insights from a survey of over 300 investors reveals that European asset owners are taking the lead, with more than 70% aiming to implement specific decarbonisation targets within three years.

ACTIVATE: Summary findings are combined with dynamic data elements and a short video introduction to great effect on the campaign’s own dedicated insights page on ssga.com. For those keen to explore the research in more detail with in-depth analysis, audiences have ready access to the report download with even more visual data extracts and expert commentary.


Trending in tech

The Human Connectionreal thought leadership examples

With the help of machine learning and natural language processing, AI chatbots and other intelligent tools are becoming more responsive and taking on more human-like attributes. How do consumers feel about this? Are they comfortable with the roles played by humans and machines in their online interactions with brands?

To find out, we surveyed 5,601 consumers across the world in collaboration with Verizon. The data told us that, although consumers need human agents to remain accessible, they are increasingly comfortable with automated, digital-only interactions. Despite this, it remains clear that brands need to tread a careful line between human and tech elements in their interactions with their consumers.

ACTIVATE: The survey results are exhibited in a smart, chapterised scrolling story and downloadable whitepaper bursting at the seams with insightful data, impactful charts and clear narratives.


The Business (R)evolution Imperativereal thought leadership examples
Hannah Stubbings, Senior Editor

Fujitsu knows that to regain momentum in the aftermath of any crisis, organisations must revisit three critical questions: Do we know what we are trying to achieve? Do we know who to ask to find out? And do we know how to reach it?

These are the questions at the heart of FT Longitude and Fujitsu’s research into post-crisis business transformation. The study, showcased in an insightful content series by the Financial Times on FT.com, reveals that it is time for business-transformation objectives to evolve to the next level and for a revolution of the strategies that businesses must follow to get there.


Actual Experience

If you thought remote working was challenging, this new model of hybrid working will be even tougher to manage. As companies are gearing up for another fundamental shift in how work gets done, management services firm Actual Experience set out to examine when this change is likely to take place, and what companies can do to make the transition as successful as possible.

To explore what some are calling the world’s biggest experiment in management practice, FT Longitude partnered with Actual Experience to construct an online hub of insights and research.

ACTIVATE: The result is an engaging compendium of key findings, focused articles, a downloadable whitepaper and a snappy animated video, all hosted on a slick microsite built around fresh new insight into the world of hybrid working.


How to Build an Agile Workforcereal thought leadership examples
Hannah Stubbings, Senior Editor

The consequences of the pandemic can be far-reaching and severe for employers and employees alike, and many are impossible to predict. But it is not impossible to prepare. Organisations must invest in their biggest competitive advantage — their workforce.

A new content programme from Fujitsu, FT Longitude and the Financial Times examines the multitude of benefits and the consequence-busting power of better workforce agility, the vitality of cybersecurity in the age of hybrid work, and the increasing importance of automation.

ACTIVATE: Hosted as an exclusive content series on FT.com, the content provides actionable insight for business leaders sitting at the sharp end of post-pandemic business decisions. The Financial Times’ backing gives the content series credibility with the weight of the publisher’s brand behind it, allowing Fujitsu to take the content to market with confidence and take advantage of the FT’s unrivalled senior business readership.


The Digital CFO
Hannah Stubbings, Senior Editor

The financial leadership role has shifted significantly in response to ongoing disruption caused by COVID-19. Increasingly, businesses are looking to finance leaders to steer them through market change, uncertainty, and unpredictability.

A new study, conducted by FT Longitude and commissioned by software company Sage, aimed to provide senior financial decision-makers and CFOs with strategic and relevant insights that support their role reinvention as they adjust to a digitised working world. The research concludes that finance leaders must turn their abundance of data into compelling narratives that offer accurate forecasting and interpretation of trends, evolving the traditional view of financial reporting.

ACTIVATE: A short pulse survey – designed to reveal rich insight at speed – fed all three FT-hosted articles with powerful findings which are explored at length in the full report. Produced as a simple but effective succession to previous research, this latest evolution supports a continued dialogue and perspective on the evolution of this crucial role and function.


Visible Commerce
Laura Adcock, Senior Editor

With more companies digitising their operations, the volume of business data available is rising sharply. How can this data be used to prove that operations and supply chains meet a growing range of standards? And how confident are firms in using that data at all?

To find out, financial software firm Basware partnered with FT Longitude to poll 400 finance and procurement professionals about global regulatory compliance, and their approaches to worldwide electronic invoicing mandates and supplier information management. The result is an engaging, scrolling, interactive report that provides deep insight into the usage of data in the world of financial compliance.

