Lochhead on Marketing

Lochhead on Marketing

By Christopher Lochhead

Lochhead on Marketing™ is the award winning, chart topping podcast for entrepreneurs, marketers, and category designers with a different mind. Most people do not like it.

Episodes

204 Apple’s Strategic Mastery: Unpacking the Category of Personal Intelligence | Pirates Perspective

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, Christopher Lochhead and Eddie Yoon dissects Apple's latest announcements from the 2024 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on an all-new Pirates Perspective. The conversation centers around Apple's introduction of Apple Intelligence, a cutting-edge AI-driven personal intelligence system, and their strategic partnership with OpenAI. They break down the key insights from their discussion, offering actionable advice and thorough explanations for marketers and tech enthusiasts alike. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Apple Intelligence: A New Category in AI Apple's announcement of Apple Intelligence marks a significant milestone in the tech industry. This AI-driven personal intelligence system is designed to enhance user experiences by integrating smarter, more intuitive tools into daily lives. Christopher Lochhead praises this move, emphasizing Apple's role as a primary category designer, particularly in the realm of personal computers. Actionable Insights: Embrace Category Design: Companies should focus on creating new categories rather than just competing within existing ones. This approach can lead to market leadership and long-term success. Integrate AI Thoughtfully: Embedding AI in products should be done in an evolutionary manner, ensuring that it enhances user experiences without overwhelming them. Strategic Partnership with OpenAI Apple's decision to partner with OpenAI rather than compete with them is a strategic move that highlights the importance of collaboration in the tech industry. Christopher Lochhead commends this approach, noting that it allows Apple to focus on serving their customers through thoughtful and aggressive innovation. Actionable Insights: Leverage Partnerships: Collaborating with other industry leaders can lead to innovative solutions and a better customer experience. Focus on Customer Needs: Innovation should always be driven by the goal of serving customers better, rather than just outpacing competitors. Privacy, Data Usage Concerns, and Regulations in AI Eddie Yoon expresses both excitement and concern about the potential benefits and privacy implications of Apple's personal intelligence system. He highlights the need for careful consideration of data usage and consumer privacy. The conversation also delves into the need for oversight and regulations in the AI space. Christopher emphasizes the importance of strong controls while acknowledging Apple's historical business practices and the need for critical examination. To hear more Pirates Perspective, download and listen to this episode. You can also check out more Pirates Perspective at Category Pirates. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different  **NEW!** The B2B Tech Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Engineer Your Market, Find What Makes You Different, And Become A Category Queen We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
18/06/2427m 3s

203 A Tribute to Bill Walton

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, I would like to share with you a very special tribute to a man who's not only a legend in the world of basketball but also a cherished friend of mine—Bill Walton. Join me as we take a walk down memory lane, revisiting the first time Bill graced my podcast with his presence and the indelible mark he's left on my life. A Meeting of Minds in San Diego It was August 24th, 2017—a day etched in my memory, thanks to the friends who captured the moment and shared a photo of our first encounter. Meeting Bill Walton was like stepping into a storybook where the characters leap off the page. Here was one of the greatest NBA players of all time, a man whose stature was matched only by his extraordinary personality, ready to become a part of my world. Our initial meeting took place at an executive event in sunny San Diego, where we were both slated to speak. I remember watching Bill, completely unscripted, captivating the audience with his life's slideshow in the background. His ability to weave tales and engage listeners with nothing but his memories and a carousel of personal photos was nothing short of mesmerizing. The Teacher in My Life Bill's journey is one of resilience. From battling a stutter to enduring chronic injuries, his path was never easy. Yet, he emerged stronger, channeling his love for music and life into everything he did. His passion was infectious, and his dedication to being unapologetically unique was something that deeply resonated with me. Bill played a crucial role in my transition to becoming a teacher. His influence was a guiding light, helping me navigate through new territories with confidence. His life lessons extended beyond the court, and I was fortunate to be one of the many who benefited from his wisdom. Radical Generosity and Unwavering Support One of the most touching aspects of my friendship with Bill was experiencing his radical generosity firsthand. I'll never forget the care package of memorabilia he sent my way—a testament to his thoughtful nature and the value he placed on our bond. In the aftermath of a personal tragedy, it was Bill's kindness that shone through the darkness. His heartfelt messages provided comfort and support when I needed it most, further solidifying the profound impact of our friendship. As I reflect on the time spent with Bill Walton, I'm filled with immense gratitude. His legacy extends far beyond his basketball accolades; it's etched in the hearts of those he's touched with his generosity, spirit, and unwavering friendship. I hope that this episode gives you a glimpse into the remarkable man that is Bill Walton and the special place he holds in my life. His story is one of triumph, tenacity, and the power of genuine connections. Thank you for joining me in this celebration of friendship and legacy. Bio Bill Walton, an NBA legend, is renowned for his exceptional skills, dynamic personality, and influential career. Born on November 5, 1952, Walton's basketball journey began at UCLA, where he led the Bruins to two national championships. In the NBA, he played for the Portland Trailblazers, San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers, and Boston Celtics, earning two NBA championships and an MVP award in 1978. In 1997, Bill Walton was selected as one of the NBA’s Fifty Greatest Players of all Time. Post-retirement, he became a beloved broadcaster, known for his colorful commentary. Walton's legacy continues to inspire basketball enthusiasts worldwide. Links BillWalton.com | NBA Profile | ESPN Biography We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
31/05/241h 53m

202 2024 Is 1939 (Again) In America

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, the conversation takes a deep dive into the complex and sensitive situation in Gaza, Palestine, Israel, and the broader Middle East, and how our perception here in America is being warped by misinformation from different sides. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. A Feeling of Déjà Vu for America On the evening of Feb. 20, 1939, the marquee of Madison Square Garden was lit up for the big event: "Pro American Rally." But it was the farthest thing from being American as can be. Uniformed members of pro-Hitler group The German American Bund carried American and nazi flags. That being said, In the last week of December 1942, fifty leading German-Americans (including baseball legend Babe Ruth) signed a declaration condemning nazis which appeared in ten major American daily newspapers. Ultimately, American patriots stopped the American nazis. Looking at the events this week at Columbia, MIT, NYU, and other elite US schools, they mirror much of the hate, horror and scale of The German American Bund. While some were there to genuinely support the civilians trapped in the ongoing conflict, there were others that openly supported Hamas’ extremist actions. It was very ironic to see banners about women and LGBT+ groups support, when they are the most oppressed in the world that these people envision. What’s even worse is that there were reasons to suspect that these protests were sponsored by people who don’t want to get their own hands dirty. (Mis)Information is Rampant One of the downsides of our technological boom is the ease of access to information. Unfortunately, ease of access does not always mean a smart populace. As information is shared from peer to peer, information gets distorted, if not outright manipulated to suit their agendas, that sometimes the victim comes out on the other end as the one being ganged on, instead of the oppressor. This particularly true with social media sites, who has become the de-facto source of information for the younger generation. There was even a brief period where young people were lauding a speech that Bin Laden made to justify 9/11. Never mind the atrocities he and his jihadist group committed in the US and international stage, he made a great speech! Totally justified. Call to Arms Nazis have attacked America from within before. American patriots stopped them. The only question now is, will you and I empower radical jihadists nazis? Or will we stop them, like our ancestors did 78 years ago? To hear more of Christopher Lochhead’s points on the matter, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead Links WSJ Article on the Anti-Israel Protesters The World’s Record Holder for Executing Women Has Executed Three Women in Three Days This Is Ahmad. He Was Queer In Palestine. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
29/05/2431m 46s

201 Category Creation: How To Dam The Demand

On this episode of Lochhead of Marketing, we review a powerful strategy that has the potential to revolutionize how you approach marketing and demand creation for your product or service. We call this strategy "damming the demand," and it's all about redirecting existing consumer desire to carve out a new category that you can dominate. If you’re not convinced, check out how these giants in the industry have utilized this strategy to their advantage by creating demand in an already existing market. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Dam the Demand Traditional marketing often focuses on capturing the demand that already exists. It's about finding a place in the market and filling the needs of consumers who are already looking for solutions. But what if you could do more than just meet existing demand? What if you could create a whole new category of demand? That's where the concept of "damming the demand" comes in. It's a strategy that sits between traditional marketing and category design. Instead of just capturing demand or creating it from scratch, you harness the existing demand and redirect it, creating a new space for your product or service. Lessons from Tech Titans Let's look at some legendary examples to understand this better. Marc Benioff, the founder of Salesforce.com, didn't just create a cloud CRM; he dammed the demand for traditional on-premise CRM solutions. By evangelizing the benefits of cloud-based CRM, he forced a debate in the market, making businesses choose between the old on-premise solutions and the new, more flexible cloud options. This didn't just shift the demand—it expanded it, as more and more businesses began to see the value in cloud-based applications beyond CRM. In the B2C world, Peloton took a similar approach. They saw the demand for spin classes and dammed it by offering an alternative: high-quality home fitness. By doing so, they didn't just capture the existing market for spin classes; they expanded it to include people who wanted the convenience of working out at home. This created a new category of home fitness solutions that has grown exponentially. This isn't a new phenomenon. History is rich with examples of demand damming. Consider Henry Ford, who redirected the demand from horse and buggies to the "horseless carriage," or Marty Cooper, who shifted the demand from landline phones to the "wireless phone" category. These visionaries didn't just create products; they created movements that changed the landscape of their respective industries. The Strategy in Action So, how can you apply this strategy to your business? First, identify the existing demand that you can dam. Look for areas where consumers are already spending their money but might be open to a new, better solution. Once you've dammed the demand, use it to drive revenue in the near term. Then, leverage this demand to expand and create a new category that you can lead. Damming the demand is a potent strategy for any company looking to not just compete but dominate a new market category. By redirecting existing demand, you can create a new demand for your category, driving growth and market expansion. It's a bold move, but as we've seen from the likes of Salesforce and Peloton, it's a move that can redefine your industry and cement your place in history. Bio Christopher Lochhead Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different  **NEW!
23/05/2411m 42s

200 Thinking About Thinking Is The Most Important Kind Of Thinking

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about why thinking about thinking is the most important kind of thinking. This isn't just another buzz phrase; it's a fundamental practice that can revolutionize the way we approach entrepreneurship, marketing, and business strategy. So we thought that it would be a good idea to refresh new listeners minds and remind the old heads why Context is always King. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Power of Context in Decision-Making In the realm of business, context is everything. It shapes our discussions, influences our decisions, and ultimately determines the trajectory of our companies. It's not just about the data or the trends; it's about grasping the bigger picture and recognizing the underlying currents that drive market dynamics. Most people, particularly those who are entrepreneurial, have a strong bias to action, diving right in and creating content without the context to support it. However, it does have it downsides sometimes. “A strong bias to action means that sometimes, and I know I’ve been guilty of this more times than I will ever know, we spring to action without doing enough thinking. More importantly, without doing enough thinking and dialoguing around what the context is for whatever it is we’re talking about.” – Christopher Lochhead Rejecting the Premise: A Pathway to Innovation One of the most exhilarating concepts we discussed was the power of rejecting the premise. So often, we're boxed in by traditional ways of thinking, by phrases and concepts that are accepted as industry standards. But what happens when we challenge those premises? When we refuse to accept the status quo? That's when innovation truly happens. By rejecting the premise, we open ourselves up to new possibilities, to the potential for creating entirely new categories and leading the market in directions it has never seen before. Challenging Existing Contexts: The Forward-Thinking Mindset A key takeaway from this discussion was the importance of challenging existing contexts. It's easy to fall into the trap of backward thinking, of looking to past successes as a template for future endeavors. However, the true forward-thinking entrepreneur knows that what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. By constantly questioning and reevaluating the context in which we operate, we stay ahead of the curve and maintain a competitive edge. To hear more about how thinking about thinking is the most important kind of thinking, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different  **NEW!** The B2B Tech Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Engineer Your Market, Find What Makes You Different, And Become A Category Queen We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
15/05/2417m 26s

199 What Apple’s $110 Billion Stock Buy-Back Means For The Category Queen | Pirates Perspective

Today on Lochhead on Marketing, we want to share some insights from a riveting discussion we had with Eddie Yoon, our category pirate brother, about a monumental move by Apple. We're talking about a colossal $110 billion stock buyback and what it means for the tech giant's innovation trajectory, particularly in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Apple's Strategic Crossroads: Innovation or Shareholder Pleasing? Apple's decision to buy back stock is a strategic move that has raised eyebrows across the industry. I've always been fascinated by the bold moves that define market leaders, but this move by Apple has us questioning: Is this a sign of maturity and stability, or a red flag signaling a lack of innovative vision? Warren Buffett, a name synonymous with investment acumen, was famously tech-averse until Apple caught his eye. The staggering 95% retention rate of iPhone users and the undeniable addiction to Apple's ecosystem reminded him of his investment thesis on Coca-Cola. But as Eddie and I discussed, there's a nuance to Apple's success under Tim Cook's leadership. Despite the financial growth and profitability, the company has struggled to launch new categories—a hallmark of Apple's DNA. The Apple Watch: A Beacon of Innovation in the Cook Era It's not all a tale of caution, though. The Apple Watch stands out as a testament to Apple's ability to innovate and create new categories even post-Steve Jobs. It's a reminder that Apple still has the chops to redefine markets. But the question lingers: Is this enough to sustain Apple's legendary status? The crux of the discussion centered on the massive potential of AI, as we're just at the dawn of what could be the most significant platform shift since the internet. With Apple's deep pockets, one would expect a torrent of investments in AI, propelling the company to the forefront of this new frontier. Instead, the $110 billion stock buyback seems to suggest a different priority—short-term stock price over long-term category creation. Microsoft's Contrasting Strategy: A Global AI Chess Game Contrast Apple's strategy with Microsoft's aggressive global AI investments, and you get a stark picture of two tech titans taking divergent paths. Microsoft is placing strategic bets on AI across the globe, from the UAE to Malaysia and beyond, positioning itself as a leader in the next wave of technological revolution. To hear more Pirate talk by Christopher Lochhead and Eddie Yoon, download and listen to this episode. If you want to join in the discussion, subscribe to Category Pirates and find more Pirates Perspective buried around the beach. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
08/05/2418m 55s

198 Complexity Is The Enemy of Revenue: Why It’s Time to Shave The Marketing Dog

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, it’s time again to shave that Marketing Dog with Christopher Lochhead. If you’re an avid listener of the podcast, you probably think you’re experiencing déjà vu. But we think that people still don’t get this simple concept, that it merits a replay. It is also a good reminder for others who may be falling into the trap of overcomplicating their marketing strategies. So strap in, and get ready for some timeless advice from yours truly. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Quality Over Quantity: A Bruce Lee Philosophy in Marketing In the world of marketing, there's a tendency to equate being busy with effectiveness. However, Christopher likens this to a young fighter who is all showboating but lacks the strategic focus to win. This fighter often ends up being knocked out by a more experienced opponent who understands that precision and strategy trump frantic activity. This analogy perfectly encapsulates the inverse relationship between activity and results in marketing. The pressure to be omnipresent in the marketing world is immense. Marketers are often told they need to be on every channel, churning out content at an unsustainable pace. But Christopher challenges this notion with a powerful quote from martial arts legend Bruce Lee: "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." This philosophy is a stark reminder that quality and impact should always take precedence over quantity. Shaving the Marketing Dog: The Art of Elimination One of the strategies Christopher advocates for is "shaving the dog," a metaphor for the practice of eliminating the unnecessary to focus on what truly matters. By force ranking the critical components of a campaign and rigorously evaluating which elements have the maximum impact, marketers can streamline their efforts for better results. “Shave the dog. Shave that doggy down. Practice getting everything out. Consider getting even more radical.” – Christopher Lochhead Thinking Wrong to Do Right Innovation in marketing often requires us to "think wrong," to consider what is 180 degrees from what everyone else would do. This approach fosters creativity and differentiation, setting the stage for truly legendary marketing campaigns. “I learned everything I know about design from a couple of legendary designers and one of them is John Bielenberg. He’s an incredible business and corporate marketing designer. He has a perspective; he calls thinking wrong. The idea is this, when you do anything creative, ask yourself ‘what is 180 degrees from what everybody else would do? What is wrong? What would be the wrong way to go do this?’” – Christopher Lochhead This line of thinking also allows you to pursue options that multiply outcomes, as you can sift through the “wrongs” and find those that were rejected, not because it is inherently wrong, but either be not viable in the past, but now doable in our current technology or network. To know more why Complexity Is the Enemy of Revenue and Why It’s Time to Shave the Marketing Dog, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different  **NEW!** The B2B Tech Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Engineer Your Market, Find What Makes You Different, And Become A Category Queen
10/04/2414m 6s

