A new study by MetLife on the evolving American Dream is treading where few have gone before - taking Thought Leadership Marketing into B2C.
Professional services have long been the epicenter of “thought leadership” publishing and marketing, but in recent years, we’ve seen more and more non-professional services firms publish non-promotional research and thinking too. Some such companies featuring genuine thought leadership material on their sites today include AON (insurance), McKesson (health care), Herman Miller (furniture), Pitney Bowes (mailing equipment) and Unisys (information technology).
But something caught my eye recently (OK, Bob sent it me...), a MetLife (insurance) study of the evolving American Dream, based on a survey of over 2,000 Americans, and mentioned in an op-ed in the NY Times on Monday. The study fits our definition of thought leadership marketing material. In particular, it’s original and informative, and although some of MetLife’s products are candidates for meeting the evolving needs of investors, it’s non-promotional.
However, it’s targeted at consumers, and I haven’t previously noticed many American corporations spend money on unbiased and original content for consumer consumption, so to speak. And frankly, in an age of apparently shortening attention spans, I’m surprised. Perhaps even consumers are so tired of mindless advertising, that Metlife reckons this is a better way to reach them. Since this is their 3rd annual study, I guess it’s working.