ACTIVATE: The campaign assets for this thought leadership endeavour boast a simple, yet striking and highly engaging content hub, with distinct sections to ease navigation, dynamic data visualisation and a persistent CTA: a digital report download to facilitate lead capture and ensure shareability.


Cutting-edge in Consumer Goods

A Dress Rehearsal for Disruption
Megan Wright, Senior Editor and Head of Audio

Last year, in the lead up to the UN’s climate change summit – COP26 – Reckitt began sharing its own insights and learnings from industry experts in a series of articles and audio interviews in collaboration with the Financial Times and FT Longitude. The series discussed all things sustainability, purpose, partnerships and more.

Featuring interviews with world-renowned experts such as Tanya Steele, CEO of WWF UK, and Hala Audi, CEO of The Trinity Challenge, Reckitt tackles arguably the biggest challenge facing the world today: planetary and public health. The series argues for better collaboration between private sector and public sector organisations, brand responsibility, and why Covid-19 has only been a wake-up call.

ACTIVATE: Powerful for its ability to showcase a unique and diverse range of speakers that strengthened Reckitt’s relationships with its partners and subject experts in this area, the campaign was activated as part of an integrated campaign, with ongoing PR support and promotion. The audio interviews formed the basis for insights that underpinned the wider content and events series – a great example of why selecting your audio interviewees is a crucial part of the overall campaign strategy.


Professional Services perspectives

The CFO Imperativereal thought leadership examples
Peter Elkins, Group Editor

The pace of change in corporate reporting is fast, and there is rising pressure on the CFOs and finance leaders responsible for its preparation. With much of this additional scrutiny coming from increased pressure on climate change, EY and FT Longitude surveyed over 1,000 finance leaders to examine the increasingly blurred line between ESG reporting and corporate coverage.

ACTIVATE: The research data displayed in this custom, interactive data tool shows that with enhanced, blended reporting comes more power to make significant changes to people and leadership approaches – changes that can significantly benefit a company beyond the finance function. As well as the interactive data tool, the key findings are chapterised in an engaging, campaign landing page as well as a more traditional PDF report.


Better Decisions for Deal Value
Joe Dalton, Group Editor

Mergers and acquisitions dealmakers have rarely experienced a period like it. Each quarter since late 2020 seemed to set new records in terms of global deal value or volume, as recovery in M&A activity from the lows of the pandemic continued. As this “frenzy” of M&A activity continues, talk turns to how to maximise value and reduce the risks in these transactions.

Bringing fresh insight and practical guidance for M&A investors, professional services firm Aon partnered with FT Longitude to publish perspectives gleaned from over 20 in-depth interviews with dealmakers and the experts advising them. The insights provide companies with options for improving their due diligence practices, as well as unrivalled intelligence on how the M&A environment is evolving.

ACTIVATE: The content assets for this campaign lead with a clear landing page that introduces the research, highlights headline stats and key themes as well as emphasises the quality and calibre of contributors to its expert research panel. From here, audiences are invited to access the full digital report for more extensive insight presented in a dynamic and fully immersive experience.


The Great Board Reboot
Financial Times
Sean Kearns, Editor-in-Chief

The role of the board director is undergoing profound change. Individual and collective expectations are rising. The way that directors are recruited, trained and developed is being reshaped. And the composition of the board and the breadth of its expertise is under intense scrutiny.

So says a new report from FT Longitude and the Financial Times, based on the findings of a global survey of more than 600 FT readers who currently sit on boards, as well as interviews with leading experts. It finds that board members must now be able to detect risk and opportunity like never before.


Global Institutional Investor Survey
Piers Tomlinson, Editorial Director

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a tipping point for ESG-driven approaches in both the investor and corporate communities. It has acted as a catalyst for even greater ESG integration into investor decision-making and corporate strategy. But there is still more to do to help ESG-driven approaches provide greater impact.

The 2021 EY Global Institutional Investor Survey explores the perspectives of more than 320 senior decision-makers at institutions around the world and identifies three important themes organisations to focus on now: assess ESG risk effectively; energy transition; and reporting and regulation.

ACTIVATE: The campaign features a central landing page with long-scroll narrative, highlighting key stat and other important research findings as well as related articles and commentary from EY’s Oceania Chief Sustainability Officer. The content is underpinned by the research report; an in-depth 28-page publication with full insight, extensive data visualisation and actionable recommendations to follow.


Visionary thinking in Industrials and Manufacturing

A New Space Race
Steve Edwards, Senior Editor

New life has been breathed into the traditional space race in the last few years. But what about the race for space on Earth? We call it a ‘race’ because it is increasingly urgent. We must race to adapt to use the planet’s resources better, to keep people safe, keep businesses running, and support the way we live and move about on the planet in a more sustainable way.