197 Tesla Cybertruck: A Masterclass in Lightning Strike Marketing with Eddie Yoon

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we are presenting Christopher’s partner, friend, collaborator, and brother from another mother, Eddie Yoon, breaking down how to do a legendary marketing lightning strike with the Tesla Cybertruck as a textbook example. Eddie Yoon is the category design guru to the S &P 500, and he's written more about category design in the Harvard Business Review than anyone else alive or dead. So buckle up for a quick lightning strike of an episode, and hey ho, let’s go! Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Concept of a Lightning Strike Let’s talk about Lightning Strikes. Lightning Strikes have four critical ingredients: one, it should be profit-center and not an expense. Remember, marketing that does not drive revenue, category potential, or market cap, is just arts and crafts. Lightning Strikes are no different. Two, Lightning Strikes should be a strike and not a spread – meaning don’t space it over the whole course of the year; it will just dilute the effect of it that way. You want a clear point in time, a quick in and out in a certain area or market, and you’re done. The idea is to get maximum lift without spending too much. Third, it should have a multiplier effect. It must be engineered to generate word of mouth that lasts beyond the strike itself. You do it buy creating a stunt or a fight, or you want to have a very prominent giveaway. These are the things that people tell their friends and family, and spread from there. And lastly, you want to be a hijacker or hitchhiker. You want to your lightning strike to take advantage of some broader thing where you take over the conversation, or piggyback off an audience that is already established. The Cybertruck as a Lightning Strike by Tesla So, how does the Cybertruck fit into all these things? Let’s go through the list. First, the Cybertruck is a profit center in multiple ways. One is the product itself, but it also promotes the broader brand of Tesla motors. Lastly, its components are also something that can be a profit center for later generation of electric cars. It also has a multiplier effect, as it has generated word of mouth not only from Tesla car owners, but people who are either at awe or making fun of the Cybertruck’s design. Even after it’s short showcase, people are still talking about it. The design is so polarizing: you either hate it, or love it. Either way, you’re going to hear about it. The Cybertruck itself became the stunt it needed for the lightning strike to occur. Lastly, it’s hitchhiking off the launch of Apple Vision Pro, some people who are using Apple Vision Pro has been seen driving said Cybertrucks in videos and social media. It hit its target well that it hitchhiked in the Apple Vision Pro conversation to some extent, getting a rise from Apple enthusiasts. And that, my friends, is a successful lightning strike. If you want to join in the discussion, subscribe to Category Pirates and find more Pirates Perspective buried around the beach. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different  **NEW!** The B2B Tech Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Engineer Your Market, Find What Makes You Different, And Become A Category Queen We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
27/03/246m 42s

196 Marketing The Problem, Not Your Solution

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we talk about why marketing the user’s problem works, but marketing only your brand/product/solutions doesn’t. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Importance of Understanding Consumer Problems in Marketing Market your brand/product/solution, and I think you want my money. Market my problem, and I think you want to help me. This is one of the biggest unlocks in category design for marketers. And it comes from a very simple, powerful notion: people do not buy solutions unless they have problems. Yet a lot of companies do not get this simple concept. For them, it’s always brand awareness this, or advertise this product to the “market”. They play the attention game and call it frequency and reach. But most of the users in that market only see it as a cash grab for said company. Marketing the Problem Done Right So here we present a good example of how to market a user problem, and it’s in the form of the American jeans we all know and love. Over the years, Jeans have come a long way from being those stiff dark blue pants to now being very soft and somewhat comfortable to wear. But therein lies the problem: the thing that makes it soft and pliable is very polluting and very resource-intensive. After which, they present their fix, a “remaking” of the American jeans as we know it. Framing the Problem to Create Urgency After naming the problem with the jeans, the article continues to explain that multiple companies have tried working together for years to develop jeans that are soft but not as punishing to the environment and our remaining resources. This serves as a way to intensify the problem by framing it as something that has not been solved. But now, they’ve found a solution. A solution to a problem they themselves proposed. If you follow that flow, they first introduced a problem that a user can relate to, being that the jeans they wear harms the environment. They then mention that other companies have tried but not yet succeeded in finding a solution. Only after that do they supply the solution, so you can continue to enjoy those comfortable jeans without the previous repercussions and guilt on them. Prompting users to buy new jeans and ditching the old. And that’s how you market with Category Design. Link to the article on The Remaking of American Jeans  Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different  **NEW!** The B2B Tech Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Engineer Your Market, Find What Makes You Different, And Become A Category Queen We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
20/03/2418m 9s

195 From Category Contenders to Category Kings with Al Ramadan

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we enjoy the first of many visits from Al Ramadan in 2024, as we talk about moving from being a Category Contender to a Category King. We’ll dig into what is a category contender in what it takes to win the 18-to-36-month epic category battle that every tech startup faces. So if you're an entrepreneur or marketing leader who wants to go beyond competing to actually create and dominate your own market, you're in the right place. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Al Ramadan on Tech Industry Category Development and Dominance Christopher and Al discuss the concept of being category contenders, reflecting on past research and their book on category kings. They emphasize the dominance of one company, earning around 76% of the economics in every tech category, despite skepticism. They outline the three phases of category development: define, develop, and dominate, taking approximately 15 years. They note outliers like open AI and Google's swift battles, contrasting with Salesforce's longstanding dominance. They highlight the importance of category design, likening it to a fast-paced battle where one company wins all, stressing its critical role in the tech industry's landscape. Market strategy in a competitive industry Al and Christopher discuss marketing strategies in a competitive industry, emphasizing the importance of a winner's mindset and setting the agenda. They share a scenario where a leader in a crowded field differentiates by framing the problem uniquely, focusing on end-user needs rather than feature sets like competitors. Both highlight the futility of incremental strategies and the significance of capturing mindshare by empathizing with customer problems. They term this the "Battle Royale" for mindshare, where winning means addressing the core problem effectively, rendering feature comparisons irrelevant. Christopher also stresses the pivotal role of understanding customer problems in securing market dominance. Category design and understanding customer needs Al and Christopher discuss category design and understanding customer needs. They highlight the importance of framing the problem uniquely to differentiate in a crowded market. Christopher shares a scenario where a leader in a competitive field focuses on customer needs while competitors emphasize feature sets. They critique the common focus on technology rather than customer-centric solutions, illustrating with examples from Gartner's history and Google Plus. They emphasize that categories are about customers' problems and opportunities, not just technology, stressing the significance of defining the problem scope to win in category battles. To hear more from this Al Ramadan and Christopher Lochhead dialogue, download and listen to this episode. Bio Al Ramadan is a co-founding partner of Play Bigger Advisors and coauthor of the book, Play Bigger. He also co-founded Quokka Sports, which revolutionized the way people experience sport online. Al then joined Macromedia and Adobe, where he spent almost ten years changing the way people think about great digital experiences. At Adobe, Al led teams that created the Rich Internet Applications category and helped develop the discipline of experience design. In the early ‘90s he applied data science to Australia’s Americas Cup — an innovation in sports performance analytics. His work in sailing led directly to the idea for Quokka. He lives in Santa Cruz, California. Links Connect with Al Ramadan! Play Bigger | LinkedIn | Category Contenders | The Science Behind Category Design Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche
13/03/241h 31m

194 How Important Is Framing, Naming, and Claiming A Problem? | Pirates Perspective

Today is a fun conversation with my fellow Pirates Eddie Yoon and Katrina Kirsch, as we talk about the importance of Framing, Naming and Claiming a problem, to create a different solution for your business. From time to time, we drop these video discussions that three of us have in Category Pirates, and this one I thought you might also enjoy. If you do enjoy this kind of content, you can check us out at CategoryPirates.com And subscribe to the Category Pirates newsletter. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Importance of Naming, Framing, and Claiming in Business When asked by Kristina on what “problem” does category design “Name, Frame, and Claim”, Christopher responds that category design solves the fundamental challenge of defining and owning a distinct market space. It asserts that successful companies excel in three areas: creating legendary business models, products/services, and categories. He emphasizes that a company must recognize category design as a crucial third of its success. Eddie reinforces this, highlighting the importance of capturing a significant portion of the market share by framing, naming, and claiming a category. He argues that failing to do so results in competing for a smaller market share, which is familiar but less lucrative. Ultimately, effective category design enables a company to articulate its unique value proposition clearly, ensuring it stands out to customers, investors, and employees. The Value of being an "Exponential Different" in Business The next part of the conversation delves into the concept of being an “exponential difference” in business, emphasizing the contrast between incremental improvements and exponential innovations. Christopher reflects on his career, realizing that focusing on exponential changes often leads to friction within companies geared towards incremental progress. He highlights the importance of recognizing when to contribute to exponential shifts and when to step back, as pushing too hard on exponential change can disrupt the organization. This understanding prompts a shift in perspective, reframing what was once seen as a career obstacle into a strategic advantage. Overall, it underscores the necessity of balancing incremental improvements with exponential innovations for sustainable growth and success in business. If you want to join in the discussion, subscribe to Category Pirates and find more Pirates Perspective buried around the beach. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
06/03/2411m 43s

193 Your Biggest Competition Is Thinking You Have Competition

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about a trap that most budding Category Designers fall for, and that’s thinking about competition. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Feature Battle vs Category Battle Christopher shares a story of a company who consulted with him, regarding a rising competitor in the market. Most companies’ knee-jerk reaction would be to compete; take on the same messaging, and muscle out the competitor while it’s still early. But in the end, they opted to do the opposite – they did not compete, at least not in the usual sense of it. Rather than doing a Feature Battle to see who has the better additions, messaging, and branding, they focused more on their product. They went the Category Battle route instead, carving out a large portion of the market with their improved category, and leaving the others battling for the remaining scraps. Competition Derangement Syndrome The apparent simplicity of the concept begs the question: why do most companies fail to adopt it? The answer lies in what could be termed "Competition Derangement Syndrome." Many companies, instead of pioneering their own unique category to dominate, fall into a pattern of waiting for new categories to emerge before entering the fray. Alternatively, larger corporations may opt to eliminate competition by acquiring the reigning Category King. However, this strategy essentially involves investing a significant sum to pave the way for the emergence of the next category, which their competitors will inevitably exploit. This cycle repeats itself, with each new category birthing fresh contenders, until the tables turn and the once-acquirer finds itself being acquired. Thus, the cycle perpetuates, underscoring the failure of many companies to break free from the pattern of reactive competition. Competition vs Consumer This does not mean that you avoid competing altogether. We are all driven by our will to fight, and business is not so different in that regard. But rather than going down to their level to fight on “equal” grounds, why not make it so that you are always thinking a few steps ahead, rather than slowing down just to match up to them. And if they seem to be catching up to you at a faster rate, trying to adopt their strategies just means maintaining the status quo. It also sends the wrong message to the consumers, because you are adjusting for the competition, and not for them. In the end, it’s better to achieve market dominance by consumer trust rather than just having the competitive edge, because there will always be someone that will try to compete. But as long as your consumers know that your product continues to improve for consumer satisfaction, then it will always remain as the Category King. Bio Christopher Lochhead Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
28/02/2415m 53s

192 Stop Trying to Fit In!

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let's talk about why it's time to stop trying to fit in. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Everyone Wants to Fit In There’s an ongoing trend in the business, startup and marketing world of companies trying to fit in. There have been studies that indicate that among the B2B tech space, as many as 70% of the brands are blue. This urge to fit in seems to stem from a combination of several factors. One of which is that companies are trying to compete in the same market, and they end up adopting marketing trends that seems to be working, which just makes them look like carbon copies of each other. The second part is the current culture of people seemingly being offended by the simplest things, or if something does not align with their beliefs. So companies try to be as non-offensive as possible, which in turn just make their brand into something bland. “The overall strategy in people's marketing, and frankly, in many people's careers, is to achieve Marriott lobby status. So what's a Marriott lobby? Marriott lobby is nice; It's very functional. It's effective. And it's bland. It's forgettable. And nobody ever said, “Wow, that was a fucking legendary Marriott lobby.”” - Christopher Lochhead   The Primordial Need to Fit In We get it: people have a primordial urge to stay in groups. We are pack animals, after all. Staying in a group is safe, staying in a group is comfortable. And having something in common lets us relate personally to a group, which is why marketing companies aim for those traits to relate to their market. But at the end of the day, nobody legendary ever fit in. Because when you try to fit in, you become part of that whole, rather than something that defines it. And rather than companies trying to make their own markets and circles, they are being content in staying in the same circle, and competing for an ever-shrinking part of it, as more and more companies try to muscle their way in. So be legendary, and start being different. “And then I say fuck that, I'm going to follow my different. I'm going to focus on the things that are most meaningful to me, and most importantly, are going to make the biggest difference.” - Christopher Lochhead Bio Christopher Lochhead Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
21/02/2410m 49s

191 Gemini Can Testify It’s A Bland Rebrand!

Today on Lochhead on Marketing, we talk about the good way and the bad way to rebrand. And wat better to use as an example than the recent Gemini AI rebrand by Google. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Good Reason to “Rebrand” Before we proceed with the main topic at hand, let’s first have a good example of when to “rebrand”. There’s a company called Chirp that sells foam rollers, which is used by athletes for training their muscles and easing soreness. But after some time, a new category was invented that was adjacent to their market, the percussion massager / gun. Rather than just create their own version of percussion gun, Chirp went ahead and combined their foam rollers into this new category, essentially making a new category, the rolling percussive massager, for themselves. The Bad Reason to “Rebrand”: Google’s Gemini So why did we tell you that story? Because Google is doing the exact opposite of that, always going for the “Compete in the market” model rather than making their own market. And it could be seen with their latest endeavor in AI, Bard now rebranded as Gemini. So, why did Google make this move? While we can't say for certain, we can infer their motives. Essentially, they directly challenged ChatGPT and came up short. Now, they're revamping Bard to give it a "fresh start." While that might be their goal, most marketing experts would tell you that it simply looks like Google is backing away from the competition and trying to repurpose their AI to make the best of the situation. That in itself is a problem, but there’s also the fact that Google doesn’t really do anything different than the reigning Category King of the market. This has been true with their forays in podcasts, social media, and their other services that are now defunct. They're competing, instead of creating, which is what most companies do, and they're fucked. When to do a “Rebrand” With that said, the best time to do a rebrand is if either you’re introducing a brand-new category as your main product, or revolutionizing one of your current ones by making a new category. Rather than chasing after the tail of the Category Leader and competing for the remaining small chunk of the market, why not try doing something different? Because otherwise, you’ll just get your ass handed to you, just like what happened with Google Plus, Google Podcasts, and now, the unfortunate Google Gemini. Bio Christopher Lochhead Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
14/02/2412m 28s

