Chris Koch

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

Chris Koch

It is a textbook example of what we at ITSMA call pragmatic thought leadership: it takes a current issue of concern to the company’s target audience and evaluates what may happen in the near term without any mention of company methodologies or offerings. The survey predicts that 30% of employers will drop health care coverage for employees altogether, throwing them into the government-mandated health insurance pool of individuals without company coverage.

How Manchester United Revolutionized Sports Marketing

Chris Koch

A family receptionist would greet them and offer a surprise like a seat upgrade, a free gift, or a chance to meet a player,” says Mark Bradley, founder of The Fan Experience Company , a consultancy that worked with the club.

Trending Sources

9 attributes of the best thought leadership content

Chris Koch

There’s little point in doing thought leadership if it’s something that the company can’t follow through on. 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.

Best 91

6 Freaky, Funny, and Scary Abilities of Computer Organisms

Chris Koch

But a French company has deployed a sub-internet in San Francisco that would let simple sensors send data frequently and far distances without requiring much power and at a much lower cost.

Why Companies Must Hire for Potential, Not Skills

Chris Koch

My former boss was flooded with letters from technical writers and Marcom people from computer companies who knew something about technology but didn’t have the ability to write the journalistic-style materials she was publishing. Companies Can’t Always Get What They Need Off the Street.

The last of the anti-social marketing tactics

Chris Koch

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. Many of these companies compete with one another. Are the marketers at these companies not doing their jobs? Or have these companies decided that they are going to stop trying to sell themselves in a couple of hackneyed words and instead do it through relationships and experience?

Is “social media campaign” an oxymoron?

Chris Koch

Companies are having success pulling in fans by linking to charitable cases. You’re just warming up to social media campaigns because you work for ITSMA and these are the companies who won your contest. 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.

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.

How to measure influence in social media marketing

Chris Koch

Since social media leave digital footprints, companies create complex algorithms to come up with simple answers to measuring social media influence. Through surveys, both qualitative and quantitative, marketers ask their target audiences to tell them how they perceive the company.

Four reasons to hate thought leadership

Chris Koch

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. You may have noticed that I’ve changed the name of my blog. I’ve changed it for two reasons. First, because I’ve left ITSMA and joined SAP , where I will focus on marketing the good ideas of the many subject matter experts there.

4 Reasons Why Facebook Stinks for B2B Marketing

Chris Koch

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? I’m not saying that B2B companies shouldn’t be on Facebook. I think every company should be on Facebook. So I think B2B businesses should have a Facebook page that shares whatever content the company is already producing. Recently, I was preparing a workshop on social media for an ITSMA client.

3 ways to link marketing to revenue without metrics

Chris Koch

Too much of our content just tries to look and sound smart—great focus on ideas, but no real connection to how our companies can solve the problem. Both of these themes give subject matter experts and marketers plenty of leeway to focus on ideas while maintaining a link to the company strategy and its offerings. I’m looking forward to our annual ITSMA spring road trip.

Link 56

Eight attributes of a thought leader

Chris Koch

Meanwhile, trust in “credentialed experts” and “company technical specialists” is rising—we’re getting so desperate we even want to hear from the CEO. Usually, that means experience that is deeper than the target audience has, or breadth of experience working across multiple companies or industries, or all of the above. Social media are growing up.

The prerequisite to effective social media: the idea organization

Chris Koch

Some management consulting companies have the commitment to ideas baked into the culture—you simply will not survive as a consultant if you do not create ideas that lead to new IP. Some companies get pretty formal about this, creating invitation-only SME councils with entry requirements. For example, one company required that its council members hold at least one patent before they’d be invited.

Why Can’t Companies Be More Like the Iroquois?

Chris Koch

Why Can’t Companies Do This? So the obvious question becomes, why can’t companies cooperate like this? I’m guessing you’ve experienced the same thing at some point if you’ve ever worked in a big company (or maybe a small one, too).

2011: The year of personal brands

Chris Koch

Co-branding the individual and the company. It’s a kind of co-branding strategy: individual analyst, line of business, and company brand all have equal billing at the top of the blog. And that’s a really good thing for Owyang’s new company, Altimeter Group. For smaller companies like Altimeter, the personal vs. corporate branding decision should be a no-brainer. Owyang’s traffic dwarfs that of the company.

Why Brand Journalism Must Die

Chris Koch

I 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). There is no such thing as brand journalism. I was a journalist for 25 years, so I should know.

Brand 33

15 things marketers should stop doing and thinking in 2011

Chris Koch

Companies have a long and pointless history of resisting new forms of communication. 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. Guess what companies, people wasted time at work long before Facebook came along. If the company is well managed, people who waste time will get fired.

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). Sadly, few CIOs took advantage of this cross-company view to innovate the ways that their companies did things. (In

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

Chris Koch

The great thing about the experience was that this company is already doing social media. This company has established a highly visible presence in social media—indeed, it has won an award for it. We could all use some way to gauge our progress, especially in large, dispersed companies and marketing organizations. Companies need to give themselves permission to engage in social media, both within marketing and in the broader culture of the company.

How to write blog posts from a white paper

Chris Koch

If you’re a corporate marketer like me, no doubt you’ve been put in the situation I faced this week: you have a white paper that an external content person created for the company and now you need to make that content social. It’s an important part of social media management. Let’s face it, there are some B2B executives who wouldn’t read a white paper even if you threatened them with lima beans (what, you like lima beans? Eeewww!).

