Chris Koch

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What the slow death of B2B publishing means for marketers

Chris Koch

Though most respondents in our How Customers Choose research said the quality of their providers’ thought leadership was pretty good, nearly 40% said it could be better. Existing customers are also looking for new ideas. Marketers always struggle with what to do next. There so many channels out there and so little time. The business model is broken. Half your ad dollars wasted?

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. 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. The best thought leadership pieces are bold and attack conventional wisdom. Differentiated. No “me too” ideas allowed. Relevant. Timely. Has a narrative. Demonstrates mastery.

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Is ghost writing in social media right or wrong?

Chris Koch

As I interview SMEs around SAP and external influencers like analysts and customers, I want to be able to share the raw ideas in their earliest stages so that I can inform people and get their feedback. This week, I posted the first of what may prove to be a series of controversial blog posts on the SAP community network (known to members as SCN). The posts won’t be controversial so much for the content itself (although I hope that that happens eventually) as for the way I’m presenting it. I’m going to channel other people’s ideas, not my own. Related articles.

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

Chris Koch

You have to tweet ideas for solving customers’ problems. 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. 30% said yes.

Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report

for customer service. Customer service teams are the experts on customer pain points. president of global creative and content marketing. “It’s customer-first thinking. A lot. Business Goal Content Objectives KPIs Customer. customers Customer service • Number of service issues resolved using. become customers. Content. Methodology: A Best.

Four reasons to hate thought leadership

Chris Koch

But thought leadership is supposed to be the antidote to the stuff that we (and, more important, customers) dismiss as collateral. What customers are looking for are good ideas, not content. You may have noticed that I’ve changed the name of my blog. I’ve changed it for two reasons. Second, I’m changing the name because I’m going to make it my personal mission to end the use of the term thought leadership to describe this method of marketing B2B companies. I don’t know of another marketing term that gets so much hate mail. It’s a set up for failure.

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The five stages of social media grief—have you passed through them yet?

Chris Koch

Image via Wikipedia. Social media (along with skimpy marketing budgets) are causing a transformation in marketing to a degree that we haven’t seen for a lifetime. But in our rush to embrace the new, we haven’t taken adequate time to honor the painful transition we are experiencing. Think of me as your grief counselor for good ol’ message-based marketing. Denial. This can’t be happening—not to me.”

15 things marketers should stop doing and thinking in 2011

Chris Koch

The ultimate risk in business is that your customers stop buying from you because they don’t trust you. Preventing employees from speaking to customers because they might make a mistake ignores this much bigger risk—which existed long before social media came along. Customers want to speak to the people they will be working with. We did some case studies at ITSMA this year that showed that companies could easily blow up half their offices and do away with most of their administrative and bureaucratic structures without a single customer noticing. Mobile.

6 lessons on how NOT to market to customers

Chris Koch

Sure, healthcare knows how to sell drugs, but in terms of preparing the customer for the experience of service delivery, fuggedaboudit. Here are some examples: Educate the customer—or don’t. Many of us in B2B can be proud of how we educate our customers and prospects on the business issues they face—from current regulatory changes to future “sea changes.” We help ease them into the idea that they need our services and solutions to solve these problems so that the experience of spending all that money feels a little less like stepping off a cliff. Isn’t that sad?

Evangelizing a Content Marketing Program

percent of American pay TV custom- ers overall, including the 25–34 demographic. as sales, employee advocacy, customer service, audi- ence engagement, thought leadership, and hiring. CUSTOMER RETENTION & LOYALTY The “always-on sales funnel” is a mod- ern marketing cliché for a reason. customer. All rights reserved. Introduction 4 II. Why This Guide 6 III. Instead, most.

Eight attributes of a thought leader

Chris Koch

Our prospects and customers want us to cut through the noise of social media just as they’ve wanted us to cut through the noise of every other communications channel that came before. Their rapport with customers extends to a genuine, ego-free interest in the problems those customers face. 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. Clearly, there’s a growing hunger for thought leadership in social media. Relevant experience. Presence.

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How to use social media for B2B

Chris Koch

Take an active role in social media by engaging with customers and influencers in the various forums where conversations are taking place. Monitoring can be used to discover customers and prospects that are most relevant for your offerings by observing the patterns and topics of their conversations. Image by HubSpot via Flickr. Here they are: Monitor. Engage. Manage. Monitor. Engage.