190 How To Have A Legendary Career In Marketing with Ryan Alford of The Radcast

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we have a very special episode with one of my favorite marketers, Ryan Alford. Ryan Alford runs a digital marketing agency called Radical Marketing. He also has a great marketing podcast that I've been stoked to be a guest on called The Radcast, which is a top 25 Business and Marketing podcast. He's just one of those guys I like talking about marketing with. Today, we are going to talk about how to have a legendary marketing career. We also talk about why it is that many people in Marketing don't view what they do as a craft that they're working on their whole lives, and what happens when you do so. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Ryan Alford on Marketing Careers and Current Industry Trends Christopher and Ryan discuss the appeal of marketing careers, especially for younger individuals. Ryan, with 20 years of experience, emphasizes the importance of creative thinking and adaptation in the face of industry changes like AI. He believes marketing offers opportunities for innovation and creativity, essential for standing out amidst a crowded field. Christopher adds that many marketers don't view their work as a craft, but rather as a job or set of skills, contrasting it with master surfboard shaping. Ryan, drawing on his own experience, sees marketing as a craft that requires honing skills over time, akin to his father's craftsmanship. Both agree that when you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work. Ryan Alford on Marketing Skills and Adapting to Platform Changes The two then discuss the evolving landscape of marketing skills and the need for adaptability. They highlight the importance of curiosity, continuous learning, and embracing change in navigating the industry's shifts. With the proliferation of digital platforms, they emphasize the challenge of staying updated and the risk of relying too heavily on platforms beyond marketers' control. Despite these challenges, they underscore the enduring power of innovative ideas to capture attention and drive success. Christopher also cautions against shallow tactics focused solely on grabbing attention without meaningful content, using the wind feather in car dealerships and mall entrances as an example. They advocate for a balance between leveraging new platforms and maintaining focus on substantive messaging to achieve marketing goals effectively. Ryan Alford on Marketing Strategies and Generating Outcome Christopher and Ryan discuss the importance of marketing strategies producing meaningful outcomes rather than mere attention-grabbing tactics. They emphasize the necessity of tying marketing efforts to revenue generation, highlighting the distinction between visibility campaigns and those that drive sales. Ryan stresses that successful marketers focus on moving consumers from one perception to another, ultimately leading to sales. They acknowledge the controversy surrounding this viewpoint, especially among marketers who resist being held accountable for tangible results. Both agree that marketing is for those who embrace accountability and are committed to producing revenue, with Christopher noting that marketing allows for creative ideation that triggers sales, contrasting with the more direct approach of salesmanship. To hear more from Ryan Alford and learn how to have a legendary career in Marketing, download and listen to this episode. Bio Ryan Alford Links Connect with Ryan Alford! The Radcast | LinkedIn We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
07/02/241h 2m

189 The Big Distribution Lie

Happy new year to everyone, and we at Lochhead on Marketing hope that you’ve been having a good one so far. To start off the year, let us talk about the big Distribution Lie, why it is so, and what you really need for your new startup or project to make it big. You see, in Silicon Valley, there has been an ever-increasingly large drumbeat that says the number one thing that a startup needs or that a new software launch of any kind needs is distribution. That if you can only get distribution, then you'd win, right? So, let's test this. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Myth of Distribution as a Key to Success For this discussion, let us use Google as an example. In 2018, Google launched Google Podcast as a competitor to the category king (Apple), and the current challenger (Spotify). On paper, Google Podcast should have the advantage: Google has a legendary distribution line with its 5 billion users and having a mailing and browsing platform that is widely popular worldwide. And yet for some reason, Google Podcast is now at the brink of closing down in 2024. So why did it not beat out the category king, much less its challenger in this race? Building the Category versus Muscling into the Market Simply put, Google Podcast did not offer anything new that Apple Podcast or Spotify doesn’t already do. It was simply relying on the fact that on paper, it looks like the better product with a well-established distribution network to back it up. Whereas Apple created the category, designed the space, and solved the “problem” that their product “solves”, thus cornering a big chunk of the market. This is a mistake that happens over and over and over again, category design economics are clear, the company that designs the space is best positioned to dominate it and by dominated our primary research has shown that the company that designs the category, if they can execute over time, earns 76% of the total value created. Doomed to Repeat Itself Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened to Google. One big thing most people might remember is Google Plus, which was supposed to take down Facebook. And not only Google is susceptible to this, as different big tech companies have committed this mistake, because they believe they could just use their better distribution systems to take over a market, rather than creating their own to dominate. So at the end of the day, no matter how good your product is, and how great your distribution advantage is: if you don't design a new category, around a problem that matters to customers, it doesn't matter how legendary your product is. Bio Christopher Lochhead Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
31/01/247m 7s

188 A Wish for Different in 2024

First and foremost, we at Lochhead on Marketing would like to wish everyone from the bottom of our hearts, happy holidays. Christopher Lochhead hopes that you have an opportunity to be with the people you love this time of year, and enjoy some happiness and peace. That said, there seems to be a lot going on lately. Be it about antisemitism, diversity, equality, and inclusion, and sort of the core values that the United States will be governed by and will latch on to. So I wanted to take this time and have a talk between you and I. You may not like what I will have to say, and that is all right. The important thing is that we have a good dialogue between us, and open ourselves to thinking Different does not always mean they hate you and your type of thinking. As we head to 2024, that is my wish for the holiday season. That we have a breakthrough in real, authentic, civilized, thoughtful dialogue. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Christopher Lochhead on LGBTQ+ rights over the years Christopher shared a heartwarming story about a LinkedIn acquaintance, a marketing executive, who recently had a baby with her wife. They had a positive exchange about babies, and Christopher expressed genuine happiness for the couple. “Around here, we think babies are fucking fantastic, especially when they're born to good people who are committed to raising those children and loving knows children. What could be better than a great couple are a great group of folks who have a baby, love that baby, and do everything in their power to provide that child with a great life and enjoy that child. It's wonderful.” – Christopher Lochhead Christopher then reflected on growing up around queer individuals, recalling the challenges they faced over the years. He emphasized the progress in societal acceptance of the queer community, highlighting the positive change that allows people to openly share personal milestones without fear of judgment. That said, Christopher expressed joy for the LinkedIn acquaintance, appreciating that she can legally be herself and share her family news without hesitation, considering it a legendary step forward, especially in the United States. Christopher Lochhead on mortgage discrimination Christopher then talks about a CNN headline that revealed the systemic racism about the Navy Federal Credit Union's discriminatory mortgage approval practices. The report states that while over 75% of white applicants were approved for conventional home purchase mortgages, less than 50% of black applicants were approved under the same circumstances. Christopher condemns this as not just systemic racism but outright evil. He criticizes financial institutions like Wells Fargo for repeatedly facing charges related to racial discrimination without executives facing jail time. He emphasizes the urgent need to acknowledge and fight systemic racism for true equality and justice, citing the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. “This is racism right in front of us. And anybody who's just anybody who cares about equality, and justice, and the pursuit of happiness for all must acknowledge that there is systemic racism against certain groups. There's no doubt about that. And we need to fight it. We really need to fight it.” – Christopher Lochhead On Systemic Racism and DEI in society Christopher expresses concern about the rise of hatred, particularly in the context of recent events, notably the conflict in the Middle East. He highlights the misunderstandings surrounding the October 7th events, emphasizing the severity of the situation and the explicit threat against Israel and the Jewish population. Christopher is dismayed by the confusion and the lack of recognition for Israel's right to defend itself. He shares a personal experience of a friend falling victim to violence and underscores the complexity of the situation,
18/12/2345m 45s

187 How To Become A Category Pirate | Christopher Lochhead on Lenny’s Podcast with Lenny Rachitsky

This week, we're presenting to you Christopher Lochhead's appearance on Lenny’s Podcast, hosted by Lenny Rachitsky. Lenny Rachitsky runs the #1 Business Substack newsletter, Lenny’s Newsletter. It is legendary especially for people in tech marketing, product marketing, and startups. It's so legendary that even Christopher pays for it. And now, he’s in it. This is one of the more in-depth discussions Christopher has had with a very smart person about category design in a while. So settle in for a good listen and great lesson about category design. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. On taking the Good with the Bad Lenny starts off the conversation by showing appreciation to Christopher's extensive work, and jokingly adds that it was challenging to prepare for their conversation due to his numerous podcasts, books, and other content. That said, Lenny noticed Christopher's website displayed negative reviews prominently. When asked about it, Christopher explained his approach with humor, calling his team Category Pirates and embracing criticism. He believed it was essential for innovators not to fear criticism, citing examples of famous artists and musicians who faced initial negativity. Christopher displayed negative feedback to show the reality of creative work and to remind people not to take themselves too seriously. Lenny admired Christopher's ability to handle criticism and expressed the desire to adopt a similar mindset. Lenny Rachitsky on how Lenny’s Newsletter came to be Christopher Lochhead expressed admiration for Lenny's branding choices, appreciating the simplicity of just being called "Lenny." He found it endearing and highlighted that Lenny's authenticity stood out in a world where many influencers create an aura of superiority. Lenny shared that the name "Lenny's Newsletter" was a default suggestion from Substack, and he never intended it to be a long-term commitment. Similarly, he struggled to find a different name for his podcast, wanting to avoid a self-centered approach. But despite having his name in the branding, Christopher noted the content wasn't self-centered; instead, it reflected Lenny's genuine approach, unlike influencers who focus on creating envy. They both appreciated the authenticity in Lenny's approach. Lenny Rachitsky and Christopher Lochhead talk Category Creation Lenny asked Christopher about category creation, a concept Christopher has championed over competition in existing markets. Christopher explained how most people aim to compete by offering a better product or service in an existing category. However, legendary innovators don't follow this path. They create entirely new categories, defining unique problems and solutions. Christopher emphasized that a single company in a category usually captures two-thirds of the market value, making category creation a lucrative strategy. He cited Gojo Industries, creators of Purell, as an example. They didn't just invent hand sanitizer; they redefined the problem of hand cleanliness, leading to a new market category. Christopher stressed the importance of focusing on problem-solving rather than just product features, making one's brand irreplaceable in customers' minds. He contrasted this approach with typical marketing, where companies invite comparison, emphasizing the power of radical differentiation and being a category creator. To hear more about Christopher’s conversation with Lenny Rachitsky on Category Creation, download and listen to this episode. If you want to learn more about Lenny Rachitsky, check out his Newsletter and Podcast at LennyRachitsky.com. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche
25/10/231h 48m

186 Israel: War in “Startup Nation”

On this episode, let’s talk about Israel, and the war that has come to this “Startup Nation”. Off the top, let me say the pain and suffering of what's happening is unbelievable, unbearable. My heart goes out to Israel, all Israelis, and all Jews around the world. I also want to say I have spoken with many Arabs since this happened. There's a very big difference between an Arab or a Palestinian and Hamas. They are not the same thing. My Arab friends wanted to stress that to me. My heart goes out to all the innocent Arabs in Gaza and in the region who are suffering and also experiencing extraordinary pain and loss. Israel is a “Startup Nation” If you’ve been in tech for a while, you’ve probably worked with Israelis. For the better part of my professional life, I’ve worked with entrepreneurs, engineers and executives from the country. The Israeli’s I know are smart, tough, driven, no-nonsense result producers. If you want to get big tech shit done, work with Israelis. It has one of the highest concentrations of startups in the world. Its tech sector is a major contributor to the country's economy. Tech is 18% of Israel's GDP, and 14% of all salaried employees work in Tech. That’s roughly 500,000 people. On top of which, 50% of Israel's total exports come from Technology developed by these people. The framework Israelis created to co-locate Israel/US tech startups, established an innovation model that is envied the world over. Israel has over 6,000 Tech Companies The impact of this war borne out by the Israeli people. Reports indicate that the start if this war was "the darkest day in Jewish history since the end of the Holocaust.” And, it will also be felt by virtually every major tech company in the world. There are over 6,000 tech companies operating in Israel, including some of the largest names, with Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Intel to name a few. These companies have a variety of strategic operations in Israel, including research and development centers, sales offices, and customer support centers. Israel is home to over 15,000 startups, and they employ over 100,000 people. In 2021, Israeli tech companies raised a record $25.6 billion in venture capital funding. Today, they are scrambling to secure and support their people.   15,000 Israeli Tech Startups Now, this evil war is extracting an unbearable human cost. More death, suffering and disruption is sure to follow. And this war will be felt by many of us in the tech industry. My heart aches for Israel. My heart aches for all of the innocent souls in the Middle East. We’re praying for peace, and the day we can all get back to building legendary companies. To hear more of Christopher Lochhead’s thoughts on the recent events that unfolded in Israel, download and listen to this episode. If you wish to join the conversation and get more information on the matter, check out Christopher’s post on LinkedIn: Christopher Lochhead Different: Weekly Newsletter We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
12/10/2311m 23s

185 Where Is Consumer Spending Heading? | Pirates Perspective

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates about consumer spending trends. Eddie Yoon, Christopher Lochhead and Katrina Kirsch of Category Pirates discuss the latest consumer spending reports and what they mean for the retail category and retail category queens. They also dive into a category opportunity for McDonalds and how it could impact the future of food delivery. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Changing Retail Landscape Eddie Yoon examines the evolving economic landscape and its impact on U.S. consumers. Employing a Category Science lens, Eddie highlights significant disparities in economic indicators. Disposable personal income in July saw a mere 0.15% uptick, the year's lowest, while personal consumption expenditures (PCE) surged by 0.82%, marking a 2023 high. This income-spending disconnect raises concerns. Eddie notes the imminent return of student loan payments, averaging $503 per month, which may strain disposable income. Loan delinquencies, nearing 2020 levels, signal financial challenges. Notably, a fourfold increase in young adults aged 25 to 34 living with parents since the 1960s reflects economic constraints driving lifestyle changes. Prompted by Christopher, Eddie also identifies two contrasting trends: robust growth in experiences and personal transformations versus declining interest in traditional goods. While international travel and categories like medical aesthetics flourish, traditional retailers like Target, Kroger, and Home Depot report declining revenues. Eddie predicts a future marked by consolidation and M&A, with only a select few brands and private labels surviving. Navigating the Shifting Consumer-Driven Economy Christopher Lochhead and Eddie Yoon then tackle the intriguing dual signals in the economy, driven by increasing digital influence on consumer behavior. On one hand, positive indicators suggest the American consumer remains a key economic driver, with retail sales growing by 0.6% in August and a forecasted real GDP growth of 3.5% for the third quarter. However, Eddie Yoon emphasizes the underlying shifts: Consumers are driving economic growth through increased credit spending, but it raises questions about sustainability. Many are making significant changes in their financial habits, including declining college enrollments, reduced home purchases, and a lower birth rate, all contributing to a redefined economic landscape. The trend toward single-person households, now at 29%, signifies a fundamental shift in the traditional nuclear household model. While the macroeconomic picture may still appear positive, these changes point to a significant remaking of the American economy, shaped by evolving consumer preferences influenced by digital transformations. McDonald's Dilemma Christopher and Eddie then discuss McDonald's recent announcement to phase out fountain drinks inside their stores by 2032, which highlights a significant shift in consumer behavior. Currently, 40% of their revenue is generated through app purchases, delivery, and drive-thru, indicating a decline in physical store visits. This trend reflects the changing preferences of Native Digitals, who prefer digital-first experiences and the conveniences they bring. As consumers become more discerning and value experiences over material possessions, businesses need to adapt to these mega trends. Eddie Yoon points out that while some trends are favorable, like digital and app-focused sales, the shift in product mix poses challenges. McDonald's heavily relies on the profitability of fountain drinks, which drive a substantial portion of their margins. However, the convenience of home beverages and changing consumer preferences may lead to a decline in the sale of large-size drinks at McDonald's,
20/09/2318m 22s

