Yes, customer training programs are a particularly valuable vehicle for conveying thought leadership in the B2B marketplace. First of all, those who are even interested in training are thirsting for new knowledge to meet their needs. In a tweet earlier in December I quoted E. Bauer’s definition of thought leadership as the perception that the “Company deeply understands its business, the needs of its customers, and the broader marketplace”. Customer Training please meet Thought leadership. Thought Leadership please meet Customer Training.
Just as important, the development of the curriculum for Customer Training program, provides a perfect opportunity to revisit your Thought Leadership strategy. Do you want your customers to merely gain knowledge, or do you want to “subtly” indoctrinate your customer into your company’s way of thinking about the market? As an example, in a recent customer training program I led, we took extensive pains to build the evidence that a competitors’ view of the marketplace was not only wrong…but in reality bad for the long term development of the industry. As more and more practitioners absorbed the curriculum, the more we were able to change the playing field.