Chris Koch

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

Chris Koch

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.

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.

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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.

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. I would have had only slightly less disdain for the audience for these campaigns. Fly-by-night opportunists hoping to win your Facebook sweepstakes.

Effective B2B Marketing Content That Will Lead to Sales Growth

Effective marketing content leads to increased sales productivity, more revenue, greater marketing effectiveness and stronger alignment between marketing and sales

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.

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. Creating compelling offers and descriptions of products and services is an art, it really is.

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. We all know the increasing importance of ideas in B2B marketing. But idea marketing doesn’t start and stop with marketers. For the program to be successful, those ideas must find their way into the hands of salespeople.

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.

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

Chris Koch

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. I give us a B- overall—not bad for a product company.

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?

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. It presupposes that we have something to talk about besides our products and services. So much of what passes for thought leadership these days is little more than warmed over brochures.

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.

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.

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).

PR 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.

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. 3D printed bust (Photo credit: Gastev).

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.

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. Today, anyone can go to WordPress.com, set up a Web site, and begin publishing news and information to the world – for free. (I

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.

Have you created a waking dream for your customers?

Chris Koch

Image via Wikipedia.

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?

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?

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?

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?

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. I wish I could say that social media leads to sales. I really do. But I can’t. And I haven’t encountered anyone else who can either, have you?

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. I would have had only slightly less disdain for the audience for these campaigns. Fly-by-night opportunists hoping to win your Facebook sweepstakes.

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

Chris Koch

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.

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?

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.

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?

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. A wall existed between publishers and advertisers.

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.

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?

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.)?” 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.

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.

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.

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. of consumers follow a brand on Twitter for “service, support, or product news.”.

Why B2B marketing will become more visual, vocal, and mobile

Chris Koch

But video case studies and interactive product demos—even for B2B services— are going to become more popular on mobile devices. The mobile phone has long been an object of affection and obsession for people who like to talk incessantly. But now that mobile phones have become computers that happen to ring, they have become irresistible. There’s something about having this little device in our pocket that makes it so much more personal— dear, even—than any phone or laptop. Desktops?

Six factors driving B2B social media marketing adoption

Chris Koch

The need to maximize web hits means that trade journalists are being pushed to create more shorter stories that appeal to the largest possible audience—not a fertile ground for in-depth analyses of complex B2B products and services. We’re all getting constant advice—hectoring, even—about how we need to make social media a key part of our B2B marketing strategies right now.