Chris Koch

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How Manchester United Revolutionized Sports Marketing

Chris Koch

Sales of family season ticket plans increased from fewer than 500 in 2009 to more than 7,500 in 2012. Ask me which English soccer, uh, football team I would support and I would say Liverpool.

9 attributes of the best thought leadership content

Chris Koch

Share and Enjoy: Latest Post Thought Leadership B2B marketing Business Education and Training Executive leadership Management marketing Sales Thought leaderSome 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.

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6 ideas for sifting the mobility chaos

Chris Koch

The problem is that this data sits in silos—and everybody’s silo says something different—sales’ is different from marketing’s, which is different from finance’s. 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.]“

3 ways to link marketing to revenue without metrics

Chris Koch

Now, you may think that because I’m using revenue and thought leadership together in the same sentence that I’m going to reveal some secret way to measure the link between the white paper you published last month and the complex solution sale you make six months from now. They want more strategic answers, such as whether marketing is increasing the velocity of contacts through the buying process and reducing the time and effort that salespeople need to expend in making a sale.

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B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

through their own research, without talking to sales—until late in the journey. Align marketing with sales: as buyers complete more of their journey online and sales pros get involved only later in the process, close. Focus marketing and sales resources within chosen vertical.

Why Can’t Companies Be More Like the Iroquois?

Chris Koch

They don’t want three different calls from three different sales areas of your company. Latest Post Sales and Marketing Collaboration American Revolution Canada Iroquois Iroquois League New York New York City North America United States

The 2 questions on every buyer’s mind

Chris Koch

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. Share and Enjoy: Latest Post Thought Leadership B2B marketing Business Fred Reichheld Health care reform in the United States IBM ITSMA ITSMA Research marketing Marketing Processes Marketing Strategy McKinsey & Company Sales Subject matter expert Thought leader

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. Mitch Joel has a nice post on HBR this week about bringing utility to marketing and social media. As is often the case, his advice pertains more to B2C than B2B, as I point out in a comment: “Utility” is a clear, succinct way of putting it.

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

Chris Koch

But the Forbes platform is an important step in helping companies understand that there is a time for selling but there is also a time (generally much earlier in the sales process) when customers and prospects are simply looking to be informed, educated and entertained. I’m sure I don’t need to introduce you to Forbes’ “BrandVoice” program (used to be “AdVoice).

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

through their own research, without talking to sales—until late in the journey. Align marketing with sales: as buyers complete more of their journey online and sales pros get involved only later in the process, close. Focus marketing and sales resources within chosen vertical.

Thought leadership is still dead; long live idea marketing

Chris Koch

Survey internal sales and marketing staff, customers, target markets, and influencers to determine what they are looking for. Marketing and sales need to 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. 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

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.”. In my research, I’ve never seen anyone claim that marketing contributes anywhere near 50% of the leads that turn into sales.

Should we stop marketing to the CIO?

Chris Koch

I see four key shifts: The technology sale will become the business service sale. The sale will have to be made on higher level technology-based business services. More than ever, marketers will need to know which CIO archetype they are talking to and make sure they are not wasting time on those who can’t impact the business service sale. Relationships will matter more after the sale.

13 questions about social media and thought leadership

Chris Koch

You will never track it through to a sale and if you do, you’ll never be able to separate it from other factors affecting the sale. Thought leadership has a role to play, but it’s more to do with building a relationship than making the sale. Earlier this week I participated in one of MarketingProfs’ TechChats (just do a Twitter search on the #TechChat hashtag to find the dialogue).

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

through their own research, without talking to sales—until late in the journey. Align marketing with sales: as buyers complete more of their journey online and sales pros get involved only later in the process, close. Focus marketing and sales resources within chosen vertical.

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

Chris Koch

Marketing and sales need to agree on the alignment of content to the different buying stages so that sales will get the right signals about when and how to approach customers for a sale. There is too much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth about social media objectives and strategy these days.

Why marketers must become the new publishers

Chris Koch

It’s great because the software acts as a battering ram for alignment between marketing and sales. If we now have a system measuring how long it takes marketing to nurture a lead until it is sales ready, we will now also have a measure of whether the nurturing period increases or decreases over time. It’s how we move people tantalizingly close to a sale—without ever putting a salesperson in front of them.

Should sales enablement be owned by sales rather than marketing?

Chris Koch

I’m wondering if it’s time to take sales enablement away from marketing. What do I mean by sales enablement? I 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. Sales enablement used to mean brochures. Social media changes sales enablement.

Where is your mobile marketing center of gravity?

Chris Koch

Could your salespeople benefit from mobile access to a sales enablement application giving them advice in the field for helping customers? Xerox Global Services (XGS) built a mobile application as part of its internal sales tool called Competipedia.

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There is no social media strategy, only marketing strategy

Chris Koch

B2B marketing lays the path to a sales discussion and supports relationships with existing customers. It’s tempting to say that because B2B sales are highly dependent on relationships, social media will eventually reign supreme. Image via Wikipedia.

9 attributes of the best thought leadership content

Chris Koch

Latest Post Thought Leadership B2B marketing Business Education and Training Executive leadership Management marketing Sales Thought leaderSome 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.

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

Chris Koch

I wish I could say that social media leads to sales. We need to believe that more engagement between our companies and the people we want to reach is a good thing that ultimately leads to sales—but down a long, narrow, winding path with a few jumps between cliffs thrown in there.