184 Building Your Digital Reputation with Josh Greene, CEO of The Mather Group

On this episode, we have a powerful dialogue with our guest, Josh Greene about what it really takes to build your reputation online and do legendary marketing in the digital world. Josh Greene is the CEO of The Mather Group. In a world of digital marketing BS, sophomores hacks and self-congratulatory vanity metrics, Josh is the real deal. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Josh Greene on Marketing and Reputation Management The episode starts off with a discussion about marketing trends and reputation management with Josh Greene. They touch upon the impact of AI on marketing strategies and delve into reputation management techniques. Christopher highlights how individuals with negative reputations try to bury their past misdeeds in online search results. Josh explains that reputation management involves manipulating search engine rankings to push down negative content and make it less visible, while at the same time providing more positive information about you or your company. They also touch on the evolving landscape of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), with Josh emphasizing that SEO is not dead but constantly changing. He notes that traditional SEO tactics, such as keyword optimization, have evolved due to changes in Google's algorithms and the increasing importance of AI-driven queries. Josh Greene on what is the Internet thinking about you They also discuss the topic of the evolving landscape of SEO and the impact of AI, particularly in large language models like ChatGPT and Bard. As mentioned earlier, Josh highlights how SEO has evolved beyond optimizing for Google to also include considerations for AI-driven queries. He then emphasizes the importance of managing one's online reputation in this context. On the topic of AI, Christopher shares his experience with ChatGPT, mentioning how it produced relevant results related to category design, which led him to ponder the connection between AI training data, the internet's content, and these AI models' abilities to provide meaningful information. He also mentions that experts in various fields, including category design, are actively teaching AI models to enhance their understanding and capabilities. Josh Green on how to stand out from the crowd They then discuss how to stand out in the digital landscape, particularly in the context of AI and SEO. Josh explains that AI models like those used by Google rely on credible sources, with Wikipedia and Google's patent tool being primary sources. He emphasizes that credibility, links, and signals play a significant role in determining the relevance of content for AI models. Much like in SEO, authoritative content with strong signals will have a more substantial impact. Christopher adds that AI is evolving similarly to SEO and mentions that some individuals are already trying to exploit AI for personal gain by selling courses on how to manipulate AI models. He highlights the importance of providing valuable content to help people rather than merely trying to stay ahead of trends or exploit emerging technologies. They both agree that the key to success in the digital age, whether in AI or SEO, is delivering valuable content and expertise to genuinely assist others rather than chasing quick fixes or trends promoted by self-proclaimed gurus. They also note that having a real impact requires substance and credibility, not just buzzwords. To hear more from Josh Greene and on how you can build your online reputation, download and listen to this episode. Bio Josh Greene Links Connect with Josh Greene! The Mather Group | LinkedIn We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
06/09/231h 9m

183 What Barbie Can Teach Tech CEOs About Marketing

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s take a look on what the movie Barbie did to reach such an overwhelming success, and what Tech CEOs can learn about their approach to marketing. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Barbie’s Approach to Marketing Christopher Lochhead opens up the dialogue with pointing out the things that the Barbie producers did that made it a blockbuster win, particularly with what they did on the marketing side. According to Christopher, Barbie pulled off the greatest “lightning strike” framework of any brand in 2023. One of the notable things that stood out was that Barbie spent $145M on producing the film, while spending almost $150M on marketing. Let that sink in: $145M to make it, $150M to build it up. Most companies would consider it outrageous to do such a thing, opting to focus their resources on building the product and spending what’s left on marketing, if any. And this is why most of those companies fail to make a mark and carve out a market early on in their product’s lifecycle. How about Barbie? Well, it spent a combined $295M, but that marketing approach resulted in $1B in sales. $145M to make it, $150M to build. $1B in revenue. Barbie’s Missed Opportunity That said, Christopher did point out a few missed avenues that Barbie could’ve made to take advantage of their marketing strategy. For one thing, they left the digital space widely untapped, spawning newsletters and enticing new generations of girls to getting into collecting Barbies and other related merchandise. Another thing they could’ve done is get older fans together and start building out a community in the digital sphere and talk all things Barbie. Not only does it heavily hit people in their nostalgia, but it can also help expose those older generation’s children into Barbie, and then you are back to point no. 1. The Recession that Never Came One of the things that Christopher also noticed with Barbie’s approach is that people are still bracing for a recession that seemingly never came, or at least was not as full-blown as we were expecting it to be. While everyone else was still timidly testing the waters, Barbie decided it would make a big splash instead. So for Tech CEOs out there, it may not be the time to be holding down the fort. Rather, it should be a good time to try and hurl some lightning strikes in the market and see if you strike gold. To hear more about Christopher Lochhead’s views on Barbie’s success and how it can teach tech CEOS about marketing, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy The 22 Laws of Category Design: Name & Claim Your Niche, Share Your POV, And Move The World From Where It Is To Somewhere Different
16/08/238m 5s

182 Is Twitter’s Rebrand to X a Category Design Play? | Pirates Perspective

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates. Eddie Yoon, Christopher Lochhead and Katrina Kirsch of Category Pirates discuss Elon Musk’s recent move to rebrand Twitter to X. They also speculate why Elon made such a move, and what he could have done from a category design perspective. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Twitter to X Elon Musk's choice to rename Twitter as X has left people puzzled, questioning why he would give up a well-known brand and introduce a new one. Katrina follows up that the others think the move might be aimed at entering a different category, possibly related to financing. She wonders whether it would have been wiser to create a new company instead of rebranding Twitter. Eddie Yoon discusses the debate surrounding the cost of rebranding and the value of legacy brand identity. He highlights that classic economic theory suggests ignoring sunk costs, which are expenses from the past, and instead focusing on future opportunities. Eddie mentions that while some argue against rebranding due to the value of Twitter's legacy brand, most consumers prioritize what a brand can offer them in the future rather than its past reputation. He suggests that rebranding can make sense when a company wants to enter new categories and emphasizes the importance of looking towards future opportunities rather than dwelling on the past. In Musk’s case, he’s not banking on the legacy of the brand itself, but the established userbase that Twitter has, who have a high potential of also buying in to what new category Twitter, now X, might become. Elon Musk’s Mistake with the rebrand While Christopher Lochhead agrees with Eddie Yoon’s points, he also believes that Elon Musk made a mistake by rebranding Twitter without clearly unveiling his vision for the new category of service he wants to create. He argues that a rebrand should be part of a strategic launch of a new category and not just a standalone action. The value of a brand lies in its perceived leadership in a relevant category, and in this case, the microblogging category may not be as impactful as before. Although Elon Musk's approach might not align with the ideal category design strategy, his reputation and influence will likely still garner attention when he eventually presents his big vision for the new category. But it definitely will lose some steam because the rebrand has become open to interpretation, rather than being focused on the intended category creation. X as a financial category The three further discuss the possibility of X creating a new currency or incorporating cryptocurrencies into its platform. Eddie mentions that X is already experiencing a shift in money flow, with revenue coming from both advertisers and users. They also speculate that Elon Musk might have plans to introduce financial services or a new token (X token) on Twitter/X, incentivizing creators and potentially offering various payment options, including cryptocurrency. They compare this potential move to American Airlines' frequent flyer program, which essentially created a currency in the form of loyalty points. While they acknowledge they don't have insider information, they highlight that Musk's background with PayPal and his desire to make X a vital part of everyone's life might lead to interesting developments. To hear more about the discussion on what Elon plans to do with X, download and listen to this episode. If you want to join in the discussion, subscribe to Category Pirates and find more Pirates Perspective buried around the beach. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche
02/08/2317m 26s

181 My First Year As A Category Designer with Mike Bruno of Play Bigger

On this episode, we welcome Mike Bruno, Senior Category Designer at Play Bigger. Today, we dig into what it takes to make Category Design your career, and how incredible it is working with some of the most advanced technology companies in the world on category design. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.   Mike Bruno and his first year as a Category Designer Mike, who has been a category designer for about a year and a half, started his career working in agencies and social advertising. Transitioning into category design was a return to a beginner mindset for him, which he found interesting. In his previous role, he helped people solve problems and develop strategies based on business objectives and existing products. This experience translated well to category design, where the front door is identifying the problem that the category solves uniquely. Mike also mentioned that category design involves many new concepts and a broader aperture, as it requires structuring not only the client's business but also influencing the entire market. While it was a humbling experience trying to figure it all out, he also had a sense of familiarity, knowing how to approach problems and strategize effectively. Overall, his first year as a category designer was challenging and exciting, with a mix of the familiar and the new, which kept him engaged and interested in the field.   The way people think about Category Design Christopher and Mike discuss the challenges of transitioning from traditional marketing to category design. They emphasize that category design involves creating new markets rather than catching existing demand. Mike points out that realizing someone invented categories was a facepalm moment for him, but it made him realize the importance of solving unsolved problems. Christopher and Mike also talked about the power of not doing anything, meaning finding a category that has already been solved, and how this is often underestimated in the business world. They use Apple's example of launching a new category called "spatial computing" instead of just a new product like most marketers do. They compare it to Magic Leap, which failed to create a category despite having inspiring visions. Mike believes Apple succeeded because they could bridge the gap between their vision and the technology needed to achieve it.   Mike Bruno on the Difference between Category Design and Product Design Christopher and Mike discuss the difference between launching a product and category designing a market category. They use the example of Magic Leap, which had a product but failed to category design the spatial computing market. Christopher explains that category design involves framing, naming, and claiming a new problem, creating an ecosystem of partners to solve that problem, and evangelizing the solution. Mike shares his surprise about the comprehensive nature of category design, realizing that it's not just about coming up with a new term but involves a rigorous process to make the category successful. They also mention Apple's success in category designing the spatial computing market, positioning themselves for significant market cap growth while other players who only launched products may miss out on the opportunity. To hear more from Mike Bruno and his experiences as a Category Designer, download and listen to this episode.   Bio Mike Bruno Mike is a Senior Category Designer with a background in psychology and communications strategy. He finds hidden problems and unspoken truths, and connects those with companies, brands and products to drive businesses and, importantly, the people they serve. Mike’s style of Category Design is simple, straightforward and playful. His work is equally influenced by the behavioral sciences, business theory and imagination. Carl Jung on one shoulder, and Dav Pilkey on the other.
26/07/231h 7m

180 How Important is Framing, Naming, & Claiming a Problem? | Pirates Perspective

On this episode, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates. Eddie Yoon, Christopher Lochhead and Katrina Kirsch of Category Pirates discuss why it's crucial to frame, name, and claim a problem when designing a category and marketing it to customers. They also discuss why companies struggle to articulate their problems, and explain what happens if they fail to properly language it. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The three most important things a company does at the highest levels When asked about the problem that category design solves, Christopher emphasizes three key aspects. Firstly, it is important to believe that there are three crucial elements for a successful company: designing a legendary company/business model, offering legendary products/services, and creating a legendary category. These three aspects are considered the most important things a company does. If someone does not agree with this belief, he thinks that there is no basis for further discussion. Secondly, it is necessary to acknowledge the significance of taking ownership and authorship of the category. If someone is willing to assume this responsibility, then assistance can be provided. However, if they are not interested in this aspect, there is no intention to convince or persuade them. “That's the difference between you walking in the dojo and us standing outside the dojo and dragging you into it.” – Christopher Lochhead Would you rather capture the 76% or compete for the 24%? Eddie Yoon emphasizes the importance of category design in capturing the market. He argues that if one does not recognize the significance of category design, then other considerations become irrelevant. If it is agreed that category design is important, it must be acknowledged that it should be pursued wholeheartedly. Eddie suggests that the question of why naming, framing, and claiming are important is essentially a question about the importance of category design itself. He states that if one does not understand the essence of category design, they cannot effectively address the first question. He presents a scenario where capturing 76% of the category economics is compared to competing for the remaining 24% with a better or faster, cheaper version. Eddie suggests that many people are actually comfortable with the smaller percentage because it is familiar and known. However, if someone is content with competing for the smaller share, Eddie acknowledges their choice and states that traditional business strategies and teachings will suffice for that situation. Ultimately, Eddie highlights the importance of understanding one's preference for a larger or smaller market share and reframing the perspective accordingly. Unlearning the 24% way Eddie Yoon discusses the necessity of unlearning old and "comfortable" ways in order to capture the 76% of the market. He emphasizes that choosing to pursue the larger market share requires a significant amount of unlearning. Part of this unlearning process involves freeing oneself to focus on understanding and articulating the problem at hand. Eddie compares it to Mark Twain's quote about not having time to write a short letter, which highlights the importance of concise and effective communication. Framing, naming, and claiming the problem are essential because without the ability to express it clearly, important details can be lost in subsequent conversations with coworkers, investors, or customers. This loss of clarity can lead to a diluted understanding of the value proposition. Eddie explains that without a clear understanding of the problem and its articulation, customers may not perceive the worth or premium of the product or service, investors may question the multiple premiums, and employees may not see the value of choosing the company over competitors focusing on...
28/06/2311m 13s

179 Why Do Some Companies Ship Products And Very Few Category Design Markets? | Pirates Perspective

On this episode, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates. Eddie Yoon, Christopher Lochhead and Katrina Kirsch of Category Pirates discuss why some companies ship products, but very few companies category design markets. They explain this through the lens of Apple's new Vision Pro spatial computing headset in talk about why Apple's approach is different. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Apple has always been Category First, Product Second Katrina Kirsch starts off the conversation with how a lot of companies tend to put out products, and not focus on creating a category for them first. Apple seems to be the biggest contrary to this statement, as it has always been a category-driven company rather than product driven. Eddie Yoon agrees with this, and adds that Apple has never been one to create a product first, or a first-mover. Even going as far as the first Mac, there have been personal computers before it, but Apple sold people to a whole new experience by creating a category around personal computers and having an interface that’s both intuitive and easy to get into. Copying vs Innovating Following up to this, there are those who say that Apple is just copying ideas from its competitors and adding their own quirk to it. But if you look at this deeper, Apple is just really good at finding different uses for existing products in the market, something that those who made it first didn’t even consider as a function. Take for example what Apple is doing to the Vision Pro right now, which was discussed by Christopher in the previous Lochhead on Marketing episode (LOM 178). The main difference with how Google and other virtual headset devices marketed themselves versus the clear-cut presentation and demonstration by Apple is just miles apart. It doesn’t just look like a proof of concept that people can experiment on: Apple clearly tells you, “This is what you can do with it, and what other things you can add on later.” Apple is attacking the "tyranny of the screen” Christopher then explains that a lot of people misunderstood Apple’s point of attack in launching the Vision Pro. As product-centric companies and businesses, they think Apple is attacking other products like the Oculus and other VR headsets. When in reality, Apple is aiming for something else. As Eddie Yoon puts it, Apple is attacking the tyranny of the screen. The concept that we have to get bigger screens when we want better entertainment value, or that we have to be tied down to a certain place when doing work because your display cannot move with you. The other misconception is that people say Apple did not invent spatial computing. That it has been there this whole time in other products. And that’s true. But they are one of the first to adopt it to a question that only spatial computing can solve, and not just push out a product to see what people will do to it. This gives Apple app developers a range that they can work with; a clear scope and limitation so they don’t overshoot their promises, but at the same time push the boundaries of what can be done with it. To hear more about these Pirates Perspectives, download and listen to this episode. And if you like to hear more Pirates Perspectives, you can find it and other buried treasures when you subscribe to our Category Pirates newsletter. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him,
21/06/2314m 34s

