Chris Koch

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9 attributes of the best thought leadership content

Chris Koch

It’s best to address a problem before customers realize that it’s a problem. The best thought leadership pieces are bold and attack conventional wisdom. 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. Provocative. Differentiated. No “me too” ideas allowed. Relevant. Timely. Has a narrative.

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

Chris Koch

The article itself is one of the best examples of thought leadership I have ever read. Despite its prowess in thought leadership—McKinsey is simply the best—the firm is falling dangerously behind in social media. 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. textbook example of pragmatic thought leadership. It is bold, clear, authoritative, and based on solid research. That picture is stark and scary. And so it did.

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

Chris Koch

attributes of the best thought leadership content (christopherakoch.com). 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.

6 ideas for sifting the mobility chaos

Chris Koch

Users simply want to use the device they like best; they care less about who owns it (indeed, many would be happy to have the company buy it for them). For about 20 years (sad to say I was a journalist for even longer than that) it seemed that every white paper that crossed my desk began with some variant of this sentence: “As the world becomes more global and interconnected, businesses need a way to see through the complexity. Hire us.]“ “ But now the ubiquitous opening sentence seems to be: “Businesses are awash [drowned, buried, you get the idea] in data.

Six Key Steps to Successful Marketing Automation Adoption

With so many options out there, your success with Marketing Automation depends on selecting the platform that best fits your needs Selecting a Marketing Automation platform can be a daunting task.

How to measure influence in social media marketing

Chris Koch

The best of these is still Technorati, because blogs are, in and of themselves, the most influential channel within social media. Image via Wikipedia. Measuring influence is the new obsession in the social media world—adding another layer of anxiety to the dark cloud of existential dread that is marketing ROI. Influence is the ability to affect others in their thinking or actions.

The prerequisite to effective social media: the idea organization

Chris Koch

Some companies have companywide competitions for the best ideas or the best white paper. 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. What do I mean by an idea organization? Appeal to their egos.

Why Brand Journalism Must Die

Chris Koch

The best idea marketing is conceived, funded, created, and disseminated by a commercial interest in a commercial goal. There is no such thing as brand journalism. I was a journalist for 25 years, so I should know. know what you’re thinking, “Oh here goes the burnt-out old journalist on a self-righteous rant about the sanctity of his beloved profession” (some prefer not to put journalism in the rarefied company of the medical or legal professions and therefore call it a trade; if you’d seen my SAT scores you’d probably agree). It’s marketing. “It’s just an analogy!” you retort.

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Social media’s Hallmark Moment: the Twitter Auto DM

Chris Koch

Not if you’re auto DMing me. “We will do our very best to keep you informed and entertained.” What about doing your very best —every day! 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? hope you enjoy that.”. What do you do?”

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

them the best rather than reaching for more eyeballs. the workforce around social business best practices. in training to enable their teams to make the best use of these new capabilities. technology will determine the best time and day to deliver the message. B2B Marketing. processes are fundamentally changing. know which half." Everything is now measurable. Look for.

Why you need to turn your customers into stalkers

Chris Koch

All of the best blogs are personal. 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. The social media noise is personal. Marketers as paparazzi.

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

Chris Koch

The “voluntary policing” being done by the ad industry today online is at best an uneasy truce with an internet public not yet bothered enough, too lazy, or too uniformed to do anything about shutting off the cookie oven for good. Image by roboppy via Flickr. The other day, I kept getting calls on my cell phone from the same number. If you would like us to stop calling you press…”.

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Stop doing PR. Start doing visibility.

Chris Koch

PR schedules interviews between the subject matter experts and the influencers and tries to influence the interaction to put the company and its offerings in the best light. The best way to get press and influencer attention these days is to write smart things that are easily discoverable. Thanks for the great comments on last week’s post, “Is the Era of PR Over.&# Okay, so if the traditional model for PR is failing, what do we do instead? Most journalists have discovered social media as an important research tool. to prepare them to be public representatives of the company.

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Is lead generation killing marketing?

Chris Koch

Meanwhile, an overemphasis on leads causes salespeople to devalue the things that marketers really do best. We need to get past this battle over leads and get back to doing what we do best. What happens when you stake the value of your contribution to the company on something that you’ll never do as well as someone else? You could hear the proverbial pin drop in the room after he said it. On the one hand, what he was saying seemed ludicrous. How could emphasizing leads not improve the relationship? Most anecdotal estimates I’ve heard range from 10-35%. Seems doubtful.

Is Twitter “social?”

Chris Koch

The best truly “social” interactions I see on Twitter are organized chats. I’ve been both a featured “guest star” and an attendee and I always learn something. 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. What am I doing wrong?

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

them the best rather than reaching for more eyeballs. the workforce around social business best practices. in training to enable their teams to make the best use of these new capabilities. technology will determine the best time and day to deliver the message. B2B Marketing. processes are fundamentally changing. know which half." Everything is now measurable. Look for.