Paper 41

We need a chief marketing analytics officer

Chris Koch

Most companies do not yet have closed-loop lead management processes supported by systems, for example. B2C companies have these “wonks” today. 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.

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. They identify a current trend, say a regulatory change, and offer perspective on what the trend means and how companies should react. 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?

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. Besides creating idea networks, B2B companies also have to become publishers. Traditional forms of marketing are still incredibly value later on in the sales cycle, but at the early stages, companies must produce articles and surveys that can compete with what the journalists used to provide.

FAQ 36

Social media’s Hallmark Moment: the Twitter Auto DM

Chris Koch

Here are links to my book, my blog, my company.” 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?

How to make social media add up to thought leadership

Chris Koch

In the process, I discovered five important steps that B2B companies must take to integrate social media into the overall marketing strategy. Back in the eighties, when newspapers were only beginning to disappear, I worked for a local paper in a very competitive (journalistically, anyway) part of the world: the moneyed, New York City suburban area of Fairfield County, CT (Greenwich, Stamford, etc.).

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

Chris Koch

Many companies take it a step farther by making idea development part of employees’ annual goals. Marketers need to help create that culture in the company by facilitating the idea process. Companies need to create a platform—and an expectation—that enables subject matter experts to be thinking all the time. Many marketers involved in social media management tell me that they struggle to get their subject matter experts engaged in social media.

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

Chris Koch

The guy who manages the platform at Forbes, Lewis Dvorkin, (if he also created the platform he’s a freakin’ genius) recently wrote about its power to disrupt traditional journalism , citing my new employer, SAP, as one of the companies that sometimes get more hits for the stuff it posts than Forbes’ own journalism. A lot of it still brags about how great the company is, even if there’s no direct link to our stuff. I give us a B- overall—not bad for a product company.

How to use social media for B2B

Chris Koch

First, here’s what we do as part of monitoring: Track conversations about your company. You need to know what’s being said about your company online. Trouble is, we’re finding in our research that most companies stop here. Image by HubSpot via Flickr.

Stop doing PR. Start doing visibility.

Chris Koch

Every company needs a guard dog or two to be around in case of a PR disaster. PR works to identify people in the organization who would be good representatives of the company, its value, and its offerings. to prepare them to be public representatives of the company. 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.

PR 30

Thought leadership is still dead; long live idea marketing

Chris Koch

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.”. The goal of idea marketing is not simply to raise awareness of the company; it is to help move buyers through the sales funnel and to make a sale.

Is lead generation killing marketing?

Chris Koch

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? This was the gist of a very controversial assertion made by a senior marketer from a very well known B2B technology company during dinner at our ITSMA Marketing Leadership Forum (download highlights from the ITSMA Marketing Leadership Forum) when he said: “An overemphasis on leads is damaging our relationship with sales.”.

Should we stop marketing to the CIO?

Chris Koch

First, that they must know more about their CIO audiences than ever, and second, they must rethink how they market to target companies. Cloud moves IT outside the company. Providers now say that through some combination of cloud technologies, they can blast the hairball to dust and let companies create services that are not hampered by underlying technology complexity. Those projects will happen outside the company, in the cloud.

Jobs Don’t Give Us Purpose and Meaning, Helping Does

Chris Koch

That’s why it’s important for companies to provide an extra boost on the purpose and meaning fronts. Companies Must Make Room for Helping. Obviously, there’s a lesson for companies here. Goldberg has found three examples of how companies can do this: Intergenerational learning.

Koch to S(blank)0s: Drop Dead

Chris Koch

The most popular post I’ve ever written on this blog is titled, How s#cial m+dia muteness endangers your company: The crisis at McKins@y. 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.

The Worst Source of Work Conflict

Chris Koch

First, I worked in small companies for my entire career leading up to 2012, when I joined SAP, which is a huge company, and like any huge company, has its share of bureaucracy that was absent from my previous workplaces. The worst culprit in workplace conflict is technology – no matter the size of the company. Few companies have followed suit, however. I have two attributes that set me up for conflict with my current colleagues at SAP.

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. In 2013, the company launched a program called MakerBot Academy, in which teachers can request a 3D printer for their classrooms through DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunding site for educators.

Koch to S(blank)0s: Drop Dead

Chris Koch

The most popular post I’ve ever written on this blog is titled, How s#cial m+dia muteness endangers your company: The crisis at McKins@y. 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.

Is the era of PR over?

Chris Koch

Unless the company they work for is a startup or otherwise desperate for attention, these people tend to be ground down by the risk management aspect of their jobs over time. Much like IT people, they don’t hear much from anyone inside their companies unless something goes wrong. Journalists try to get around the guard dogs whenever and however possible, which often makes the situation even worse for companies.

PR 9

13 questions about social media and thought leadership

Chris Koch

Why should B2B companies try to be thought leaders in their industry? traditional media companies. Marketing has more peer relationships with thought leaders inside the company than PR. What are some examples of B2B companies who are successfully using social media and thought leadership? Companies who aren’t? I think B2B companies that have social media policies are ahead of the game in using social media and thought leadership.

B2B 9