178 Apple’s New Category Design & Why(almost) No One Got It

Apple announced some powerful new stuff at their Worldwide Developer Conference. And, as usual, many people in the business press, Twitter, and in Silicon Valley didn't see what happened in plain sight. So here we are again, explaining why this new category is different from the other virtual and reality augmentation devices out there, and why it is important. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Don’t just launch products, launch categories Let me put it to you this way. Google launches products, aka Google Glass. Facebook, launches products, aka Oculus. Meanwhile, Apple does Category Design. It's fascinating to us that category design hides in plain sight. Because what most people got wrong is they think that Apple introduced a product called Vision Pro. And yes, of course, they did that. But they did not make the same mistake that Google and Facebook made, which is they just launch products; Apple designs categories. And they tell you that's exactly what they're doing. Press Release for Apple Vision Pro Here's the headline: introducing Apple Vision Pro, Apple's first spatial computer. And what you have is the new product and brand Apple vision Pro. And they tell you what it is. It's a spatial computer. It's not a VR/AR headset. It's not some kind of other variety – It's a spatial computer. And if you go on to read the press release, what you'll discover is that Tim Cook's quote sums the whole thing up. “Today marks the beginning of a new era for computing,” said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. Just as the Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro introduces us to spatial computing. And that, my friends, is the difference between marketing a category and just a product. Creating a new computing platform And this is what most people miss. And the reason they did it at their worldwide developer conference, is because they want the vision pro spatial computer to become a new compute platform. Just like the iPhone became a new compute platform, the personal computer became a new compute platform. That's what they're doing here. The iPad, etc. became a new platform, a new category of technology, not just a product that they gave to people. Launching a product without a category is like a loose cannon When Google launched Google Glass, they launched a product, they never articulated a problem that that product solved. They never evangelized a different future with that product. What they did was show a bunch of features. And because they didn't provide the strategic context for understanding of what the product was, aka category, they left it up to customers and the media to decide. Google Glass Demo Well, what happened? If you don't control your own category narrative, somebody else will. And so what emerged about Google Glass? Well, number one, because they did the launch in Silicon Valley, the people who used it immediately got the nickname of “glass-holes”, because it was rich assholes using Google Glass and beta and early release driving around in their Tesla's and the like, that sort of drew the ire of much of the world. To hear more on what Apple did right with the launch of their new category, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006,
07/06/238m 42s

177 Should My Category Name Be Relevant And Relatable? | Pirates Perspective

On this episode, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates. Eddie Yoon and Christopher Lochhead of Category Pirates answer questions about how important it is to create a category name that resonates with people—and that is similar enough to everyday language. Languaging takes thinking, but it’s worth getting right. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The importance of a Category Name entering the mainstream The first topic comes from a question about the importance of having a category name, and how important it is to be relevant enough to be used in everyday speech and lingo. Eddie points out that it is every important and a great deal to have one’s category name be something recognized by the public, particularly the target consumers, while striking a balance of being unique and different from the rest. An example he gives is Starbucks, which is in the “Dessert Coffee” business. While they might not outright say that they are in such as business, how they portray their products is perceived by consumers as such. And they capture that particular market by Languaging, creating something new like the Frappuccino. Having your Category Name make a mark in people’s minds Continuing along that line of thought, Eddie Yoon emphasizes that it is not only important to create something new, but it is also important that people find it relevant and want to engage with your product or service. Going to the example of Starbucks again, people have had coffee before, but they have not had dessert coffee. And say what you will, Frappuccino is essential a liquid sugar bomb in a cup, which a lot of people find more interesting than your regular latte or cappuccino. And where can you buy this Frappuccino? That’s right, Starbucks. Nowadays, there are numerous coffee shops that use the term, but whenever one thinks of Frappuccino, Starbucks is one of the first things that come to mind. And that is how you make a mark in people’s minds. Combining Ideas to make a new innovative Category Idea Christopher Lochhead then brings up the topic of combining two or three ideas to make a new Category Idea. Sometimes, those ideas can even clash with each other individual, but makes sense when you combine them. An example of this was Sun Microsystems, which went all-in for networking earlier than everyone else. While people are still using their computers as standalone units in business, Sun Microsystems have been selling servers and advocated for business to build a network for their office PCs. They even have their own networking software called Solaris. So while the business people in the 90’s finally had their delayed A-ha! moment, Sun Microsystems have already carved up a sizable chunk of the market for themselves. To hear more about these Pirates Perspectives, download and listen to this episode. And if you like to hear more Pirates Perspectives, you can find it and other buried treasures when you subscribe to our Category Pirates newsletter. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
31/05/239m 40s

176 How AI Changes Startups, Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital with Mike Maples Jr. of Floodgate

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we have a dialogue with Mike Maples Jr. on how artificial intelligence is changing startups and venture capital. Mike Maples Jr. is the co-founder of Floodgate, one of the highest profile early stage venture capitalists. He also has a podcast called Starting Greatness, and it is one of my absolute favorites. By the end of it, we hope that you'll gain a new way to think about both technical risk for startups and market risk. And why in an AI world, you must either be radically different or radically disintermediate something. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Mike Maples Jr. on AI We begin the discussion on the topic of challenges of making sense of the rapidly evolving field of AI. Mike also talks about the traditional funding model of startups, where the primary focus was taking out technical risk, and how the LAMP stack, which commoditized what was once expensive, made it easier to start a startup. Mike notes that the nature of the LAMP stack changed what startups were funded for. “What I like to say is that the LAMP stack was deflationary in terms of the cost of starting startup. And so what does that mean? It meant that what you were funding was different, because if Kevin Rose can start dig for $1,500, over a weekend, there's no technical risks there. I mean, he hired a contractor to do it that he didn't even know at the time.” – Mike Maples Jr. Who gets Product Market Fit first The conversation then moves on to the changing dynamics of venture capital investment. The discussion continues with the notion that technical risk and market risk are inversely related. Solving a technically difficult problem that is valuable to society will create a market; if the problem is easy to solve technically, it will all come down to who achieves product-market fit first. To add value to the business, Floodgate and YC have taken the approach of funding market risk takedown. As technology becomes more commoditized and innovations become more accessible, the person who creates something people want the quickest wins. This is why YC was so successful: it offered young people $100,000 to either take market risks or leave. He also mentions that the traditional venture capital model may not be appropriate for all businesses and that deflationary factors such as content, code, and data may change the way businesses are built. Mike Maples Jr. on AI and the future of Venture Capital Mike Maples Jr. then returns to the topic of artificial intelligence and its implications for the future of venture capital. Here, Mike emphasizes two ends of the risk spectrum: high technical risk and high market risk. On the one hand, some projects require large amounts of funding for mass computation in order to build massive models that have the potential to change humanity. On the other hand, AI is being used in a variety of fields, including content generation for marketing, customer service chatbots, and lead generation, resulting in a deflationary effect on content, code, and data. According to Mike, some businesses may not require traditional venture capital funding and should instead focus on achieving $50 million in revenue with a small team and minimal funding. There is also speculation that the current billion-dollar funds may be providing the wrong incentives to these companies. To hear more from Mike Maples Jr. and how AI can affect the future of startups and venture capital, download and listen to this episode. Bio Mike Maples Jr. is an entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. He’s co-founder of Silicon Valley based, early-stage VC Floodgate. And the host of the popular “Starting Greatness” podcast. Investments include Twitter, Lyft, Bazaarvoice, Sparefoot, Ayasdi, Xamarin, Doubledutch, Twitch.tv, Playdom, Chegg, Demandforce, Rappi, Smule, and Outreach. Link
24/05/2339m 9s

175 Elon Musk’s New Category Design For Twitter: Will it work?

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, myself and Eddie Yun, co-founder & co-creator of Category Pirates, tackle what's going on with what Elon Musk is now doing at Twitter; specifically, the move to charging people for their Validation Verification– once coveted, now purchasable – Blue Checkmarks. This is part of a new thing we're doing with our Category Pirates newsletter called Pirate Perspectives. So if you are interested and haven’t subscribed to Category Pirates yet, now’s the best time to check it out. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Twitter removes the Blue Check. Kinda. The conversation starts with Christopher and Eddie Yoon discussing Twitter's recent decision to remove Legacy Blue Checkmarks and only allowing verified accounts for those who pay. Eddie argues that this move is a step towards aligning Twitter's incentives with its users by making them pay for the service rather than monetizing their data through an advertising model. However, he suggests that Twitter could offer a tiered pricing structure to accommodate different budgets. The two acknowledge that this move has caused a lot of controversy, with some users upset about losing their Legacy Blue checkmarks, while some are given Blue checkmarks even though they didn’t ask for one. Christopher mentions that Elon Musk paid for verified accounts for Stephen King, LeBron James, and others, and they are angry about the change given their prior stance about it. Elon Musk and the missed opportunity with repurposing the blue checkmark Christopher and Eddie then talk about the recent decision by Twitter to remove the blue checkmark verification for some users. Christopher mentions that he appreciates the verification process before because it helps him identify real people on the platform. They also discuss the success of OpenAI's GPT chat and the importance of delivering a valuable user experience. Eddie agrees and mentions that incentivizing creators can improve the overall ecosystem by improving content and reducing fraud. They agree that Elon Musk and Twitter missed an opportunity to position the repurposing of blue checkmarks as an improvement to the user experience rather than a takeaway. To hear more about these category pirates’ hot takes on what is happening to Twitter and the social media space, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
28/04/2315m 47s

174 CFO To CMO (tough times) Conversation

This Lochhead on Marketing episode is a short one, almost like a bedtime story with Uncle Lochhead. I recently did a post on LinkedIn that blew up in a way that I didn’t quite expect. It was meant to be a humorous post about Marketing, but it seems to have cut quite deep in some, and others found it relatable. I thought it would be fun to read to you so we could share a few chuckles about it. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Conversation CFO to CMO: “Our revenue is going down, so we must cut your marketing budget” CMO: "I’m confused, Marketing is how we drive revenue?” CFO: “The macro environment is tough and we need to cut costs.” CMO: “But, Marketing is how we drive revenue?” CFO: “Yes, but Marketing is the fastest and easiest way to cut costs!” CMO: “But, if we need revenue, don’t we need Marketing more than ever?” CFO: “Not sure what they’re teaching today at Marketing MBA school, but we’re cutting your Marketing budget 30%.” CMO: “OK, so when revenue goes down, the best strategy is cut Marketing?” CFO: “YES! I believe you’ve got it!” To check out how people reacted and responded to this “conversation”, check out the post on LinkedIn. If you like this and are interested in joining different business and marketing conversations, join us at Category Pirates today! Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
19/04/232m 38s

173 Untold lessons from the SVB bank run | Christopher Lochhead on Starting Greatness with Mike Maples Jr.

Pirate Lochhead is sailing the seven seas this week, so we’re dropping a legendary conversation that he had recently with Mike Maples Jr. and Ann Miura on the Starting Greatness Podcast. They discuss the recent SVB bank run that lead to a variety of situations and accusations by “experts” on social media. They also discuss what lessons a Founder can learn by studying the cause and effect of such crisis and circumstances. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. How a crisis can make us better Mike opens up the discussion by stating that while crisis is something we do not wish to happen on anyone, it can be a valuable source of information and introspection on what Founders can improve upon within their own companies and organizations. No one saw it coming Ann Miura shares that the SVB bank run has caught her completely unawares, as did most of the companies in Silicon Valley. Even those who had their teams monitoring SVB activities only caught wind of the situation a day or two before it happened, and by then it was already too late even for them. The Difference between the Public and the Founders Ann also observed that while people on social media and the news media are shouting doomsday scenarios and blaming each other over the situation, the Founders that she was working with at Floodgate had their head down and was busy finding ways to mitigate the situation, and looking at possible scenarios to move forward, should the SVB run not get resolved in the near future. It showed a stark contrast on how the mind of a Founder operates in crisis situations, and it should be something that a lot of business leaders should emulate if they themselves suffer through a sudden situation that needed their immediate focus and levelheadedness. To hear more from Mike Maples Jr. Ann Miura, and the Pirate Lochhead himself, download and listen to this episode. Check out more Starting Greatness episodes! Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
12/04/2334m 24s

172 The New Way To Create Content & Code

There is a fundamental tectonic change happening in the way work gets done – White Collar knowledge work to be specific. This new technology is creating a new category of worker beyond what has been the sort of top of the pyramid, the Knowledge Workers. There's a new layer above the Knowledge Worker emerging called the Creator Capitalist – someone who gets paid not simply to apply knowledge, but to create it. And that's because the value of existing knowledge is dropping exponentially every day with the emergence of AI. Today, let's talk about how this is already becoming a radically different future right in front of our eyes, powered by chatGPT. What is ChatGPT? ChatGPT is the fastest growing application or website in the history of humanity by quite a lot. And while there are users that only see it as a minor amusement at the moment, people have been heavily using it for their jobs and businesses already. There are entrepreneurs, writers and other related enterprises that use it to write newsletters, blog posts, and even outlines for book ideas. Of course, you don’t just put it the prompt and take the ChatGPT output as it is. While it is doing a pretty good job, even with niche-y things, there’s still room for improvement, as well as giving it the old human touch. But the biggest thing here is, it saves people time. Time that could be better spent on improving other aspects of your business. How ChatGPT can innovate your craft In  terms of creating content, whether it be an blog article, newsletter, or marketing content, there is so many ways you can take advantage of this technology. As mentioned earlier, you can use it to write first drafts to flesh out an idea you have and refine it afterwards to make it more unique and correct stuff that seem off-point to what you had in mind. You can also use in something as simple as improving the readability and format of the thing you’ve already written beforehand. You can even use ChatGPT to learn new things before creating your content by providing it with sources and different templates on which to base the content you intend to create later. The AI is as smart as you make it to be While the AI has a lot of capabilities that it can do, it all still boils down to how we use it. An example would be the prompts that we give ChatGPT to execute. Being too vague or general with your prompts can yield confusing and subpar results, as multiple users have observed. So it is best to do some research from prompt engineers on how to maximize the results of your requests to the AI, so you’ll get the best quality of content or feedback all the time. To learn more on how you can use ChatGPT and other AI technology to create content and code, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:  Snow Leopard: How Legendary Writers Create A Category Of One  The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche  A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy
05/04/2319m 36s

171 Why Treating Your Creative Marketing Like It’s Not Tied To Revenue Will Get You More Revenue | Christopher Lochhead on Modern Startup Marketing Podcast with Anna Furmanov

