Mindshare Versus Market Share, And How Thought Leadership Can Help
A passionate marketer, CEO at iResearch ServicesTechInformed & GivingforGood.
Mindshare and market share are two of the most critical concepts in marketing right now. A 2019 blog post for AI-powered analytics software company Cortex does a great job of defining these two terms:
“Mindshare relates to consumer awareness of a product or company. … The most successful companies have pioneered a product or service and have gained recognition for it. They are known as the best solution and for many consumers, the only solution to their problem.” Market share, meanwhile, is “the portion a company controls of a market. … Market share is usually quantifiable and measurable and is the financial concrete makeup of mindshare.”
In other words, if market share is about sales and statistics, mindshare is all about awareness. You can quantify market share and not mindshare, but you should still pay attention to the latter, especially since it plays a pivotal role in marketing decision-making.
I argue that thought leadership is the best way to improve mindshare for your company. That’s because thought leaders and influencers are opinion-makers that consumers want to follow, subscribe to and receive valuable advice from. The more powerful and ubiquitous the influencer, the more mindshare increases among those consumers.
Mindshare And Thought Leadership
Mindshare is a relatively new concept in marketing, but it’s related to classic ideas like the need to create buzz and brand recognition around a particular product or service, and keeping those products and services in customers’ minds. Mindshare can improve sales, loyalty and brand awareness in one fell swoop. It also helps marketing managers gain an advantage over their competitors.
Mindshare is crucial for driving thought leadership. If a company successfully remains in the minds of consumers, those consumers are likelier to follow its most influential employees on social media, watch their keynote speeches and view these influencers as knowledgeable and even inspirational authority figures.
Take Microsoft, for example, a company with incredible mindshare. Consumers worldwide can recognize its four-colored squares logo even without text. Now take Bill Gates, the face of Microsoft for decades. As Microsoft became more ubiquitous and dominated the tech market, Gates became a more prominent influencer. As I write this, Gates has almost six times as many Twitter followers as the company he once majority-owned.
But it works the other way around, too: Thought leadership can increase mindshare. One might argue that Elon Musk has greater name recognition than Tesla. Musk’s successful thought leadership has helped boost awareness of and excitement for his companies and products through TED talks, media interviews, keynote speeches and social media presence (however controversial).
Because mindshare is still a new marketing concept, some marketing managers throw everything against the wall to see what sticks. Ways to improve mindshare include creating memorable experiences, investing in big data technology and using research-based marketing. But none of these techniques will be successful unless managers view mindshare through the paradigm of thought leadership. Influencers improve mindshare by building credibility, authority, loyalty and affinity. When an influencer (who could be a company founder, a C-suite executive, a marketer, etc.) creates a new blog or social media post, consumers are eager to read their opinions, which boosts awareness about the influencer’s company.
Market Share And Thought Leadership
Most brands improve market share through advertising and acquisition, but influencers can be just as effective in dominating a market. Brand image is critical to market share—the more favorably consumers view your products and services, the more they will continue to invest in your company. And who better to improve brand image than a likeable, intelligent, talented professional with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers?
Thought leadership is a robust way to improve perceptions of an organization, and content creation is effective in influencing purchasing decisions. These, in turn, can increase market share and help brands outsell their competitors. Influencers can improve perceptions and influence purchasing decisions through technology, social media, media interviews, thought leadership videos or even by starting a thought leadership podcast.
Gaining market share is easier for marketing professionals to quantify, too. Managers can clearly see the effectiveness of a thought leadership marketing plan through analytics and number-crunching.
Mindshare And Market Share: Final Words
Mindshare and market share are concepts that marketing managers leverage all the time. However, more managers need to view these concepts through the lens of thought leadership. When influencers succeed, they push their respective brands into the minds of consumers, positively impacting sales, loyalty and awareness. They also help brands dominate markets and boost revenue. The next time you think about mindshare or market share, bring successful thought leadership into the mix.