Chris Koch

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6 ideas for sifting the mobility chaos

Chris Koch

Connectedness equals productivity, as we discovered (eventually) with PCs and laptops in earlier times that began just as chaotically as mobile has. There’s no way that call center employees can be as productive and deliver as high quality service from a mobile phone while in their PJs at home as they can when they are at the screen of a PC delivering them carefully chosen scripts and real-time advice. Without following employees through “a day in the life,” as consumer product goods companies do, you won’t enable the right people with the right devices and apps. Hire us.]“

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

Chris Koch

Before social media can happen, companies need an idea culture. A lot of B2C social media marketing can come out of the marketing group because consumers are looking for deals, product information, and peer reviews. 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.

What the slow death of B2B publishing means for marketers

Chris Koch

Publishers are left with a trickle of revenue and B2B companies discover just how uninterested a generic online audience is in their products and services. 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.

Is ghost writing in social media right or wrong?

Chris Koch

If I don’t have an answer, I’ll go to them and get the answer and come back with it. I’ll also name the writers that I have working with the SMEs as we are doing interviews and working towards the “final” products: white papers, videos, etc. 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). You can read the entire post here. It introduces me to the community and explains what I’m planning to do. They may not like it and you may not either. Others call it ghost writing. Related articles.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. Don’t just talk about your product or service. time for B2B marketers to let go of their obsession with perfect production. Define your business strategy: products, prospects, distribution, sales and. develop a highly productive online lead generation system.

6 lessons on how NOT to market to customers

Chris Koch

The highest production-value material I received upon discharge was a two-color, 24-page glossy magazine entitled “A Guide to Taking Warfarin.” 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. Since I can’t resist that new hip smell, I opted for the stainless upgrade.

15 things marketers should stop doing and thinking in 2011

Chris Koch

From Facebook to email to putting telephones on employees’ desks (remember, the telephone started as a “consumer” communication technology, too), companies think that every new wave is going to lead to gajillions in lost productivity. Unless you are selling products, and inexpensive ones at that, it is impossible to track a tweet or a blog post directly to a sale. For expensive, complex B2B products and services, social media can improve relationships with customers and increase awareness. Social media cause people to waste time at work. Dude, this stuff isn’t heroin, okay?

ROI 51

Why salespeople should sell ideas: an FAQ

Chris Koch

As buyers do more searching, they are stretching the buying process earlier and earlier, to the point where they may not have a specific product or service in mind when they search. Most salespeople are still focused on selling specific products and services. C’mon, nobody goes in pitching anymore. I ask them about their pain points and work with them to resolve them. We all know the increasing importance of ideas in B2B marketing. But idea marketing doesn’t start and stop with marketers. And I’m not sure that salespeople share the same passion for ideas as we do.

FAQ 36

How to make social media add up to thought leadership

Chris Koch

Just as I didn’t see the neighborhood insurrection as the defining moment in the office development story, IBM, for example, became so focused on optimizing the individual pieces of its portfolio back in the eighties and nineties that no one saw that the bigger narrative had changed: IT was moving from selling individual boxes to fixing bigger problems with a mix of products and services. Among the five different newspapers that covered the same turf as I did was the New York Times, which had a section called “Connecticut Weekly” on Sundays. The predatory strike of summation.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. Don’t just talk about your product or service. time for B2B marketers to let go of their obsession with perfect production. Define your business strategy: products, prospects, distribution, sales and. develop a highly productive online lead generation system.

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. Indeed, there is a sense among my colleagues (that has been voiced to me as a rule), that Forbes frowns on stuff that shills products or links back to stuff on our company’s website that does. give us a B- overall—not bad for a product company. Why Forbes.

The 2 questions on every buyer’s mind

Chris Koch

Another great aspect of that piece is that when you click through to the article, you’ll see an aspirational piece positioned next to it entitled “Redesigning Employee Benefits,” which advocates taking a product development approach to the employee benefits process. 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. Practical.

Thought leadership is still dead; long live idea marketing

Chris Koch

It may look better and read better than a brochure, but it’s still a brochure because it emphasizes our products and services over the needs of the people we are trying to reach. Gartner’s definition of thought leadership marketing is this: “The giving—for free or at a nominal charge—of information or advice that a client will value so as to create awareness of the outcome that a company’s product or service can deliver, in order to position and differentiate that offering and stimulate demand for it.”. This week, Gartner proved why we need to make the change. Yikes.

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

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. 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. Please tweet your “favorite” or put it in a comment below.). No more. Convenience.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. Don’t just talk about your product or service. time for B2B marketers to let go of their obsession with perfect production. Define your business strategy: products, prospects, distribution, sales and. develop a highly productive online lead generation system.

Is the era of PR over?