Pirate Lochhead is sailing the seven seas this week, so we're dropping a legendary conversation that he had recently with Anna Furmanov on the Modern Startup Marketing podcast. They discuss creative marketing category design, guns, human composting and more. Yes, human composting. Just… listen, trust me. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. What does “Creative” mean to you? The conversation starts off with Anna asking for Christopher’s definition on being a creative. Christopher shares that in order to consider something as being “creative”, it has to be something new. “Being creative is bringing into being something that did not exist. You can take an existing thing and innovate on top of it and create something new. But at the end of whatever the creative process is, it yields a new creation. And sometimes that's a doodle on a page. And sometimes it's a new piece of code. There's lots of different acts of creation that bring new things into the world. But fundamentally, I think creation is about exactly that.” – Christopher Lochhead On when you feel the most creative Continuing on the topic of creativity, Anna asks when Christopher felt the most creative, whether its on a specific project, a certain period of time, or something else entirely. “So for me, creativity, really at a high level, comes in two ways. One is just pure inspiration. Right – you're out on a walk, you're washing the dishes, you're in the shower, your whatever it is you're doing, an idea comes into your head. Because I'm a writer, I get sentences delivered to my head, and/or power ideas hiding in paragraphs. And then I'll have to immediately get to a piece of paper or my iPhone and write that shit down. That can happen anytime, all the time. My wife will see me running across the house to grab a pen or to grab my phone and start talking to it, so I don't forget the idea.” – Christopher Lochhead Thinking about thinking One of the things Christopher pointed about how people perceive thinking is that they misconstrue having thoughts as “thinking”. Having thoughts just means an idea or a thought that pops in your head, without much effort put into it, almost like a kneejerk reaction. Thinking, on the other hand, is actually taking that thought and processing it. It’s the suspension of that immediate and reflexive thought that one can really get into deeper details of the topic, and even find out why it elicited that sort of reaction from you and other people around you. To hear more from Christopher Lochhead and his conversation with Anna Furmanov on the Modern Startup Marketing Podcast, download and listen to this episode. Check out more Modern Startup Marketing Podcast episodes! Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
29/03/2347m 25s

170 Silicon Valley: What Happened & What People Are Confused About

It's been a crazy handful of days in Silicon Valley. But now that the federal government has made their announcements and has the ball rolling, I wanted to spend a few minutes with you just clarifying some things that seem to be creating confusion in the recent Silicon Valley Bank situation. There seems to be more confusion about what just happened with the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank and what the federal government just did as there was about COVID. So let me see if I can break this down for all of you. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. There is no Bank Bailout for the Silicon Valley Bank Let me say that again: there was no bank bailout here. The executives got fired. None of the investors, creditors, nobody doing business with the bank, in that sense, are getting any of their money back, particularly the investors in the board. The Silicon Valley Bank is gone. The Effect on the US Finance The President has said that this will not cost taxpayers’ money. You may choose to believe it or not, but that is the current position of the government on the matter. What they’re saying is if there’s any protection money required, it will come from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The FDIC is an insurance company managed by the federal government, which is paid for by Wall Street and the banks. They pay insurance fees to the FDIC for drastic instances such as these. Making that point clear as soon as possible was a good move by the federal government, because if they have wavered in their decision to do so, twisted narratives about bank bailouts and conjuring the past instances of it happening would have been a bad blow to the US government's image. The Silicon Valley Bank Depositors will get their money back White there’s no direct timetable for when the depositors can get their full funds back, the federal government, via the FDIC, came in and said that they will make sure that the people will get 100% of their money back. Here’s where most of the confusion lie at the moment, because there are some who spin the narrative like this resembles the recent FTX crash. But unlike the FTX crash where the money is in large parts gone, the Silicon Valley Bank’s money is still there. The main issue at the moment is that there were some horrendous mistakes in investing the money, which caused it to be stuck and become inaccessible at the moment. So when a bank run happened, they didn't have enough cash. And that's what caused this. But the money is still there, unless we learn otherwise after the ongoing investigations. To hear more updates and suggestions on how Silicon Valley, the federal government, and the FDIC can prevent such a crisis from happening again, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
13/03/239m 25s

169 Silicon Valley & 5 Crisis Marketing / Communications Principles

Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse went off like a bomb on March 10th 2023. And I want to reach out to you and essentially share with you the conversations that I've been having with many friends, many entrepreneurs, many VCs, in the last 24 hours or so. That said, let's talk about what's really going on; specifically, what the media talking heads and idiot, ‘thought leaders’ on the internet are getting very, very wrong. Second, we’ll discuss a few ideas on what you can do immediately to shore up your situation if you are a Silicon Valley Bank customer, or even if you are working in the tech world. And then thirdly, let's talk about the crisis from the perspective of your company, and what you can do moving forward. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Silicon Valley Bank Collapse As of now, what is clear is that Silicon Valley Bank went down in part, because of some combination of getting caught in a cash crunch. It appears they made some bad long term bond decisions at low interest rates. And as you know, the US government has been raising interest rates from about 0.25% roughly a year ago, to about 4.75% now a year later. This has caught a lot of people off guard. This is not to say there wasn't a mistake on SVB’s part, but what we do know is that there were some combination of over investing in long term bonds, and the interest rates going up that aggravated the problem. Here’s a link to the Wall Street Journal article breaking all of what has happened so far. Media and Thought Leaders’ “thoughts” on the matter First of all, there’s a thread  growing around that says, “Oh, this is the billionaires in Silicon Valley doing corrupt things, and now they're getting their comeuppance.” This is not the case. If there was something incompetent or illegal that took place in the Silicon Valley Bank, we’ll find out once the investigations are done. But for now, it is affecting a lot of people in the space, and not just those billionaires they are harping about. This is not some cash crunch hurting billionaires. It is hurting the people who didn't get paid on Friday, because their employer just froze their bank. This is the entrepreneur who DM me on Twitter yesterday saying they have their entire 20 million of VC funding at SVB, and asking what they can do now. These entrepreneurs and CEOs don't know how they're going to pay their people, don't know how they're going to pay their bills. It appears that the FDIC is saying that people will get their guaranteed 250,000 on Monday, but over 90% of the deposits in this bank are in excess of that. So it's really not much protection. And while it seems that much of this money will come back to its rightful owner, it's not clear what percentage and in what timeframe. Running a business with no money is fucking hard. And that's what's going on here. To learn more about the Silicon Valley Bank situation and how your business can cope with crisis of this magnitude, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™!
12/03/2323m 39s

168 Career Considerations for Technology / Startup Professionals, Category Designers & Pirates

If you are in tech, a Silicon Valley type, in a startup, or you're a category designer working in that world, this podcast is for you. Because today, we're going to talk about career considerations for all of you. Whether you are planning to climb the corporate ladder or break away from it, we hope that his episode can help you figure things out. Speaking of making a difference, my friends at Acceleration Economy are hosting a legendary virtual event called the Digital CIO Summit. It is not a stretch to say that some of the smartest people in the technology industry are going to be participating. And when some of the big thinkers in the tech world are willing to share their thinking, it is an incredible opportunity that you don’t want to miss. If you are interested, register today at AECIOSummit.com. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. How Category King Economics Work The first thing that is important to talk about is how Category King Economics work, and what happens to its dynamics in downtimes. When a new category emerges from a company or a small startup and gains traction, it attracts competition and investment. Eventually, a category king or queen will emerge from said companies and will have the bulk of the market at its grasp – almost two-thirds of the market or so. As we have previously discussed in past episodes and in our book Play Bigger, these categories are usually developed during downtimes, or times of slower to no growth. This is because costumers will usually flock to the current category king or queen of their field, leaving number two and below competing for small portions. Rather than compete for said small portion, these companies are now incentivized to create new categories themselves, one where they can thrive and dominate. Otherwise, their company is in for a slump and steady decrease in profits and market share. Are you in a Category Battle? So as a company, it is important to know how your product or services rank in their perspective category. If you’re the category king or head-to-head with the current one, that’s great. If not and you are steadily in number 2 or lower, it might be time to get the whiteboards out. Why? Because it means that you are directly competing with pretty much the same product, with them having the superior specifications than yours. Hence, why customers and the bulk of the market choose them as the Category King rather than your company. You are essentially fighting a losing battle at that point, and bleeding money as a result. Time for Plan B Now that you are aware of how companies do battle for the top spot in a category, let’s talk about you. If you find yourself in a company that is consistently placing 2nd or in the market, it may be time to consider some career moves. The most obvious one is moving to the category king, and see what they are doing right over there. Another option is to go solo – a lot of solopreneurs tend to break out in these downtimes, either starting from a side hustle and developing it to a career, or working with other entrepreneurs and diving into a new startup with fresh ideas. Take stock of what you have to offer, whether it be intellectual capital or experience, and locate a way to leverage it for your own benefit, whatever course of action you are considering taking. Also, look for a business or a circumstance that will allow you to reap the greatest benefits from the qualities you possess. To hear more on Career Considerations for Category Designers, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by T...
08/03/2318m 23s

167 The Monster Category Battle: OpenAI & Microsoft vs Google

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about what most people are missing about the biggest category battle of the decade: OpenAI & Microsoft vs. Google. Even some of the smartest people in business can't see what's happening here, as most people don’t have a category design lens; they have a competition lens. The competition lens is about winning a comparison game with other companies, which at most leads to a small piece of the market share, and rarely leads to being the category leader of said field. So join us as we dig into how to view the new AI category battle through the category lens, beyond product brand, and business model. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Categories Matter Before we look into things through the category lens, we need to point out why categories matter so much. The simple answer is: categories matter because that's how human brains make sense of information. “Here's a simple example: If I say to you: ‘automobile’, you know what that is. And then if I say to you muscle car, you know that a muscle car is a subcategory of automobile. Because the way the human mind works is that you and I ascertain information, and we need to put it somewhere in a file folder, because we need to sort that shit out and make sense of it.” – Christopher Lochhead The second piece of it is, each of these categories and subcategories, these folders in our mind are also a hierarchy of value. Whichever is valuable or not is how they are perceived by everyone, and we collectively give some things higher values than others, even if it sometimes doesn’t make sense why some things are more expensive than things that are actually important. Remember, there was a point in time where nobody paid for water. And then Evian showed up and got people to pay a premium price for a free product they had in their tap. OpenAI vs Microsoft So we get to the meat of the dialogue, which is about Microsoft & OpenAI and their new product, ChatGPT. ChatGPT represents a new category called consumer AI. Though there have been previous AI technologies that have been launched it the web before, none are as well-defined and has had a impact as big as ChatGPT. This in turn got people thinking if Microsoft is muscling in on the Search War. Well, not exactly – because Microsoft already lost that battle with their Bing search engine. Google controls about 83% market share of searches online, compared to Microsoft Bing’s  9.9%. So clearly, Google is the Category King in that regard. ChatGPT, however, is a whole other product and a different category altogether. ChatGPT does not search for the answer, it creates the answer based on the collective information that is available to it. It’s not he old category of Search, but a new category called Answer. After the success of OpenAI & ChatGPT grew and garnered more positive feedback from the market, Google has decided to create its own version of it. Which is ironic, as they fell into the same trap that Microsoft found themselves in with Bing before. To learn more about the surge of new categories from AI, and how to treat these new categories from a category lens perspective, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion.
22/02/2321m 13s

166 Why The Future Belongs To Intellectual Capitalists on Cloud Wars Live

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we are going to drop a conversation that I recently had with my dear friend, one of the smartest guys in tech, Bob Evans, on his podcast, Cloud Wars Live. If you work in technology, what Bob and his guests have to say is fascinating, illuminating, and, frankly, agenda-setting. If you're a regular reader of Category Pirates, you'll know that we've been writing about intellectual capitalists and the emergence of a whole new human category, Native Digitals, for quite some time. We believe this is an extremely important topic, and we believe that the emergence of the intellectual capitalist as the highest value role in the work world above that of what has historically been the highest value job you can have in the working world, which is the knowledge worker, is particularly significant. Because those of us who will thrive not just survive in the future, we'll move beyond acquiring knowledge and getting paid to apply that knowledge to getting paid to create and monetize new categories of intellectual capital, new categories of knowledge, new categories of thinking, which can be turned into new products and services. The Story of the Hummingbird The conversation starts off with Christopher telling the story of the Hummingbird and his Sensei Sutton. His sensei is an amazing martial artist and a badass individual, but at a certain point in his life, he had to overcome many adversities before getting to where he is now. “So the moral of the story is in life – Sometimes you're the hummingbird and sometimes you're the sensei. But Sooner or later, we all need somebody to catch us tightly enough not to hurt us, but strongly enough to save us.” – Christopher Lochhead In life, we will absolutely be in situations where we are the hummingbird. But the real question is, when we have an opportunity to be the Sensei, will we will we meet the call? ChatGPT and the Death of the Knowledge Worker Christopher then talks about the current boom in AI technology, particularly on the topic of ChatGPT and similar AI generated content. Much like how machinery and Automation have taken over some aspects of labor from men, this new AI technology seems to be crowding in the profession of Knowledge Worker. While it may not be up to par with certain intricacies to date, it is quickly learning and becoming better over a short period of time. And much like the service workers of the past have to learn to adapt to new technology, Knowledge Workers also have to follow the trend and evolve, paving the way to what we call Intellectual Capitalists. Intellectual Capitalist So what is an Intellectual Capitalist? For Christopher, it’s someone who doesn’t just collect information and apply it like a knowledge worker, but someone who actually generates net-new knowledge. It could be from their experience while working on a certain field that makes them faster, more efficient, or outright the best in that field. In one word, an Intellectual Capitalist has Leverage over other people who are in the same field, but can’t do it better or even as good as them. An Intellectual Capitalist should also not be only bound to current categories and ideologies. If there is an idea worth pursuing, it’s not enough to learn why it hasn’t been done before. One should also look through it with what we have today, and if the rapidly-growing pace of technology will  be able to support it and when. To hear more about the dialogue about AI and the Intellectual Capitalist, download and listen to this episode. Bio Bob Evans Founder of Cloud Wars and Co-Founder of the Acceleration Economy, Bob leads the strategic direction of the global analyst network and actively covers the Cloud and Digital Business categories. Creator of Cloud Wars Top 10, a ranking and ongoing analysis world's most influential tech companies driving digital business and the digital economy. World-class strategic communicator focused on emerging business strategy,
13/02/231h 1m

165 16 Learnings From Marketing Legend George Lois

The Wall Street Journal says, “George Lois is the one the only prodigy or fathead, founder of agencies, creator of Legends, George Lewis is a genuine advertising superhero”. George Lois is well known if not famous for designing culture, changing cover images for Esquire magazine, and his “call your cable company and tell them I want my MTV”. That campaign made the music video category and made MTV the Category King. In his life and career, he broke every rule, created legendary categories and brands, and he did it in a brash, bold, exciting way. Sadly, we recently lost this legend at 91 years old. George Lois died just three months after his beloved wife, Rosemary died. And he is one of my heroes, a man that so many of us in marketing owe so much. And yet, most young people in entrepreneurship, marketing and creative endeavors and design. Don't really know of him. But if you've ever done anything in entrepreneurship in category design or marketing, that breaks boundaries, you're following in George's footsteps, and you might not even know it. Today, let's dig into some of George's life's teachings. Because if you want to become legendary, you have to study the legends. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. George Lois and a Damn Good Advice George Lewis was born in June 1931, and he passed in November 2022. And it is said that in the end, we are all remembered for two dates, and a dash. And I'm here to tell you that George made some legendary shit out of his dash. I want to focus on a book of his called Damn Good Advice for People with Talent, How to unleash your creative potential by America's master communicator, George Lois. If you have not read this book yet, I would suggest you do so. What I want to share with you are some of the learnings from this book – not all of them, but some of them that really have spoken to me over the years and made a big difference for me that I think might make a big difference for you. Force a Choice Idea number one is to Force a Choice. At the very beginning of damn good advice, George says this: “There are only four types of person you can be: one, very bright, industrious, [your perfect]. Two, very bright lazy [a damn shame]. Three, stupid lazy, you'll sit on your ass, so you're a wash. And four, stupid industrious [uh oh, you're dangerous]. If you're a number one or a number two, you'll get a lot out of this book, if you're number three, or number four, why you reading this book?” – George Lois So right off the top and this landmark piece of work by George, he's doing what legendary brands do, which is they attract who they are for, and they repel who they are against. Legendary brands force a choice, not a comparison. And best I can tell, that's how George lived his life. You are who you are Big Idea number two: Around here, we would express it as Follow Your Different. In George words, he writes: “Whether you're male, female, black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, ethnic, or gay, and wherever you work, you are who you are. And that's what you are, and be damn proud of it. Don't change your name. Don't change your accent, don't change your heritage, don't denigrate a humble upbringing. Be true to yourself, and you'll ring true to the world.” – George Lois To learn more about the different teachings of George Lois, download and listen to this episode. Bio George Lois Links Learn more about George Lois Website | Wiki | Books More about George Lois: NYTimes The Atlantic Washington Post We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
30/11/2231m 20s