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The 2 questions on every buyer’s mind

Chris Koch

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. Latest Post Thought Leadership B2B marketing Business Fred Reichheld Health care reform in the United States IBM ITSMA ITSMA Research marketing Marketing Processes Marketing Strategy McKinsey & Company Sales Subject matter expert Thought leader

The information gap between marketing and sales—and how to fill it

Chris Koch

The estimates range from one third of the sales force, according to these academics, to as much as two thirds. I do think there is a gene for sales. the order takers who never really had any true sales skills, or people who are so inflexible or fearful that they simply refuse to try to make the transition—I think we need something else to explain why so few salespeople seem able to make the cut.

The information gap between marketing and sales—and how to fill it

Chris Koch

The estimates range from one third of the sales force, according to these academics, to as much as two thirds. I do think there is a gene for sales. the order takers who never really had any true sales skills, or people who are so inflexible or fearful that they simply refuse to try to make the transition—I think we need something else to explain why so few salespeople seem able to make the cut.

Want to get along better with sales? Find a way to work together.

Chris Koch

Right now, it seems that the gap between sales and marketing is mostly papered over with technology. For example, the trend towards creating a closed-loop lead generation and nurturing process between marketing and sales is a positive step, but it seems like a bridge across the chasm rather than a true route to collaboration. In typical functional fashion, sales and marketing have gravitated toward things that the other can’t or won’t do.

Why Lead Management Automation Really Matters

Chris Koch

This is where we as marketers need to provide more content—but not sales content. Tags: Lead Management Marketing Automation Automation B2B marketing Forbes Google ITSMA marketing Sales Social Media We should care more about lead management automation in B2B marketing. Maybe we don’t care enough because we’re focusing on the wrong reasons for doing it.

How social media will change lead generation in B2B

Chris Koch

The era of the sales process beginning with a lead is over. But they may be open to building a relationship that could someday lead to a sale. Tags: Lead Management Social Media Thought Leadership B2B marketing Business Customer Interpersonal relationship ITSMA Lead Generation marketing Request for proposal Sales Sales process 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

Could have been bibles or vacuum cleaners, but they didn’t need sales guys for that stuff anymore. Marketers today are in the same position I was with that sales guy in 1995: Wondering how to explain the value and difficulty of creating clear, compelling content about a complex subject. Except that today many of those sales guys are gone. If I can do all this in a sales call now, why do I need you? Getting agreement with sales on a sales-ready lead is critical.

Four reasons to stop measuring marketing

Chris Koch

It’s difficult to parse out the contribution that marketing makes to a sale and it’s even more difficult to get salespeople to spend the time figuring out/checking the box/giving credit in the quest to determine whether marketing played a role in making the sale. Both marketing and sales should work together to reduce CPOD because that’s what really matters in terms of marketing’s contribution to the business. So why do we continue to measure marketing separately from sales?

Four reasons to stop measuring marketing

Chris Koch

It’s difficult to parse out the contribution that marketing makes to a sale and it’s even more difficult to get salespeople to spend the time figuring out/checking the box/giving credit in the quest to determine whether marketing played a role in making the sale. Both marketing and sales should work together to reduce CPOD because that’s what really matters in terms of marketing’s contribution to the business. So why do we continue to measure marketing separately from sales?

When does content need to be mobile?

Chris Koch

One company’s mobile application is tied to a wiki-based sales enablement website that lets salespeople generate actions and updates and get updated information from the road. We got a question this week from an ITSMA client asking about developing a business case for creating mobile applications for their website content. I said that I haven’t seen any of those business cases yet. And I don’t think I ever will.

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.

We need an app for that

Chris Koch

Even rarer is the ability to carry those analytics all the way through to a sale. That lets them be more productive in marketing, by focusing effort and budget on the good stuff, and it lets them reduce the time to a sale by giving salespeople better tools to work with. One of them told me that it had used these analytics to reduce the average number of interactions needed to schedule a sales appointment in half.

We need an app for that

Chris Koch

Even rarer is the ability to carry those analytics all the way through to a sale. That lets them be more productive in marketing, by focusing effort and budget on the good stuff, and it lets them reduce the time to a sale by giving salespeople better tools to work with. One of them told me that it had used these analytics to reduce the average number of interactions needed to schedule a sales appointment in half.

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. Honestly, why do we think that sophisticated B2B buyers are going to follow our brands on Twitter or become our fans on Facebook? The answer is we don’t.

Why B2B marketers hate social media

Chris Koch

And while B2C marketers can use social media as a cheap channel for running promotions and driving sales, for B2B, social media does not provide a magic link to sales. B2B marketing lays the path to a sales discussion and supports relationships with existing customers. In a recent post, I offered some hard research data to support the growing importance of social media to B2B.

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Want to understand your customers’ business needs? Give them an award.

Chris Koch

The number of entries we receive in each category and the quality of those entries give us a sense of marketers’ shifting priorities from year to year and reveal general strengths and weaknesses of the profession (for example, we’re great at sales enablement and demand generation; we suck at metrics—just not in our blood, it seems). To be sure, one of marketing’s primary roles is to support sales.

Bring marketing into the account planning process

Chris Koch

We’re always hearing that marketing and sales should be better aligned (whatever that means), but I see little practical advice about how to do that beyond the usual change management stuff. I don’t discount the importance of change management, but sometimes you need something more concrete—something that marketing and sales can do together that gets them working closer together without people noticing it so much.