2011

Chris Koch

Trending Sources

How social media muteness endangers your company: The crisis at McKinsey

Chris Koch

McKinsey recently learned a difficult lesson about what happens when the world takes your thought leadership marketing seriously—and when you lack the ability to respond in the moment through social media. The trouble started when the McKinsey Quarterly published an article in early June entitled How US health care reform will affect employee benefits,  based on a survey the firm did about what will happen to employer-sponsored health care insurance coverage when the President’s health care law goes into effect in 2014. textbook example of pragmatic thought leadership. And so it did.

What the slow death of B2B publishing means for marketers

Chris Koch

This cartoon making the rounds online captures the frustration journalists have with their online plight--and reveals the opportunity B2B marketers have to fill the content gap. Marketers always struggle with what to do next. There so many channels out there and so little time. But if you step back and think about where the real opportunity is for B2B marketers, it is idea marketing.

9 attributes of the best thought leadership content

Chris Koch

Some time back, I blogged about the attributes of a thought leader. Lately, I’ve been talking to B2B marketers about the content delivered by these thought leaders and asking, What defines good thought leadership content? Here’s what I have so far. Surely, you have a suggestion that will get us to ten attributes? Visionary. It’s best to address a problem before customers realize that it’s a problem. Provocative. The best thought leadership pieces are bold and attack conventional wisdom. Differentiated. No “me too” ideas allowed. Relevant. Timely. Has a narrative. Demonstrates mastery.

Best 77

7 reasons why social media success has nothing to do with social media

Chris Koch

This week I was asked to speak on a panel about social media to a group of B2B marketers in financial services. It was great getting the perspective of marketers outside of technology. But they call it “financial services” for a reason: They have all of the same struggles as technology services companies—with the added complication of tons of regulatory requirements. But when the panel was over, I realized something scary: Most of the success factors we wound up talking about had nothing to do with social media. Social doesn’t happen in B2B without a culture change. 30% said yes.

150 Content Marketing Tips

Drive traffic—and leads—with these tips for SEO, social media, content optimization, email marketing, and more.

The last of the anti-social marketing tactics

Chris Koch

Taglines are the last bastions of a classic, one-way marketing messaging strategy, preserving marketing’s perceived right to tell customers what to think. In truth, customers have never listened, except in a few cases of companies with the budget muscle to pound the tagline into customers’ heads over and over again though mass marketing and TV. And yet we keep spending hard-earned shareholders’ dollars creating these shallow soundbites that are supposed to protect our brands, even though the transparency of the internet, and now social media, have rendered such defenses useless.

Is “social media campaign” an oxymoron?

Chris Koch

If you had asked me a few years ago whether the traditional marketing campaign had any place in social media I would have scoffed. Just more evidence of marketing’s old-fashioned, ADHD-driven, love-’em-and-leave-’em approach. would have had only slightly less disdain for the audience for these campaigns. Fly-by-night opportunists hoping to win your Facebook sweepstakes. Win or lose, after the contest is over, they’d ditch you as quickly as a toddler dispatching a fistful of broccoli. After all, “engaging” is one of the four components of social media management. Then HP did something cool.

Does integrity make you a social media loser?

Chris Koch

In three plus years of tweeting, I’ve picked up what I perceive to be the general etiquette for engaging on Twitter. I’ve also done research asking B2B marketers how they engage and how they educate their employees and SMEs to engage. I’ve rolled all that up into an approach that I doubt constantly. I don’t seem to be alone. Lots of people seem to be having Twitter identity crises these days. Another popular blogger, Mitch Joel, worries that he sucks at Twitter because he doesn’t follow everyone back. Do you? Integrity is one of my few talents and I’m afraid it’s wasted on Twitter.

Eight attributes of a thought leader

Chris Koch

Social media are growing up. The initial thrill of connecting to a bunch of peers that we’ve never met is giving way to the desire to get something useful out of those connections. Interesting research from Edelman shows that there has been a decline in trust in “people like myself” and “regular employees.” Meanwhile, trust in “credentialed experts” and “company technical specialists” is rising—we’re getting so desperate we even want to hear from the CEO. Clearly, there’s a growing hunger for thought leadership in social media. Relevant experience. Presence. Rapport. Curiosity. Synthesis.

Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

We surveyed 2016's content marketing leaders on their biggest issues, hurdles, and goals.

3 ways to link marketing to revenue without metrics

Chris Koch

I’m looking forward to our annual ITSMA spring road trip. This time, I’ll be speaking about how to tie thought leadership to revenue, starting in Santa Clara, CA next Wednesday, and in New York and Newton, MA the following week. Hope you can join us. Now, you may think that because I’m using revenue and thought leadership together in the same sentence that I’m going to reveal some secret way to measure the link between the white paper you published last month and the complex solution sale you make six months from now. Alas, no such magic metric exists. We’re focusing on the wrong things.

Link 45

The prerequisite to effective social media: the idea organization

Chris Koch

At the first of ITSMA’s series of road shows this week in Silicon Valley this week (there’s still time to sign up for New York and Boston next week!) I confirmed something I’ve been hearing in my research on idea marketing over the past month: idea marketing requires a deep commitment not just from marketing but from the entire organization. Eric Wittlake makes this point in a blog post this week and I heartily agree. But then this got me to thinking, without a commitment to ideas throughout the organization, all these dollars we’re starting to spend on social media will be wasted.

2011: The year of personal brands

Chris Koch

This is the year that the personal brand begins to do battle with the corporate brand. think we need to let the personal brand win—especially in B2B. Featuring big pictures and bios of your subject matter experts on your website is a good start, but it is the equivalent of paid search. It’s relevant but still a step removed from the truly personal connection. We need the equivalent of organic search, where our people rise to the top on their own, independent of their corporate affiliations. Then as marketers, we create a virtuous cycle that links these personal brands to the corporate brand.

Marketing’s golden opportunity in innovation

Chris Koch

Innovation is becoming more external to companies and more social. When Netflix’s internal engineers struggled to get more than incremental improvements in the company’s movie matching algorithm, the company put the problem to the internet and crowdsourced a 10% leap in accuracy (of course, it didn’t hurt that they offered a million dollar prize). Even funding for innovation is becoming more external and social. website called Kickstarter lets anyone—not just venture capitalists—fund innovation projects featured on the site. Social media management and innovation. Move beyond brand stewardship.

Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

745 marketers told us how effective their content marketing is. Between November 5 and November 17, we surveyed 601 marketers with an 18-question online survey. A few weeks later, Adweek sent the questionnaire to 144 additional marketers. As the survey was answered by nearly our entire population target, the calculated margin of error was approximately 1 percent. Here's what we learned.

4 Reasons Why Facebook Stinks for B2B Marketing

Chris Koch

Recently, I was preparing a workshop on social media for an ITSMA client. The marketer in charge of the company’s social media effort gave me a clear edict: “Look, I don’t want you focusing on Facebook, okay? We don’t see the value of it for B2B and we want it off the table. Every time we talk about it, we have an endless argument that leads nowhere.”. Seemed a bit harsh, but I had to admit that I had been harboring my own doubts about the value of Facebook for B2B for a long time. I’m not saying that B2B companies shouldn’t be on Facebook. think every company should be on Facebook. Why not?

6 lessons on how NOT to market to customers

Chris Koch

Here’s the kind of pressure that social media puts on us: After not posting anything to my blog in nearly six weeks, I feel compelled to offer an explanation. Isn’t that sad? Hey, but that’s how it is. Social media are like a school of sharks; keep moving forward or sink lifelessly to the bottom. Well, I have an explanation, or an excuse, and a damned good one at that. broke my hip about four weeks ago (my bike slid from underneath me on a rainy morning on my way to work). Since I can’t resist that new hip smell, I opted for the stainless upgrade. The answer is: nothing. He’s a colleague.

How do you know when you’ve reached the next level in social media?

Chris Koch

I was thrilled to run a social media workshop this week with a large B2B technology and services provider (and ITSMA member). The great thing about the experience was that this company is already doing social media. In other words, I didn’t have to spend any time defending the honor of social media and explaining why they should be doing it. This was all about the how. But even the how was different. This company has established a highly visible presence in social media—indeed, it has won an award for it. That got me thinking. Exactly what does that mean? There is cultural permission to speak.