164 How to be a Legendary Creator/Writer: Sachit Gupta & Christopher Lochhead Unpack #1 Bestseller Snow Leopard

Recently, I was a guest with the legendary Sachit Gupta on his fantastic podcast called Conscious Creators, which I highly recommend. During our conversation on his podcast, we unpack Category Pirates’ most recent book Snow Leopard. Our producer Jason DeFilippo heard this podcast and thought it'd be a great idea to drop it here for you. What you're about to hear is me and Satya go deep on what it takes to be a successful native digital creator slash writer. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Reason for Podcasting The conversation starts off with a discussion of how the two first met, and it was through the legendary podcaster Jordan Harbinger. Christopher was looking into getting sponsors and thinking about was to monetize his podcast, and was recommended to Sachit Gupta this way. While he did get ideas on different styles of monetization, the biggest thing that Christopher got out of the conversation was the realization that monetization was not his primary focus on doing podcasts. “I sort of had this aha that said, “Hey, wait a minute, dude, this was actually never about money”. And if I want to make money, I know how to go do that. So you sort of set my head straight, and that the emphasis was on the wrong syllable that if I wanted to make money, I knew how to go make money in a way that was much more exponential than being essentially an ad salesperson. The real gift you gave me around podcasting, was that I’m not doing this to monetize.” – Christopher Lochhead Sachit Gupta on Monetizing Directly vs Indirectly One of the things that Sachit wanted to share was that one doesn’t have to monetize directly. Focus on making good content first and foremost, so that you can reach out and cultivate an audience naturally, rather than going for cookie-cutter approaches for a short-term viral status. “Here's what I see happening in this greater world right now: there's a stat that I think like 75% of youngsters want to be YouTubers, and the path most of them see in front of them is go on YouTube or something else and create content that's for the extremes, because that's what spreads. And then once you chase views and get to a certain level of audience, you can monetize in some way, right. And if you don't become big, you can't monetize. In your book, you call like the obvious content, which is not really the stuff that's useful.” – Sachit Gupta While there is merit to uploading consistent content, you don’t have to flood your audience with bit-sized content that is just a big nothing burger. Creating meaningful content, let’s say once every week or two is way better than just dropping portion-sized content that just adds to the collective brain-rot of society. The Content Pyramid The topic then shifts to the concept of the content pyramid, and what types of people thrive in each level. Consumers, for example, are at base of the pyramid and consists of the largest section of it. In internet culture, there is something known as the 1% rule, which states that on social media platforms, 1% create while 99% consume. Most people spend their entire lives being content consumers—not content creators. And that’s totally fine, so long as you understand you’re not “playing the game.” You’re sitting on the sidelines watching the game. In order to “get in the game,” you must move out of consumption and up The Content Pyramid. To hear more of the conversation between Sachit Gupta and Christopher Lochhead, download and listen to this episode. Bio Sachit Gupta Connect with Sachit Gupta! Website | Conscious Creators Show | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
16/11/221h 37m

Pause for Democracy

In observance of the Midterm Elections in the United States, we will not be dropping full normal episodes of Lochhead on Marketing this week. And if you are American, I do hope you get out and vote. It is, in my opinion, one of the most patriotic things you can do. I also just wanted to read you a little something that I wrote recently on LinkedIn that I think is germane. Because whatever happens in the American midterms, roughly 50% of the country is going to be elated, and 50% of the country is going to be pissed. So let me do a little reading for you here. “Today, more Americans hate more Americans than ever. And yet, we all know hating someone because they disagree with you might be the biggest stupid of them all. So how did this happen in the oldest surviving democracy in human history? It’s because politicians, media, and social media, on both sides, create hate. Politicians, media, and social media, on both sides. monetize hate. We took the bait and internalize the hate, but it's not too late. We can start really thinking. We can start really dialoguing. We can start really making a difference. American on American hate stops with us. This is something every American can be a leader on, and frankly, everybody in the world can be a leader on. American on American hate stops with us. God bless America and God bless the world."
07/11/221m 52s

163 How To Think Like A Category Designer | Category Pirates

What percentage of the total value created in any given market category goes to the category designer or leader? That was a question that we had several years ago. And we thought there would be research about that. Well, when we were writing Play Bigger, we couldn't find that data. So we had to create it. The number has been an extraordinary insight. It turns out that the company that wins the category earns 76% of the total value created in the space, as measured by market cap and or valuation. And that insight was so compelling, we actually published it in the Harvard Business Review. On this episode, let's dig into how you could be that person. How do you be that company that earns that 76%? Or seven another way? What are the different ways that category designers, the people who create and dominate new market categories think and become the one who earns that 76%? Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Category Design is a Game Of Thinking Thinking about thinking is the most important kind of thinking for a Category Designer. You are responsible for changing the way a reader, customer, or consumer “thinks.” You are successful when you’ve moved their thinking from the old way to the new and different way you are educating them about. But what is “thinking?” According to Roger Martin, arguably the world’s #1 management thinker, “thinking” is when you look at the world through an existing model. It’s how you use learnings from the past to make sense of the present. So when another driver cuts you off on the highway, you apply your past experiences to the present and swerve on reflex. But almost all thinking is “reflexive” rather than “reflective.” Consider the difference we laid out in our mini-book The Art of Fresh Thinking: “Reflexive” thinking: Having an unconscious “reflex” in response to ideas or opinions. “Reflective” thinking: Taking a moment to consciously reflect on how the past may have created a preexisting mental model keeping you from considering a new and different future. Reflexive thinking causes a scarcity of fresh thinking in the world because it relies on mental scaffolding built in the past. Some of the smartest people stopped reflective thinking a long time ago. We would even go so far as to say that being declared a smart person is almost certain to make you stupid. Because when you get called “smart,” you become entrenched in your comfortable past. When you’re smart, you know things. And most people who know things are called “experts.” Which means they already know. And when you already know, by definition you are using old mental scaffolding to consider new and different futures. Which makes you stupid. So, don’t strive to become an expert (ever!)—it’s the enemy of fresh thinking. Here’s How a Category Designer Thinks You are presented with information. You become conscious of which model you are using to evaluate the information (which “lens” you are looking through). And then before you react, respond, or give in to your reflexive nature, you pause and first consider which mental model you’re using to examine the information being presented. You train yourself to be curious, to ask why, to suspend your past opinions, beliefs, and mental models, and to open the aperture of your mind and consider something different. That’s “thinking.” Our friend, Mike Maples Jr., calls this “Backcasting.” “Legendary builders must stand in the future and pull the present from the current reality to the future of their design. So an important additional job of the builder is to persuade early like-minded people to join a new movement.” To learn more on how you can become a Category Designer and start thinking more reflectively, download and listen to this episode. You can also read more about it at Category Pirates. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bests...
26/10/2220m 28s

162 PR / Communications: A Very Different Point-of-View

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let's talk about public relations/communications, and a very different point of view about that. In particular, why your content is your marketing. Towards the end, we'll talk about five easy steps to consider when building your own direct audience, and bypassing the legacy publications: the old-school, dusty gatekeepers. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Problem with Legacy Media This episode is inspired in part by a conversation I had with a CEO friend, which I then posted on LinkedIn. It reads: A CEO friend just asked me, if he should go to a PR/Marketing smooze event with the legacy business media. Here’s my advice. (Warning: I’m biased. But for a reason) The bulk of legacy media is a waste of time. I used to write for many of the biggest legacy business media outlets. Stopped 5+ years ago, because a) (almost) no one reads it and b) it is mostly clickbait. No one reads Forbes fortune Fast Company, Inc, etc. anymore. Your best ROI will come from building your own media and thought leadership. And the AHA here is every company needs to be a media company. Playing Both Sides Another issue is that even as these legacy media have gone digital, they still rely on cookie cutter strategies and clickbait-y articles. They play the SEO game to keep their websites on top of searches, and then have companies pay to be featured as top so-and-so in a category. Some even go as far as charging subscription to access their media, which is a whole other reason why people don’t read their stuff anymore. You pay to get the “information”, only to find out that it’s something you can probably read 2 lines down the search results. Essentially, they are trying to get revenues from both sides of the process, which will eventually lead to burning both ends of the stick faster. They are still clinging to traditional ways, which shows even when they went digital. Go Direct to the Source So rather than subscribing to “publication lists” that doesn’t really net you any traffic, it’s best to do it in-house and go direct to the source by tapping into the digital market itself. You can start small with building up channels in various social media platforms, and promoting your content and linking back to your website if they are interested for more. At the very least, you now have a platform to actively engage your audience, and get a pulse of what works and what doesn’t, and go from there. To find out the other steps in doing better PR and communications on your own, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
14/10/2214m 20s

161 Adobe is Smart & Wall Street is Dumb: Why the $60B Figma Acquisition is Legendary Category Design

On September 15 2022, Adobe announced it was buying startup Figma for 20 billion US dollars. This is one of the largest private company purchases in Silicon Valley history. They paid approximately 50 times Figma’s 2022 revenue, and Wall Street hated it. Skeptics are saying that Adobe paid an "astronomical price" for a company projected to book only 400 million in ARR annualized reoccurring revenue this year. And this is exactly what people who do not understand how categories work. The “experts” on Wall Street when deals like this go down, are almost always wrong. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Wall Street Mercenaries Let’s start off with an interesting tidbit that I experienced by interacting with Wall Street. As I was doing a little bit of consulting and insulting back then, a group approached me about their matchmaking service. Simply put, they would match executives and experts to Wall Street folks, and they pay for your time so they could ask you questions and advise on certain things. The idea intrigued me, so I signed up for it. But it turns out, the Wall Street guys only wanted to ask for speculations and opinions on certain company’s performance and how it would affect the market, what stocks were going to tank, etc. The AHA here is that most people (this is a generalization) in Wall Street are mercenaries. They're looking to make money in the now term, short term. They don’t create a significant value in the economy. They just try to anticipate what might happen tomorrow, so that they can play a financialization game. While there are exceptions to this, it’s generally the perception most people have of them. How to Confuse a Wall Street Folk As we’ve discussed before, there are two kinds of acquisition deals when you look at them from the high level. There are consolidation deals and acceleration deals. Consolidation deals happen when a certain company is not growing anymore, and their solution for it is to merge with another company to get a bigger share of the market and look like they have “growth”. Value investors like the Wall Street folks typically thrive and look out for such deals, as it fulfills their requirements for “growth” and revenue increase. Acceleration deals is when a company acquires another because they see value on it once they have developed it. They company or IP they purchased may not have a huge valuation at the moment, but it could be a gold mine for them once it is fully fleshed out. Acceleration deals tend to confuse Wall Street folk, as they are focused in the “now”, and could not fathom the significance of such a deal entails, unless it affects the current quarter. Hence, they do not understand what Adobe did, which is why they hate it. To hear more about the Adobe deal and why Wall Street folks hate it, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
28/09/2219m 4s

160 The Content Pyramid: 5 Levels of Becoming a Legendary Writer, Creator, & Thought Leader

Welcome to a special episode of Lochhead on Marketing, where we dive further into our new book called Snow Leopard. On this episode, we discuss the Content Pyramid, and how one can become a legendary creator, writer, and thought leader. But before all that, we’d like to say thank you very much to all who took the time to read our new book and share it around. It's also caused a tremendous amount of conversation in the entrepreneur, marketing, and writer/creator world. Because today, more than ever, being able to change the world with words, matters. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Problem Everybody wants to be a thought leader. They want to be seen as forward thinking, they want to be celebrated as the Guru, the expert, the All Knowing one in their industry, they want to be the keynote speaker, the bestselling author, the person listed in the next 10, marketers to watch in 2002 by Forbes, most of which are paid placements. Because now that the world has gotten exposed to the power of digital attention, and everyone believes the most valuable thing you could possibly have is an audience. Well, everybody wants one for themselves. Unfortunately, as we wrote about in our mini book, The Me Disease, the vast majority of people who want to be a thought leader, or bestselling author in today's digital gamified world, don't have any leading thoughts. That is to say, they're not actually contributing new differentiated ideas. What they want is to be seen as a thought leader, to collect badges of approval, and amass followers, and social metrics that send the signal that lots of other people say they are important, without having to say anything unique or meaningful, or different. More importantly, they want the audience without having to take the time to think deeply about who they are creating for and why they want the outcome without the process. Content-Free Content Since this has become such a desirable goal, there are now strategies for shortcutting your way to instant status gratification. The key is to cater to the lowest common denominator. The way the business world has been educated on how to become an overnight thought leader is to create content that doesn't threaten, doesn't challenge, and doesn't require the audience to think, as loud and as often as possible. This strategy caters to lazy button smashing consumers. We call this Content-free Content. It gets likes and views, and it lands you some followers. But after you the consumer, eat it, you sort of feel like a box full of Oreos. Zero nutritional value full of empty calories, and left feeling stupid. The Content Pyramid Ask yourself: do you want acceptance, or do you want to make a difference? If you want to be a legendary writer, creator, entrepreneur, executive or industry thought leader, you need to be honest with yourself about a how you measure success and be what category you're going to play in. Also, when you create you are creating something for someone. Anyone who says “Yeah, well I just want to create for myself” is a beginner and hasn't gotten far enough down the road to realize they aren't who matter: the reader, the listener, the viewer is who matters. To hear the full chapter about the Content Pyramid and how to become a successful thought leader, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software jugge...
21/09/2253m 39s

159 Successful or Useful?: Learning from Drucker

Peter Drucker is considered the father of modern business management. If there was a Mount Rushmore of business thinking, he'd be on it. Recently on Category Pirates, we’ve begun work on the evolution of Peter Drucker’s concept of a knowledge worker, to what can today be called as the emergence of an intellectual capitalist. So I wanted to look back on Peter Drucker’s ideas that had a huge impact on me, and see if we can apply more of them in our current endeavors. His book, The Effective Executive, helped me become an organized person and an effective executive of my own.  And when I read the foreword in the latest edition that was written by Jim Collins, it struck something profound, which I hope to share with you. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Effective Executive: Foreword Here’s the foreword by Jim Collins: My first meeting with Drucker is one of the 10 most significant days of my life. Peter had dedicated himself to one huge question: how can we make society both more productive and more humane? His warmth, as when he grasped my hand in two of his upon opening his front door and said, “Mr. Collins, so very pleased to meet you please come inside”, bespoke his own humanity. But he was also incredibly productive. At one point, I asked him which of his 27 books he was most proud of, to which Drucker, then 86, replied, the next one. He wrote 10 more. At the end of the day, Peter hit me with a challenge. I was on the cusp of leaving my faculty spot at Stanford, betting on a self-created path. And I was scared. “It seems to me you spend a lot of time worrying about how you will survive”, said Peter. “You will probably survive”, he continued, “and you seem to spend a lot of energy on the question of how to be successful. But that is the wrong question”. He paused. Then, like the Zen master thwacking the table with a bamboo stick, “the question is, how to be useful.” A great teacher can change your life in 30 seconds. I know that there have been moments in my life where I wondered if I was going to survive or make it. And the interesting teaching here that Jim is sharing with us from Peter, is that when we turn our effort, our focus on being useful to others, ourselves become less important. So if you're somebody right now, who's wondering how to be successful or worried that maybe you won't survive, or maybe that your startup or your career is on the wrong path. I would just underscore the story, you'll probably survive. Like Peter said, the real question is, how can we all be useful? Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
07/09/228m 9s

