I regularly scan the market for examples of great marketing and business development – and I use case studies in workshops and training (not least the “Managing and Marketing a Profitable your Surveyors’ Practice” I present regularly for MBL). Thought leadership is a fantastic strategy to lead integrated, multi-channel campaigns and here are some current examples. So here is a Property marketing case study – Thought leadership campaigns: Arcadia, JLL and Remit.

Arcadis: The Sustainable Cities Index

This thought leadership campaign for Arcadis hit the headlines in November 2022 when it won an award for Best International Campaign in the B2B Awards.  Furthermore, Man Bites Dog (The Strategic Ideas Company) – headed by Claire Mason – also won Specialist Consultancy of the Year at the B2B Marketing Awards (the agency has an impressive number of other awards including those from PRCA).

The challenge

The Sustainable Cities Index 2022 championed a new vision of city success, redefining prosperity to incorporate people and planet as well as profit. Man Bites Dog invented the first-of-its-kind Sustainable Cities Index in 2015: a pioneering thought-leadership campaign that propelled the specialist topic of urban sustainability onto the mainstream news and business agenda. In 2022, with sustainability now a crowded market, Arcadis challenged Man Bites Dog to refresh the visionary Index to help the firm retain its market-leading position and reignite the urban sustainability agenda at a time when economic pressures (from pandemic-recovery to conflict-impacts) were curtailing momentum and investment.

The solution

As leaders increasingly question whether GDP is an adequate measure of country performance, Man Bites Dog identified the opportunity for Arcadis to champion a new vision of a thriving city, redefining prosperity to incorporate people and planet as well as profit.

They gave the 2022 edition the theme of ‘Prosperity Beyond Profit’, demonstrating that sustainability and prosperity have aligned and are now one and the same. Although prosperity historically meant economic productivity, tomorrow’s prosperous cities are those that are looking beyond financial performance to the health of their natural environment and their citizens’ quality of life.

They reinvented the Sustainable Cities Index to incorporate a range of novel indicators (economic and crowdsourced), covering 51 sustainability-metrics. These metrics were used to rank 100 global cities – covering 47 countries – overall and by people, planet and profit. The 2022 edition brought together developed and emerging market cities for the first time. This enabled deep city insights, peer comparisons, learnings and identification of areas for city improvement.

The campaign

The Sustainable Cities Index 2022 was launched in 15 countries with a suite of content assets, including a highly visual digital report, video and interactive tool to compare city performance.

Tailored data and expert insights for 100 cities enabled Arcadis sales teams to go to market via in-market events and conferences, starting in June with three launch events in key Australian cities.

The data has also informed follow-up content, such as in-depth podcasts exploring stand-out cities.

Operating in the most prosperous cities in the world, Arcadis is using the Sustainable Cities Index as a key tool in its mission to share knowledge between cities – delivered through in-country launch events and in partnership with the UN Habitat’s World Urban Forum.

This campaign reignited the urban sustainability debate in 100 cities across the world. The 2022 revamp enabled the Sustainable Cities Index to reclaim its position as the seminal urban sustainability index, amplifying Arcadis’s thought-leadership position and generating international speaker opportunities for Global Cities Director, John Batten.

The impact

The Sustainable Cities Index 2022 balances commercial relevance with globally relevant cross-audience insights, reaching decision-makers through high-profile national media, key property sector and sustainability media and capturing imagination through mainstream/consumer media.

  • Since its June launch, the campaign has secured over 800 pieces of coverage in over 50 countries, with an estimated reach of 450M. High-profile hits range from international FT publications to Australia’s Daily Telegraph to Time Out magazine.
  • This was supported by strong trade coverage across the property media (e.g. The Urban Developer and Construction News) as well as within the sustainability community (e.g. Green Matters and The Green Review).
  • The campaign microsite has been visited by more than 21,000people with a high average dwell time of almost four minutes. 
  • The Sustainable Cities Index continues to open up new opportunities for Arcadis to engage with city influencers; commercial business and industry leaders; and financial decision-makers – to help inform the future of their cities. The supporting B2B email campaign achieved an impressive engagement rate of 17.4%, engaging almost 2,000 new corporate prospects.
  • The Sustainable Cities Index remains the primary sales tool for Arcadis’s urban sustainability services and contributes strongly to the firm’s Global Cities Program, which works with clients on sustainable solutions in cities around the world.