What Pisses off the Man Who is the Face of 3D Printing

Chris Koch

MakerBot , a manufacturer of desktop 3D printers priced at the level of a decent laptop, is the best known of companies producing a product that has already been raised to PC-level stature in terms of its potential impact on business and society. Bre Pettis, the CEO of MakerBot, has become the face of this long-simmering but suddenly hot business (3D printers – the really expensive kind, anyway – have been around for decades) in part because he had lots of practice being a public face long before he ever thought about launching his company. What Caused the F-Bomb. Viral How-Tos.

Sports Analogies Suck, Right?

Chris Koch

What’s the best way to deliver a more engaging experience to season ticket-holders and casual fans alike? Teams are looking for ways to create what we call ‘the best day of their life’ for fans attending a game,” said Frank Wheeler , global VP of sports and entertainment at SAP. How many times have you rolled your eyes at CEOs who use tired sports analogies like “getting to the goal line” or “our numbers show that we’re punching below our weight,” or “somebody dropped the ball on this one”? There are tons more like these. No more.

13 questions about social media and thought leadership

Chris Koch

My feeling is that it is apt, because the best model we have for doing this is publishing—i.e., What social media vehicles are best for promoting B2B thought leadership? think single authors work best, but it’s much more work and can distract from the brand. I see companies adopting multi-authors for that reason (brand defense). Earlier this week I participated in one of MarketingProfs’ TechChats (just do a Twitter search on the #TechChat hashtag to find the dialogue). If you’re in B2B marketing, you gotta go to this thing. So they are all here for your enjoyment.) link].

How Jimmy Fallon Redefined the Celebrity Biography

Chris Koch

Right now, the practice is to simply excerpt bits from their shows in “best of” compilations and market them. English: Jimmy Fallon CES 2009 in Las Vegas, NV (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Jimmy’s Fallon’s career – and much of who he is as a person – can be summed up in eight minutes. Look, I don’t mean that as an insult. Fallon has risen to become a star by doing just one thing: being himself.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

them the best rather than reaching for more eyeballs. the workforce around social business best practices. in training to enable their teams to make the best use of these new capabilities. technology will determine the best time and day to deliver the message. B2B Marketing. processes are fundamentally changing. know which half." Everything is now measurable. Look for.

9 attributes of the best thought leadership content

Chris Koch

It’s best to address a problem before customers realize that it’s a problem. The best thought leadership pieces are bold and attack conventional wisdom. 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. Provocative. Differentiated. No “me too” ideas allowed. Relevant. Timely. Has a narrative.

Have you created a waking dream for your customers?

Chris Koch

That’s also why the best movie I’ve ever seen (for me, the Godfather) still pales next to the best book I’ve ever read (War and Peace) because I own the vision of Pierre lying on his back in the middle of a horrific battlefield and looking up to see the most beautiful blue sky imaginable. (I get to place the sounds, smells, clouds and the colors.) One example stands out for me.

Why Tut would have been buried with his iPhone

Chris Koch

The smooth contours and the shimmering black glass bezels make the devices look more like something out of a Swarovski store than a Best Buy. Sure, sure, I know it’s Apple and Apple is to the ’10s what Sony was to the ’80s. But there must be more to the fact that the iPhone/iTouch are the fastest growing technology launch in history (and the iPad so far is on pace to outdo them both).

How to build emotional engagement in B2B marketing

Chris Koch

Hey, it was the best thing we came up with at the meeting, so why wouldn’t customers like it, too!?). I got a really interesting question last week through my Skribit box: How do you use emotional engagement when talking about dry technology? This may be the ultimate question in B2B, especially as we struggle to integrate social media into the overall marketing mix. It’s the same in B2B.

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16 best practices for creating customer councils

Chris Koch

I was researching the ITSMA archives this week to see what we’ve written about customer councils over the years and discovered some great advice that I pass along here: Research what customers would like to see from a council—make a few calls to lead customers before getting started. Vet potential members careful to make sure they are all genuine peers. Create a set of common objectives as a basis for collaboration, such as: Knowledge creation. Market change. Policy change. Organizational change. Consider bringing in a partner to coordinate/facilitate the council. No selling—ever.

16 best practices for creating customer councils

Chris Koch

I was researching the ITSMA archives this week to see what we’ve written about customer councils over the years and discovered some great advice that I pass along here: Research what customers would like to see from a council—make a few calls to lead customers before getting started. Vet potential members careful to make sure they are all genuine peers. Create a set of common objectives as a basis for collaboration, such as: Knowledge creation. Market change. Policy change. Organizational change. Consider bringing in a partner to coordinate/facilitate the council. No selling—ever.

Is “social media campaign” an oxymoron?

Chris Koch

Actually, I’m not a slut. I’m more of a snob. I’m a content guy and I think thought leadership is the best way to build nurturing relationships with contacts in B2B marketing. 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. You’ve heard of Farmville, right?