3 ways to link marketing to revenue without metrics

Chris Koch

Marketers tell me that if they can get salespeople to even send the thing to prospects and customers they’re happy. We need to create talking points for salespeople to use when communicating to customers and prospects, and we need to find ways to integrate salespeople into the content development and dissemination processes from the start. 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. Tweet This Post.

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4 Reasons Why Facebook Stinks for B2B Marketing

Chris Koch

It’s yet another channel for reaching customers and the effort required to set up a Facebook page and create RSS feeds of your content to update it is pretty small. 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.”. think every company should be on Facebook. Why not? Relationships, right?

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Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

And instead of relying on disruptive banner ads, brands are start- ing to get smart about targeting customers with original content. their most important marketing goal, lifetime customer value and. Copyright © 2015 Contently. All rights reserved. By Jordan Teicher Study: How Much of Your Content. Marketing is Effective? What’s working—and what’s not—for over. content.

The prerequisite to effective social media: the idea organization

Chris Koch

In other words, unless we become idea organizations, we’re not going to have much to say to customers, prospects, and influencers in social media. One company has created an internal portal where project members submit ideas that are vetted and voted on by the project customers. Can you start to see that by creating these idea development processes, it becomes much easier for companies to engage in social media conversations that will impress customers and influencers? Eric Wittlake makes this point in a blog post this week and I heartily agree. Appeal to their egos.

2011: The year of personal brands

Chris Koch

But who’s thinking about the customer here? What about the customer’s view? But looking at it all from a customer’s perspective, I think Forrester looks better being a legacy on a star’s personal blog than having a star that leaves a void in content upon leaving. 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. What do you think?

Marketing’s golden opportunity in innovation

Chris Koch

Social media aren’t even just for facilitating conversation and customer relationships. 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. Social media management and innovation. CMOs can succeed where CIOs struggled.

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I have seen the future of B2B marketing. It’s on Forbes.

Chris Koch

For the past few months, I’ve been one of the authors of content on SAP’s little corner of the Forbes platform and I’ve become a big fan. I’m especially fond of the effect it has on my colleagues in SAP marketing: they understand that they no longer need to pitch products to get the attention of customers and prospects. Our group’s mandate is to research the business issues that SAP’s customers and prospects care about and write exclusively about those issues—not our products and services. That’s because customers and prospects actually come to the Forbes site and read our stuff.

Content Marketing Playbook: Strategy and Roadmap

customers to reimagine GE on the cutting edge, which. they end up becoming customers of Moz, that’s great, too, but that’s a side benefit. list that could include: its own investment trends data, data and queries gathered at its customer call center, the expertise of its financial advisors and other internal. Playbook No. 2: Strategy and Roadmap Copyright © 2015 Contently.

Why Can’t Companies Be More Like the Iroquois?

Chris Koch

Each tribe had its own language, customs, and culture. Most are riven by silo (tribal) warfare, as employees who are all supposed to be working for the same cause – serving the customer – engage in turf battles and subvert one another in an attempt to appear to be the most effective contributors to the company. Caught on the Wrong Side. Why Can’t Companies Do This?

Why salespeople should sell ideas: an FAQ

Chris Koch

Every B2B company has subject matter experts (SMEs) who are working with customers to solve problems and have deep backgrounds in customers’ processes, industries, and functions. How do I get these ideas in a form I can use with customers? Great, so you want me to dump a bunch of whitepapers on my customers? No, you have to work with marketing to get those ideas translated into a form you can use with customers—whether that be idea salescards, demos, etc. We all know the increasing importance of ideas in B2B marketing. think they need to be convinced.

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

Chris Koch

speak to many regulated B2B companies who (still) don’t believe their employees can engage in uncontrolled conversations with customers and prospects. 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. That got me thinking. Do you agree?

Why you need to turn your customers into stalkers

Chris Koch

We have individual salespeople making calls and we have marketers establishing deeper relationships with existing customers through intimate channels like reference programs and customer advisory councils. 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. One of the big ideas we’re going to be talking about next week is the concept of scaling intimacy. What do you think?

Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

platforms, and customer relationship management. Copyright © 2015 Contently. All rights reserved. contently.comBy Jordan Teicher Content. Marketing. 2016 STAFFING, MEASUREMENT, AND. EFFECTIVENESS ACROSS THE INDUSTRY 2Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness Across the Industry I. Introduction II. Methodology III. Key Findings IV. Results and Analysis V. But brands.

Where is the utility in mobile apps for B2B?