We need a chief marketing analytics officer

Chris Koch

There’s lots of talk out there these days about the need for a technology guru within the B2B marketing department. Paul Dunay makes the case for one in this post, and Scott Brinker has been beating the drum for this for some time. Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but I wonder about the long-term need for a marketing technologist. In the short term, I think marketing has a lot of catching up to do in terms of technology. Most companies do not yet have closed-loop lead management processes supported by systems, for example. So we need some important systems installed in the short-term.

Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report

If you're concerned that your organization's content marketing isn't as effective as it could be, this report is for you.

Social media’s Hallmark Moment: the Twitter Auto DM

Chris Koch

I take a perverse pleasure in reading my Twitter DMs, 99% of which are of the automated variety, looking for the heartfelt sentiment that goes out to me and thousands of other close personal friends every day from people I’ve started following. I try to imagine the impulses that motivate the writers behind these parsimonious hanging chads of fake individualized attention. Technology is wonderful isn’t it? It allows us to divide the equivalent of a single “Have a nice day” into thousands of infinitesimally smaller investments of effort and goodwill. hope you enjoy that.”. What do you do?”

How to get employees involved in social media: focus on ideas

Chris Koch

Many marketers involved in social media management tell me that they struggle to get their subject matter experts engaged in social media. But focusing solely on engagement is the wrong goal. What we should be talking about instead is getting those experts involved in creating ideas. In an interview this week with Stephanie Tilton (thanks, Stephanie!) on the Savvy B2B Marketing Blog entitled How to Gain Real Traction with Thought Leadership, I talk about how marketers need to create an idea network within their organizations to spur their subject matter experts to start thinking.

Why you need to turn your customers into stalkers

Chris Koch

At ITSMA , we’ve been busy preparing for our annual State of the Marketing Profession briefing next Tuesday. It’s where we introduce some of the top findings from our annual budget survey of marketers. But we don’t like to just parrot the numbers from the survey. So we spend weeks leading up to the briefing arguing about what the numbers actually mean and what marketers should do. One of the big ideas we’re going to be talking about next week is the concept of scaling intimacy. All through 2010, marketers have been telling us that they are having a harder time getting their content noticed.

Stats 30

The 2 questions on every buyer’s mind

Chris Koch

At any moment in time, C-level executives are looking for answers to two questions: What should I be doing right now? What should I be preparing to do in the future? We need to create a mix of these two types of thought leadership content to maintain strong relationships with their target audiences. Here’s why: Marketers who do this are more successful. In ITSMA’s Thought Leadership Survey, marketers with formal thought leadership processes segment their ideas this way 95% of the time. Among those who parse ideas, most split the pie in half between two types of ideas: Aspirational. Practical.

Staffing and Launching Your Content Marketing Program

Brand voice? Editorial calendar? Approval workflow? Learn how to craft the crucial parts of a content marketing program. In the third installment of our five-part playbook series, discover the necessary steps to execute a content marketing program.

3 factors in winning the social media horse race

Chris Koch

Seems everyone has an opinion about Google’s G+. And as usual in a situation where little data exists (yet) to support fact-based opinions, most of them are extreme. Some say G+ is dead in the water because it hasn’t generated the mad rush that Facebook did and that growth and use is already starting to slow. Others say that G+ will rule because of its integration with Google’s other tools like Android, Gmail, Docs, and its media properties like YouTube and Google Music —in other words, the colossus effect that we’ve been waiting (for so long) to take effect. So much so that it takes a PhD.

Viral 24

The crisis of buyer information in B2B and how to fix it

Chris Koch

Image by roboppy via Flickr. The other day, I kept getting calls on my cell phone from the same number. Never left a voice mail, (which my gut was telling me should have been a signal), but the number was local. Could it really be that someone I knew was trying to get hold of me? So, like a fool, I finally called back (the iPhone makes it so easy to do!). Too bad you can’t slam an iPhone.