The last of the anti-social marketing tactics

Chris Koch

In B2B marketing, we’ve never been given the right to tell customers what to think, much less the budgets to pound a tagline into their minds. I’ve spoken to hundreds of CIOs in my career as a journalist and I can tell you that at best, they ignore taglines ; at worst, they feel their intelligence insulted by them. Taglines are the last bastions of a classic, one-way marketing messaging strategy, preserving marketing’s perceived right to tell customers what to think. Not that the defenses were much more than Maginot Lines to begin with. Many of these companies compete with one another.

What are your best practices for "recession marketing?"

Chris Koch

And we have lists of marketing best practices that we can rattle off. Okay, so I’m not an “A-list&# blogger. But I’ve been at it long enough that I’ve earned the right to call in a favor now and then. My web analytics tell me that there are at least 100 people who care enough to let me into their e-mail boxes before deleting me. So I’m going to go all Chris Brogan on you (I mean that in a nice way) and talk to you directly and ask you to be part of my community and talk to me. If nothing else, do it because you feel sorry for me. We can stop waiting now.

What are your best practices for “recession marketing?”

Chris Koch

And we have lists of marketing best practices that we can rattle off. Okay, so I’m not an “A-list&# blogger. But I’ve been at it long enough that I’ve earned the right to call in a favor now and then. My web analytics tell me that there are at least 100 people who care enough to let me into their e-mail boxes before deleting me. So I’m going to go all Chris Brogan on you (I mean that in a nice way) and talk to you directly and ask you to be part of my community and talk to me. If nothing else, do it because you feel sorry for me. We can stop waiting now.

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

Chris Koch

attributes of the best thought leadership content (christopherakoch.com). 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.

Is Twitter “social?”

Chris Koch

The best truly “social” interactions I see on Twitter are organized chats. I’ve been both a featured “guest star” and an attendee and I always learn something. 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. What am I doing wrong?

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

Chris Koch

The “voluntary policing” being done by the ad industry today online is at best an uneasy truce with an internet public not yet bothered enough, too lazy, or too uniformed to do anything about shutting off the cookie oven for good. 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!).

B2B 2

Why our thought leadership is broken

Chris Koch

The best example of this that I can think of is IBM’s Smarter Planet. I’m guessing that the term came from an ad agency. All of our talk about marketers becoming publishers is incomplete. We can’t just become publishers, we also have to become advertisers. Let me explain. For centuries, publishers had an uneasy, co-dependent relationship with advertisers. wall existed between publishers and advertisers. What’s the point? And they’re linking this content to their social media management strategies. But that’s only part of the answer. Marketing through association. But it happened. Check.

15 qualities of a good social media voice

Chris Koch

The best social media voices have a clear understanding of what it feels like to stand in their audiences’ shoes. As my friend Laura Nicholas points out, the best social media voices try to inspire others to action. When people ask about how to use social media tools like Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, I suspect that they are really asking about how they should sound in those tools. After all, the tools themselves are dead simple. You need a second hand on your watch to track how long it takes to set up a Twitter account, for example. Relevant. Empathetic. Generous. Timely.

How to get others to blog

Chris Koch

Very few writers are able to get their best thoughts out on paper without some help. One of the biggest challenges for B2B social media marketers isn’t creating content, it’s helping others create content. Marketing is the default head of social media management in most companies. And while marketers can create some social media content, they can (and should) rely on their subject matter experts (SMEs) to create most of the stuff that’s going to build trust and relationships with customers. It’s no surprise. Creating content such as blogs is hard. Get ideas from customers. Incite them.

Social media raises the bar for customer intimacy

Chris Koch

We know that in B2B, customers and prospects respond best to ideas, news, research, and how-to—not sales pitches. Social media is raising the bar on customer intimacy. Though it has become a generic term, customer intimacy was first coined by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema who worked at CSC/Index back in the 90s when I was a thought leadership marketer there. Rooted in Michael Porter’s timeless work in business strategy, Treacy and Wiersema took it a step further with their three “value disciplines.”. The theory is that every company competes in three disciplines: Customer intimacy.

How social media will change lead generation in B2B

Chris Koch

The best way to do this is with thought leadership. The era of the sales process beginning with a lead is over. The number of B2B buyers who are ready to buy as soon as they engage with our marketing is small—and social media will make it even smaller. We have to come to terms with the fact that there is a stage of the buying process that comes before the buyers we are pursuing are ready to become leads. We call it the epiphany stage. However, there is something important that happens at this stage: It is the point at which customers come to the realization of an important business need.

How to create B2B social media policies

Chris Koch

The best documents don’t just tell employees what not to do; they also tell them what they should be doing to further the marketing goals of the company. People need to know that taking personal responsibility for their actions is the best guideline of all. The best retort to criticism is factual evidence to the contrary. Employees are not doing the best thing for the company by letting social media take over their workdays. Here are links to the best examples of B2B corporate social media policies that I found: Cisco. This [Choose. Separate opinion from fact.

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