Read more: Arcadis: The Sustainable Cities Index 2022 – Man Bites Dog

JLL – Future of Work Survey 2022

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. It is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $19.4 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 102,000. https://www.jll.co.uk/.

Like many real estate consultancies, it has an impressive range of research data on all of its markets (offices, logistics, retail, residential etc) – and on the workplace. This includes an August 2022  survey of 240 senior HR professionals on 5 incentives to entice employees back to the office (jll.co.uk) and November 2022 5 new metrics measuring the workplace (jll.co.uk) which include: employee engagement, attrition rate, indoor environment quality, right space for the task and social cohesion when working remotely. So the Future of Work survey integrates with and supports other research studies and the firm’s marketing and business development in the workspace domain.

The research

Insights from its latest survey of over 1,000 CRE decision-makers across 13 key markets worldwide (there’s an interactive map on the web site for users to see how many respondents were in each market) suggest that the period from 2022 to 2025 will represent a crucial window of opportunity for organizations to redefine their workplace strategies and to create flexible, tech-enabled, future-proof real estate portfolios.

The role of real estate is changing, and the latest research identifies the five critical areas that organizations will need to consider to shape a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future of work:

  • Hybrid working
  • Partnerships
  • Intelligent technology investments
  • Environmental and social aspirations
  • Investing in quality space

The web site provides tools to explore the survey results in more detail – seeing the breakdown of responses on each question.

There is also a series of videos. For example, “Shaping the future of work” where Dr Marie Puybaraud, Global Head of Research, JLL Work Dynamics, discusses the role of the office and employee expectations as we transition to the hybrid working world. And “Bringing the regenerative workplace to life” where Flore Pradere, Research Director of JLL Work Dynamics reflects on the results.


The research was widely reported in international, national and trade media including: The Business Journals, CFO magazine, Forbes, South China Morning Post, NZ Herald, Fortune, The Business Times, Scottish Housing News, Business Leader, Information Wek, GlobeSt, The Property Tribune and the Financial Times.

Read more here: The Future of Work Survey 2022 (jll.co.uk)

JLL was highly commended at the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards in the Consultancy of the Year category (JLL highly commended at BusinessGreen Leaders Awards)

JLL uses Velo digital expertise to transform user experience and increase sales leads – read the case study here JLL – Velo, an award winning B2B marketing agency (velo-b2b.com)

Remit Consulting – Property benchmarking

And to prove that you don’t need to be a global firm to develop and promote high quality research and thought leadership campaigns here are some examples from Remit – an independent, European management consultancy specialising in real estate, providing in-depth knowledge since 2003 and comprising around 20 full time consultants and a network of many more associates.

The firm’s marketing is based primarily on news coverage, events and meetings based on its survey results.


Remit Consulting has a subscription-based benchmarking survey into the performance of the property management sector. Providing the property industry with the most comprehensive set of data on the property management market in the UK. It collects data on company sizes and asset under management and rent collection.

Research conducted by Remit Consulting into rent collection levels across more than 18,350 properties during the first few days of April 2020 showed the extent of the impact of Covid-19 on the UK’s property market.

The study revealed that less than half the rent due on rent quarter day was paid by tenants according to a survey on major property management businesses. The report was undertaken in conjunction with members of Remit Consulting’s Property Managers Forum over the first few days of Q2 and looked at the level of rents received in the office, industrial, retail and residential sectors. The report received coverage in the Property Week magazine and in the Financial Times. REMark Survey — Remit Consulting


ReTurn is a research project, undertaken by Remit Consulting since May 2021, when the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were eased in the UK. The study tracks the return of workers to major offices, in ten UK cities, by recording and analysing data provided by building managers regarding the volume of people entering buildings via automated turnstiles.

The objective of the ReTurn study is to provide the property sector with an overview of the “return to the office” and the impact of ‘Working from Home’ and hybrid working patterns.

ReTurn has revealed a gradual return to the office since May 2021, with daily and weekly fluctuations in the volume of people entering buildings. These variations are shown to have been impacted by different variants of Covid-19 (Omicron in particular), school and public holidays along with industrial action. The study has also revealed patterns of behaviour regarding the busiest days of the week with a strong propensity for workers to be in the office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, with Mondays and Fridays being the quietest days.

More detail is available here.

The firm’s range of research is explored here Overview — Remit Consulting

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