Chris Koch

They didn’t coach CIOs to talk only about how they used the products and services of the company. Among the many interesting ideas thrown around at ITSMA’s annual conference this week was that the era of PR is over. As in dead. Don’t do it anymore. First, let’s define what PR means from the perspective of the customer (i.e., a journalist) and the customer’s customer (i.e., the readers of the journalists’ publications). Looked at this way, there are only two types of PR: Guard dog PR and placement PR. Let’s look at each in more detail. Guard dog PR. It’s called being human. Placement PR.

B2B 9

There is only one objective in social media: create learning networks

Chris Koch

Companies that made commodity products would tell me with straight faces that even their financial processes were unique—GAAP be damned—and that they needed to customize their software to fit “our ways of doing things.” Recommend products and services that you haven’t thoroughly researched and you will most likely be out of a job. There is too much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth about social media objectives and strategy these days. We’re wired as humans to believe that we are each unique and different—indeed, this perception shoulders the bulk of our self-esteem. little.

How to Grab Readers’ Attention: Be Counterintuitive

Chris Koch

But research by my colleague Stephanie Overby has found that the real workhorse driving increased customization of manufactured goods on the production line is the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machine. CNC machines make it easier for companies to customize products; alterations are just a matter of reprogramming the software. 3D printed bust (Photo credit: Gastev). 3D Scanners.

Patents Are Dead

Chris Koch

For a certain period (usually 10-20 years) one else is allowed to make or sell the product (or service) besides the inventor and the company he or she chooses to make the patented product so that they can recoup the investment made to invent, design, manufacture, and distribute the product and make a tidy sum besides – basically whatever price the market will bear. The Costs of Production Approach Zero for Everything. I have always associated innovation with patents. Thanks to something called a patent. Patents Make Things Valuable Through Scarcity. It’s not easy.

How Do You Market Something That’s Worthless?

Chris Koch

I come from an industry (publishing) where the cost to produce the product has dropped to zero. The publishing industry is imploding because its products can be produced entirely via bits and bytes and therefore, the marginal cost, as Jeremy Rifkin puts it so eloquently in this interview and video, has dropped to zero. What’s refreshing is that Rifkin doesn’t just list the in-vogue economic disruptors of the moment, the 3D printer and the Internet of Things, as the reasons why physical products and services will go the way of publishing. It Won’t Stop with Virtual Goods.

Do too many cooks spoil the blog?

Chris Koch

This is especially true for services companies, who don’t have concrete products that can do the branding for them.). Image via Wikipedia. Companies who want to add their voices the blogosphere have a decision to make: Do we allow individual employees to be the dominant force in our efforts, or do we keep the focus on the company by creating group-authored blogs? What do you think?

B2B 2

Have you created a waking dream for your customers?

Chris Koch

For example, in the three categories I’ve looked at so far (there are six categories altogether), we have one company using analytics to predict customer buying patterns (and this ain’t diapers or laundry detergent, ladies and gents—we’re talking six-figure jumbles of complex products and services here). From marketing event to marketing retreat. One example stands out for me. Very cool.

B2B 2

The power of self-regulation in customer relationships

Chris Koch

Clear, simple product that everyone understands, right? When Zane started out, he faced competition from much larger bike shops, so he couldn’t afford to compete on price of the product. Simple things seem to be the most powerful, don’t they? think that’s one of the reasons that when people write about an archetypal business, they often use bicycles. Image via Wikipedia.

B2B 2

How to build emotional engagement in B2B marketing

Chris Koch

Let’s face it, even if it was possible to curl up in front of the fire with a glass of wine and our B2B products and services, no one would do it. I got a really interesting question last week through my Skribit box: How do you use emotional engagement when talking about dry technology? Most of the things we sell are about as emotive as army ants. Where are thepeople and the stories?

Want to launch a new product or service faster? Do some research.

Chris Koch

In other words, companies start trying to deliver new products and services before they’ve adequately answered all the questions about whether this new thing is something customers actually want, whether it’s something that salespeople can actually sell, and whether it is something that operations can actually deliver at a reasonable cost. Will you share your war stories about new product or service launches? One client summed it up by saying that there are two points of resistance in the process of bringing new things to market. Put more energy into the first battle.

Want to launch a new product or service faster? Do some research.

Chris Koch

In other words, companies start trying to deliver new products and services before they’ve adequately answered all the questions about whether this new thing is something customers actually want, whether it’s something that salespeople can actually sell, and whether it is something that operations can actually deliver at a reasonable cost. Will you share your war stories about new product or service launches? One client summed it up by saying that there are two points of resistance in the process of bringing new things to market. Put more energy into the first battle.

Why the volume and quality of interactions with customers has to pass for social media ROI

Chris Koch

This is the number of articles or blog posts that mention the product or service measured against the trend in sales. Image by LollyKnit via Flickr. wish I could say that social media leads to sales. really do. But I can’t. And I haven’t encountered anyone else who can either, have you? So when we think about social media ROI, we need to make a leap of faith. Jumping through ROI hoops.

