By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager
Deloitte was recently ranked No. 1 in quality thought leadership by Source Information Services, a leading provider of research on the management consulting market. Deloitte’s excellent coverage of technology’s impact in retail and the regulatory environment were key areas that made a difference and the company’s abilities in thought leadership differentiation addressing unique, emerging topics and identifying innovative solutions to key business issues were other factors setting them apart. Jonathan Copulsky, Chief Content Officer, Deloitte, and Consulting CMO, Deloitte Consulting LLP , answered some questions via email.
• What separates Deloitte’s thought leadership quality from the competition?
In 2012, we made sweeping changes based on best practices in publishing. We launched Deloitte University Press and defined four quality criteria – novelty, validity, appeal and utility –to create a common understanding across Deloitte. We also made a clear distinction between thought leadership and traditional marketing content. Thought leadership should be based on research and should put our readers’ concerns first. Being tough on our own ideas and content and looking at them through the lens of the reader before we publish has helped us get to a leading position with regard to quality.
• What are some of the emerging topics of interest?
We’ve seen significant interest in our thought leadership collections, which are series of pieces on macro-level topics that touch on different industries.
For example, our 3D Opportunity series on additive manufacturing with a companion Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) generated significant interest because it describes the way emerging technologies can shape strategy.
Similarly, the Internet of Things is technology-based, but the implications are far-ranging. It’s a platform for innovation that is unprecedented and reader engagement rates are among the highest we’ve ever seen.
We plan to continue to develop thought leadership around transformative areas such as these.
• What are some of the innovative solutions that make a difference for key business issues?
What we publish must have strong applicability to the business issues leaders face – both now and in the future. For example, when we discuss additive manufacturing, we don’t just cover the basics of the technology. We also provide guidance to help business leaders assess whether and how additive manufacturing can be integrated into their immediate and longer term strategies.
Case studies can also help illustrate innovative solutions. For instance, our January 2016 issue of Deloitte Review will include a case study on behavioral economics that shows how a client applied seemingly academic thinking to help address important managerial issues such as fraud and waste.
Partnerships with leading institutions also help us stay on the cutting edge when it comes to topic selection and research. For example, we conduct an annual study with MIT Sloan Management Review. This year it focused on challenges and opportunities associated with the use of social and digital business.
• Can you tell us about Deloitte University Press?
We launched Deloitte University Press at DUPress.com in October of 2012, with three goals in mind.
First, we wanted to create a single destination for readers to find timely and relevant research.
Second, we wanted to emphasize the quality and quantity of what we publish. We have an Editorial Review Board that conducts a double-blind peer review process to help achieve that goal.
Third, DU Press also develops media to complement its publications. Our podcast series, the Press Room, features former NPR personality Tonya Ott and we are launching a Cognitive technologies MOOC as the next class in our series this October.
• How does DU factor into thought leadership?
DU is both an educational institution and a place where current and future leaders convene to discuss key topics and trends. We have built a strong linkage between DU Press and DU. Topics that are front and center on the DU Press editorial calendar are addressed at DU and DU Press authors frequently speak there.
• What’s in the future for Deloitte’s best-in-class research and content?
We’re seeing tremendous interest around our thought leadership collections that cover key topics from many perspectives such as the Internet of Things collection or our recently launched Future of Mobility content. We will continue to emphasize “big idea” topics that cross industries and have disruptive or transformative potential for business. We are also building an ecosystem of authors and collaborators beyond our walls with academic (e.g., the MIT Media Lab) and business leaders who are interested in coauthoring with us.