Lead 23

Koch to S(blank)0s: Drop Dead

Chris Koch

In 1975, New York City was a real s—thole (I should know, I was a teenager growing up in the area at the time—yes, I’m that old). Dangerous, dirty, rundown, corrupt, without a trace of its current chicness and style, and, most significantly, broke. Image via Wikipedia. Now, this isn’t a political blog so I’m not going to take sides, but the rap on the city down in Washington, D.C. at the time was that the pain was all self-inflicted (a raging recession notwithstanding). Ford changed his mind a few months later and bailed out the city, but many now argue that by then it was too late.

Is Twitter “social?”

Chris Koch

Majority opinion seems to be that Twitter isn’t really a social platform it’s a broadcast medium. study by Yahoo Research found that 50% of tweets are generated by an “elite” group of 20k users and that those users tend to follow one another rather than branching out—what many refer to as the social media echo chamber. For these reasons, pundits say that Twitter isn’t much use for reaching B2B customers. But I treasure this “eliteness,” and while older, high-level executive technology buyers are not on Twitter, the younger ones (and those that wannabe C-level executives) are.

B2B 13

10 Key Marketing Trends for 2016

Learn how you can deliver the outstanding cross-channel experiences your contacts want.

Koch to S(blank)0s: Drop Dead

Chris Koch

In 1975, New York City was a real s—thole (I should know, I was a teenager growing up in the area at the time—yes, I’m that old). Dangerous, dirty, rundown, corrupt, without a trace of its current chicness and style, and, most significantly, broke. Image via Wikipedia. Now, this isn’t a political blog so I’m not going to take sides, but the rap on the city down in Washington, D.C. at the time was that the pain was all self-inflicted (a raging recession notwithstanding). Ford changed his mind a few months later and bailed out the city, but many now argue that by then it was too late.

Is “social media campaign” an oxymoron?

Chris Koch

If you had asked me a few years ago whether the traditional marketing campaign had any place in social media I would have scoffed. Just more evidence of marketing’s old-fashioned, ADHD-driven, love-’em-and-leave-’em approach. would have had only slightly less disdain for the audience for these campaigns. Fly-by-night opportunists hoping to win your Facebook sweepstakes. Win or lose, after the contest is over, they’d ditch you as quickly as a toddler dispatching a fistful of broccoli. After all, “engaging” is one of the four components of social media management. Then HP did something cool.

The last of the anti-social marketing tactics

Chris Koch

Taglines are the last bastions of a classic, one-way marketing messaging strategy, preserving marketing’s perceived right to tell customers what to think. In truth, customers have never listened, except in a few cases of companies with the budget muscle to pound the tagline into customers’ heads over and over again though mass marketing and TV. And yet we keep spending hard-earned shareholders’ dollars creating these shallow soundbites that are supposed to protect our brands, even though the transparency of the internet, and now social media, have rendered such defenses useless.

Does integrity make you a social media loser?

Chris Koch

In three plus years of tweeting, I’ve picked up what I perceive to be the general etiquette for engaging on Twitter. I’ve also done research asking B2B marketers how they engage and how they educate their employees and SMEs to engage. I’ve rolled all that up into an approach that I doubt constantly. I don’t seem to be alone. Lots of people seem to be having Twitter identity crises these days. Another popular blogger, Mitch Joel, worries that he sucks at Twitter because he doesn’t follow everyone back. Do you? Integrity is one of my few talents and I’m afraid it’s wasted on Twitter.

Content Marketing Playbook: Strategy and Roadmap

Every brand’s content roadmap is different; each path to success is unique to that brand’s story, perspective, assets, and goals. But there is an overarching approach that’s proven to work—one we’ve refined after helping hundreds of brands reach their content marketing goals and after speaking with some of the brightest minds in the industry.

7 reasons why social media success has nothing to do with social media

Chris Koch

This week I was asked to speak on a panel about social media to a group of B2B marketers in financial services. It was great getting the perspective of marketers outside of technology. But they call it “financial services” for a reason: They have all of the same struggles as technology services companies—with the added complication of tons of regulatory requirements. But when the panel was over, I realized something scary: Most of the success factors we wound up talking about had nothing to do with social media. Social doesn’t happen in B2B without a culture change. 30% said yes.