A thought leadership study from Siemens and FT Longitude reveals how infrastructure stakeholders view the immediate and longer-term future of our built environment and energy systems. They share fresh perspectives on how our infrastructure will be reshaped by the global pandemic, a new era of digitalisation and the urgent need to decarbonise.

ACTIVATE: Designed specifically to support Siemens in building its reputation as the leader in the smart infrastructure space, a thorough review of the competitive landscape, coupled with strategic input on how the brand could carve out its own niche, preceded the research and content phases. This up-front strategy work enabled Siemens to launch a flagship campaign that would help to raise awareness, generate new business and support brand advocacy.

In-depth research findings are presented in the form of chapterised insights on the campaign’s digital home; a detailed microsite incorporating visual data snapshots, extensive narration and related feature articles. as well as ungated access to the main report with comprehensive coverage for audiences that seek a deeper understanding.


Why Purpose Means Profit and how HR is on the Front Line
Megan Wright, Senior Editor and Head of Audio

The #MeToo movement, the Black Lives Matter marches, and a US election that culminated with an attack on the nation’s capital; all triggered frank conversations in the workplace about bias, inequality and racism. With these core themes firmly top of mind, leaders and employees are relying on HR to help them navigate the changes that Covid-19 has unleashed on the workforce. They also look to HR to find ways to actively demonstrate the company values through their actions, messaging and workforce strategies.

But how can HR grab this opportunity to make real change in their own businesses, as well as the working world as a whole? Sodexo and FT Longitude talked to a range of experts to bring the freshest insight on HR’s transformation, including Asif Sadiq, a global diversity and inclusion thought leader.

ACTIVATE: The findings from the investigation are activated through a diverse array of content, including an audio interview with Sadiq, a Q&A with Hitch Works CEO Kelley Steven-Waiss, an expertly-designed infographic and a downloadable whitepaper. The breadth of the campaign allows Sodexo to take the findings to market through multiple channels and use the content in a multitude of ways.


Global Transport Sector Insight Report 2021
Siemens Mobility
Sonja Caymaz, Group Editor

The transport sector has had a turbulent two years due to the pandemic. But with new tech such as AI and 5G coming to the fore, public and private sector companies are gearing up for a new decade of innovation and growth. Infrastructure challenges, however, remain an ongoing challenge. As pressure on our existing transport systems grows, can digital technologies lead mobility into a new decade?

Siemens Mobility’s Global Transport Sector Insight Report aims to shed light on the future of mobility: Which technologies have the greatest potential to improve transport? What are the biggest challenges? Where will the sector be in five years’ time? In partnership with FT Longitude, Siemens conducted a survey of over 100 global transport leaders to form a more concrete picture of the future of transport as an essential service.

ACTIVATE: Four feature chapters support the main research insights available for download via the gated report in this campaign designed to generate leads and create new conversations for Siemens Mobility’s team. Extensive social media content and its wide promotion on the company’s social platforms helped the brand to attract existing customers and new audiences to the campaign, providing the team with extensive lead generation opportunities.


Food Fuels New Connections in the Transformed Workforce
Megan Wright, Senior Editor and Head of Audio

New questions are arising as employees continue to return to workplaces: What does workplace health, safety and wellbeing mean in a new world of work? Do workplace food and facilities meet the ever-changing needs of employees?

Expectations have changed. To pick apart the evolving relationship between the employee and their workplace, Sodexo and FT Longitude partnered again to shed new light on changing sentiment and standards.

ACTIVATE: Talking to experts such as Sodexo’s own SVP Global Head of Food John Wright, and the world-leading sustainable seafood chef Barton Seaver, the series explores how firms can adapt their existing workplaces to accommodate and encourage more need for personalisation, space and cleanliness, and the difficulty in addressing the challenge of unpredictable working patterns. The resulting in-depth whitepapers are split into the food and workplace foci, allowing Sodexo to build campaigns around the two main themes in this research and make the insights work as hard as possible.


We hope these examples of real thought leadership inspire you and your next campaign. We’re here to help B2B brands to develop real thought leadership that gets results. Get in touch to book your free strategy call with one of our experts.

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About the author: Ben Harrison

As marketing executive, Ben leads various marketing activities such as the firm’s social media effort, our always-on content programme, and all aspects of the website – from maintenance to re-designs. He also manages the department’s tech stack, delivering an increasingly seamless experience from marketing all the way through to the sales team.

Ben also contributes to the marketing team’s overall strategy and goals, helping to plan, execute and effectively measure all our content and engagement that push the firm towards brand- and commercial-oriented goals.

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