Chris Koch

For customers in this realm, I think utility has long meant access to their peers and to expert advice during the purchasing and post-sales processes. The utility would be in making that easier to do than it is now (going to vendors for customer references, calling up their networks of peers for recommendations and advice, sifting through analyst reports and trade magazines, going to trade association events). Mitch Joel has a nice post on HBR this week about bringing utility to marketing and social media. Perhaps we need to wait for the second coming of Second Life for that.

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

Chris Koch

External: Customer councils. 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. Create an idea network as the basis for social media. Marketers need to facilitate a process for internal development of ideas and for external feedback. The combination of internal and external creation and feedback creates friction and competition. Knowledge share sessions.

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The 2 questions on every buyer’s mind

Chris Koch

Consultant Fred Reichheld didn’t invent the concept of customer loyalty, but by identifying the marker for it, he changed how many companies approach managing customer loyalty. Marketing and sales must agree on the alignment of content to the various buying stages so that sales will get the right signals about when and how to approach customers for a sale. For example, IBM creates specific versions of its thought leadership materials for salespeople to use during their discussions with customers. What should I be preparing to do in the future? Practical.

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Sports Analogies Suck, Right?

Chris Koch

The example I’m about to give focuses on the fact that if you think of sports fans as business customers, they are the most loyal in the world. For example, what customer do you know of that would be willing to sit for hours in sub-zero temperatures just to get your product (okay, maybe Apple fans do that somewhere, but other than that, it works. Sports teams are looking to change this dynamic by embracing metrics that help them quantify the value of loyal customers beyond ticket purchases – and reward those customers for their loyalty. No more. Convenience.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

And they expect an optimized customer experience from end to end. Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. always make more content, their customers can't make any more time. will be forced to value "fit" over "reach" where they target the customers that fit. or current customer is. B2B Marketing.

Stop doing PR. Start doing visibility.

Chris Koch

That’s why increasingly, PR is going to become a matter of simply allowing your subject matter experts to be found rather than enlisting armies of PR people to try to force journalists and customers to find those subject matter experts. I’m not saying we fire all PR people. But it does mean removing PR people from their traditional role as gate keepers between subject matter experts and influencers and customers. And it means taking the conversation out of the hands of PR people and putting it into the hands of subject matter experts, influencers, and customers. Outreach.

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Thought leadership is still dead; long live idea marketing

Chris Koch

Regardless, it’s a twist on an old consultant’s trick: Gain attention and credibility with press, customers, and influencers by creating your own definition, which gives you the ability to insert the “what we call x…” phrase into descriptions of otherwise basic things. The education is the exchange of value that begins a relationship between the customer and the deliverer—whether that deliverer is a salesperson, a marketer, or a subject matter expert. Survey internal sales and marketing staff, customers, target markets, and influencers to determine what they are looking for.

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Is the era of PR over?

Chris Koch

First, let’s define what PR means from the perspective of the customer (i.e., a journalist) and the customer’s customer (i.e., Your customer hates and avoids you. These aren’t the people you want talking to influencers and customers. And customers never read the releases. In B2B, that’s not going to build relationships with customers. Agencies’ goals and metrics are usually based on the needs and wants of the guard dogs rather than on the needs and wants of the target customer—the influencer. As in dead. Don’t do it anymore. Guard dog PR.

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Should we stop marketing to the CIO?

Chris Koch

With speeds and feeds no longer relevant, marketers must get the attention of customers through ideas about how to improve business services rather than technology comparisons. Without the IT hairball to lock providers and customers together in a death embrace, the barriers to switching providers will come down. Tags: Customer Relationships Marketing Strategy Application service provider B2B marketing Business Business process Chief information officer CIOs Cloud computing Corporate Executive Board E-Commerce Information technology Thought Leadership What do you think?

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B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

And they expect an optimized customer experience from end to end. Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. always make more content, their customers can't make any more time. will be forced to value "fit" over "reach" where they target the customers that fit. or current customer is. B2B Marketing.

13 questions about social media and thought leadership

Chris Koch

Ideas that educate customers and prospects about important business and technology issues and help them solve those issues—without selling. Q. Companies and customers and prospects will have a more continuous relationship than they do today. Earlier this week I participated in one of MarketingProfs’ TechChats (just do a Twitter search on the #TechChat hashtag to find the dialogue). It’s a warm-up for the great dialogues we’ll be having at MarketingProfs’ SocialTech conference later this month in San Jose, where I’ll be speaking about social media and the B2B buying process. link].