PR 2

Is “social media campaign” an oxymoron?

Chris Koch

Non-targets could win Hitachi consumer products and went to a separate database. 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. Let them win stuff.

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

Chris Koch

Before social media can happen, companies need an idea culture. A lot of B2C social media marketing can come out of the marketing group because consumers are looking for deals, product information, and peer reviews. 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.

B2B 2

The 2 questions on every buyer’s mind

Chris Koch

Another great aspect of that piece is that when you click through to the article, you’ll see an aspirational piece positioned next to it entitled “Redesigning Employee Benefits,” which advocates taking a product development approach to the employee benefits process. 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. Practical.

Social media raises the bar for customer intimacy

Chris Koch

Product leadership. These are companies that rely heavily on innovative, exciting, status-conferring new products to hold customer interest. The quality movement let most companies achieve a high level of reliability and consistency (for example, most car companies score very closely in quality rankings these days), and the venture capital movement (along with 3-D design software) has created a ready avenue for unknown product innovators to gain the spotlight. Social media is raising the bar on customer intimacy. Operational excellence. Intimacy through content.

Should sales enablement be owned by sales rather than marketing?

Chris Koch

Marketers helped salespeople put words to the insanely complex products and services they were trying to sell. Sharing information in a way that doesn’t overly sap productivity (hard to do before social media came along) raises all boats. I’m wondering if it’s time to take sales enablement away from marketing. What do I mean by sales enablement? heard a great definition from my former ITSMA colleague Jeff Sands the other day: Sales enablement is helping salespeople be more credible with customers. We all know how sales enablement got started in B2B. Who should own the process?

Why our thought leadership is broken

Chris Koch

Marketers, meanwhile, didn’t have a wall, so they filled their content with self-aggrandizing references to their own products and services that pissed off readers and sent them to other sources for advice. 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.

B2B social media lessons from Steven Slater and Mark Hurd

Chris Koch

The trajectory of Slater’s postings look a lot like the things that customers say about our complex B2B products and services, which have a much longer arc of relationship than B2C. They may have come on board at a time when your products and services offered more than they do now or worked differently. At first glance, Steven Slater seems like a total crackpot—cursing out a passenger on the intercom and snagging a few beers on the way to a fun-house exit on the inflatable emergency slide (admit it, haven’t you always wanted to slide down that thing yourself?). out of 5 rating.

Six ways that marketing needs to lead the organization in social media

Chris Koch

We’re seeing companies use social media to bring customers into the product and service development processes to collaborate on new ideas and improvements. Social media creates the need for marketing to lead within the organization. At least that’s the conclusion we reached at ITSMA recently when we did our social media survey (there’s a free summary if you’re interested). Now what do we mean when we say that? We mean that within the organization the leadership of social media is falling to marketing. We think that’s because social media is seen primarily as a tool for marketing.

It’s official: Marketing owns social media management. Now what?

Chris Koch

In our survey, we asked, “In your company, is marketing the catalyst for social media being used by others in the company (product development, HR, etc.)?” 68% of our respondents said yes. We just completed our ITSMA survey on social media. I’ll be reporting some of the major findings here and at ITSMA.com over the coming weeks. But one finding sticks out. Marketing owns social media management. That’s right. It’s our job. Will social become a silo within marketing? This has big implications for how we organize marketing. And to business people, that all represented value. Do you?

How social media will change lead generation in B2B

Chris Koch

This is the stage that occurs long before any discussion of products, services, or RFPs—indeed, it occurs before customers have even begun to think about a purchase. 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. This is where social media comes in.

Social media isn’t enough. We need a marketing transformation.

Chris Koch

But a quick read of our magazine showed that we didn’t write about products. During one of the first few days I went to work at CIO magazine in 1995, I had what we called a “vendor visit”—one of many I would have in the coming years. The idea behind the visits was to avoid having us journos become isolated in our ivory tower. We needed to hear from marketers who were out there day-to-day listening to CIOs’ problems and aspirations. Plus, many were advertisers, so the visits made it seem like we weren’t completely ignoring what they had to say. But mostly we were. And why not?

Why B2B marketers need to embrace deal marketing

Chris Koch

Even if we believe deeply in the power of social media, we all have that gnawing feeling deep in our guts that says that there’s little reason for a busy, intelligent person to want to receive frequent updates about our brands when those brands produce complex services and products with two-year sales cycles. survey of 1000 consumers by marketing agency Razorfish found that just 3.5% of consumers follow a brand on Twitter for “service, support, or product news.”. The answer is we don’t. Once again, the answer is they don’t. The research confirms it. Deals. We can’t do deals.