158 Crossing the Chasm & 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Through the Category Lens with Matt Johnson of the One Book That Changed My Life Podcast

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, Matt Johnson and I have a conversation about the book that changed my life. In my case, it was two books in particular that changed my life. We look into them through a category lens perspective in Matt Johnson’s new podcast, One Book That Changed My Life Podcast. Matt Johnson is the founder of PursuingResults.com. Matt and his firm were the original producers of my original Oddcast back in the Legends and Losers days, and he's taught me a ton about podcasting. He's got a legendary podcast called MicroFamous. Of late, he started a new podcast called one book that changed my life. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Matt Johnson & Christopher Lochhead on how the two books made a difference After a brief introduction of who Christopher Lochhead is and his works, Matt Johnson starts the discussion on the book. Particularly on the topic of what the situation was when he was reading the books for the first time, and how it affected Christopher and his views. Christopher then talks about his background when he was first starting out his business as an entrepreneur and still learning the ropes. While there were a lot of books on marketing available, there was something about the 22 Immutable Laws the made him think, “this is the one.” “I started to read them early on, and, and it immediately spoke to me. What their work really spoke to was, if you want to stand out, if you want to be super successful, and you want to make a big difference, you got to do it by being kind of radically unique in some way.” – Christopher Lochhead Matt Johnson & Christopher Lochhead on the 22 Immutable Laws Of the topic of the 22 Immutable Laws book, the one law that really stood out to Christopher was the 2nd law, which is the Law of Category. It states that, “if you can't be first in the category, then set up a new category that you can be first.” Looking back, that law describes Category Design quite nicely. Christopher also brings up the idea of the importance of solidifying and codifying your ideas and defining them as a category, rather than just sharing new thinking without establishing it first. Because it leaves others the chance to improve upon it and move into the category before you, and by then you’ve lost the category despite being the actual first to think about it. Matt Johnson & Christopher Lochhead on Crossing the Chasm As for Crossing the Chasm, Christopher explains that the book presents a great framework for understanding how new markets in tech, and in these days, pretty much all digital-related markets. The book explains how new market categories develop. It has a standard kind of bell curve which introduces a non-obvious problem that anybody who's introduced a new tech category has experienced, but had no lens or way of understanding the concepts. On the side of the rising bell curve, you have the few innovators, followed by the slowly increasing number of early adopters. At the peak, you have the early majority, who mostly benefit from the experiments and not repeating the same mistakes as early adopters might have incurred. Then you have the downward slope, which features the late majority and the laggards who are late to the party. To hear more from Matt Johnson and the rest of the podcast, download and listen this episode. Bio Matt Johnson is a marketing agency founder, podcaster, and musician. He runs a podcast launch & production agency based in San Diego, an international team that helps business coaches, consultants and thought leaders use done-for-you podcasting to attract an audience, build influence & become MicroFamous. Matt is the author of MicroFamous and currently hosts the MicroFamous podcast. He is a frequent podcast guest and event speaker to audiences around the US, Canada, and Australia. Links Connect with Matt Johnson! PursuingResults.
31/08/2254m 29s

157 How Category Contenders Become Category Leaders with Al Ramadan, Co-Author of Play Bigger

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, our guest Al Ramadan talks about what’s at stake when it comes to category battles, how you can spot the category challengers who can become category kings and queens, and what they need to become category leaders that earn 76% of the economics. There comes a time in every startup’s life, where they face an epic, typically 18-to-36-month category battle. As we reported in our first book Play Bigger, the company that wins that battle earns 76% of the total value created in the category as measured by the market caps for public companies and valuations for private companies. What that means is, in any space, one company earns two thirds of the economics, which makes that category battle, which is typically 18 to 36 months long, arguably the highest stakes game in business. This episode will be available on both Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different and Lochhead on Marketing, because we think it is that important that everyone must hear about it. So without further ado, let’s dive into this dialogue. Play Bigger: Looking back, and its impact today Al Ramadan comes into the conversation bearing data about the businesses and companies we’ve observed when writing Play Bigger, as well as some new players that have achieve the same feat since then. To recap, Al Ramadan and Christopher Lochhead wrote a book back in 2014 called Play Bigger, which talks about category design and how it can make you become a category leader in your chosen space. One of the things they’ve found out in the course of their research is that Category Leaders tend to corner 76% of the value of said space. Though when they wrote Play Bigger, the world was nowhere near as digitized as it is today. So a lot of the research was based on tech companies back then. But now, as more and more categories are behaving like tech categories due to digital scalability and digital reach, these findings are becoming true for every category. Category Kings to Category Leaders Al Ramadan shares that he and his team looked into the 35 Category Kings that they have observed back in Play Bigger, and check on their current situation in the market sphere. In Play Bigger, we originally published a set of research and tracked 35 Category Kings in the tech space and their market caps at the time were 465 billion and those same companies today are now worth 1.9 trillion. “If you track what happened to those 35 kings, as we call them back then, between the year of 2014 to the year of 2021. You want to know what the numbers are? At the time in 2014, the entire pool of the 35 category kings were valued at 465 billion. They are now valued at 1.9 trillion. That is, they’ve created more than $1,000,001.5 in market cap and the annual for those people who care about this stuff like Investors and Financial people. The compound interest growth rate of those kings. Market cap wise, is 22.46%.” – Al Ramadan Given this data, it begs the question of how many understand that this is the new dynamic, and how many entrepreneurs and marketers still think that it’s a big leap of faith to follow. To hear more from Al Ramadan and how Category Kings can become legendary Category Leaders, download and listen to this episode. Bio Al Ramadan is a co-founding partner of Play Bigger Advisors and coauthor of the book, Play Bigger. He also co-founded Quokka Sports, which revolutionized the way people experience sport online. Al then joined Macromedia and Adobe, where he spent almost ten years changing the way people think about great digital experiences. At Adobe, Al led teams that created the Rich Internet Applications category and helped develop the discipline of experience design. In the early ‘90s he applied data science to Australia’s Americas Cup — an innovation in sports performance analytics. His work in sailing led directly to the idea for Quokka. He lives in Santa Cruz, California. Links Connect with Al Ramadan!
24/08/221h 12m

156 How to Drive B2B Revenue Now with White Space Marketing

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about how marketing can drive revenue with White Space Analysis. We talked about how to drive short-term revenue via category design a few episodes ago (LOM 151). Today, we provide you with more options to make that cash register sing as soon as possible. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. White Space Analysis & White Space Marketing Let's talk about White Space Analysis and White Space Marketing. Essentially, it is doing data science analysis on consumers and the product they purchased. From there, you can see what products or services they have not purchased, which is the “white space”, so to speak. Now that you know this information, you can then focus on existing customers that have purchased some of your products, and target them with marketing for your products and services that they have not availed of yet. This drives revenue quickly for your company, as you provide consumers with a “need” for something they don’t have yet. How Mercury utilized White Space Marketing Back in my CMO days in Mercury, we had a team led by one of the most legendary executives in the industry, Sue Barsamian. Sue got quite complicated with White Space Analysis; she was able to utilize it in real-time during one of the Big Customer User Conferences. The team got the data on their big customers and found the products they do not use that go well with the ones they have purchased before from the company. Then, they made sure that the salespeople on the floor have this information, and subtly drove customers to product showcases and panels for the products they do not have. They made sure to precisely market into that customer’s white space, thereby saving time and effort, while having a higher chance of a purchase afterward. The fastest way to earn revenue One could argue that doing White Space Marketing is the fastest way to earn revenue, as you are already marketing to existing customers. As we know, if they bought from us once, the likelihood they're gonna buy from us again is very, very high. So it’s surprising that a lot of companies don’t employ this strategy, opting to do spray-and-pray tactics rather than doing White Space Analysis and focusing their marketing there. Once you have this information with you, your company can do a lot of things to funnel revenue and market share to your business. To hear more about White Space Marketing, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
10/08/2212m 30s

155 Content-Free Marketing: How the Marketing World Got Duped into Saying Nothing Everywhere (Snow Leopard Book Excerpt)

The Content Marketing category is almost 700 billion. Almost every company is working on content and increasing their content marketing investments. And yet, when was the last time you got a piece of content marketing and you said that was legendary? Let's dig into how the marketing world got duped into content free marketing, aka saying nothing everywhere, and why this is one of the largest opportunities hiding in plain sight. We recently launched our newest big book from category pirates. It's called Snow Leopard: how legendary writers create a category of one. What you're about to hear is the audio book read of me reading chapter three, which is all about content, free marketing, and why it's a giant opportunity for the rest of us. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Content-Free Marketing The Content Marketing category is a $4 billion industry. And it's estimated by 2024, the content marketing industry will grow another 270 billion, bringing the grand total to 700 billion. But content marketing is broad and includes everything from creation to distribution to content management. For example, in 2020 the enterprise content management industry was valued at $47 billion and is projected to more than double over the next five years, to more than 105 billion translations of the soon to be 700 billion content marketing industry. 20% of the entire market is exclusively dedicated to managing the content that gets created. Well, what's the content? More importantly, how much of the content being created, especially by enterprise companies and b2c companies, is actually worth reading? When was the last time you clicked on a company blog post and opened a company newsletter or listened to a corporate podcast and said to yourself, “wow, sure am glad I clicked on that”? The fact that most content marketing is garbage represents one of the greatest marketing opportunities of our time, for those willing to buck current conventional wisdom. Content Management The Content Management subcategory of the mega content marketing category is growing faster than ever. And yet, the number one activity b2b companies outsource is content creation by a mile. Get this: 86% of b2b organizations surveyed said they outsourced content creation. The next closest activity is content distribution, which only 30% of b2b organizations surveyed said they did editorial planning. Now, let's connect these two data points. On one hand, Content Management is growing at breakneck speed, while Content Creation creates more to manage. On the other hand, content creation is often the number one most outsourced marketing activity. Which means companies are deferring the single most important aspect of content, which is the creation of each and every idea and who's coming up with these ideas. Gary Vee D As we wrote about in our mini book, The Me Disease, many marketers today have, unfortunately, caught Gary Vee D. It is a content disease that leads creators and companies alike to believe the whole purpose of content creation is to do it and do it as often as possible. It doesn't matter if it's good or if it's valuable. Just say it out loud and say it off and, “pump out 200 pieces of content today”. Gary Vee and other digital marketing “gurus” have led the masses to believe the fact that you did it means you're succeeding. More equals mo betta. And so, every marketer everywhere has adopted this spray and pray approach where 100% of the emphasis is on the output, and essentially zero of the emphasis is on the quality of the content, and what is actually being said. To hear more about Content-Free Marketing, and how to avoid falling into this marketing trap, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.
03/08/2257m 5s

154 The Solo Thought Leader with Diego Pineda

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about how you can be a Thought Leader. More specifically, we’ll discuss how to be a Solo Thought Leader and build yourself up with our guest, Diego Pineda. Diego Pineda is the author of the book The Solo Thought Leader: from Solopreneur to Go-To Expert in Seven Steps. Being viewed as a thought leader is a powerful thing. Becoming known for a niche that you own through leading thoughts is one of the most powerful ways to get there to either have a legendary career as a solo creator or a thought leader of some kind. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Diego Pineda on Going Solo The conversation starts off with the topic of the recent great resignation, or rather the aftermath of it. According to the data gathered over time, it seems that most of the people who resigned went solo or opened their own businesses. “I actually talked to somebody who does this for a living, like helping people transition from being in a company to going solo. And he said, even just when the pandemic started, it was about 35% of the people were leaving their jobs. He thinks it is much larger than that. So there's a lot of people just going out of their jobs and going solo. So this is a trend. And I mean, I think it's gonna be growing.” – Diego Pineda Why People are Going Solo When asked why this was the case, Diego explains that it could be due to a number of things. “I think there's a few things. One is, people during the pandemic just realize what was possible, just working from home, having this freedom. They feel like managing their own time and not having to commute or being an office or all that BS that has to deal with our office politics. They realize there's this option, so why go back? Second, I think just the technology, the tools, and being able to just reach out people through LinkedIn, through social media and getting clients that way is possible. So people say it's possible, so why not? I can do it. Right. So and then you get people like that on the internet, saying, “Hey, I reached in two years while going solo, I went from zero to a million.” Of course, those are some exceptional cases, but then other people will think it's possible. “So why not me? Why not try it?” They just go for it.” – Diego Pineda With new technology and tools being developed at breakneck speed, and existing ones being improved to be more versatile than ever, it’s really no wonder why someone would think they could go solo, as long as they learn how to make use of these tools at their disposal. Be your own Thought Leader When the topic of influencers and content creators just spewing out the same thoughts of someone who is at the forefront of a certain category, Diego agrees that not only is it not sustainable, but you are also competing for a small piece of that niche. According to Diego, you need to be your own Thought Leader and come up with your own ideas. If nothing else, have a unique angle that can differentiate you from the rest. One way to do that is to find something that is dogma, or the “best” practice in an industry, and find if there is anything wrong with it. From there, you can come up with ideas that can fix the problem, or maybe come up with something entirely different as a solution. To hear more from Diego Pineda and how you can be a Solo Thought Leader, download and listen to this episode. Bio Diego Pineda is the author of two novels, 9 non-fiction books, and hundreds of articles and blogs as a science writer, a business writer, and a sales and marketing writer. He started his career as a medical writer while writing fiction on the side. Diego is also a book coach helping solopreneurs and business leaders write their first book fast so they can become thought leaders in their industries, gain authority and visibility, and make more money. Links
27/07/221h 23m

153 The Three Marketing Metrics That Matter

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about the three marketing metrics that matter. Because it appears as if there’s still a lot of confusion out there about this. So I thought we could unpack the real metrics that matter for marketing. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.   The Three Marketing Metrics Now, let’s talk about the three marketing metrics that matter, and break them down. Marketing that does not drive revenue is not marketing A lot of the counterarguments that I have received on this point is that marketing stuff people do can drive revenue. But the thing is, most of them do not drive long-term revenue. So if it doesn’t make the cash register sing consistently, It ain’t got that thing. But what about brand advertising or Awareness campaigns? Those things only matter if you already have revenue coming in over time. If you’re trying to build up awareness and brand before putting up a good product and making good revenue out of it, that’s like putting the cart in front of the horse. Marketing that does not drive category potential is not marketing Related to creating revenue, is building up category potential. It’s important, as it helps build demand for your product, whether you are creating a new category, or revolutionizing one with your product. Because when you have the ability to create demand, it will convert to revenue over time, which circles back to the first metric. Marketing that does drive increases in the market cap or valuation is not marketing Here’s the AHA for the third metric: investors in growth companies and stocks buy potential, not performance. What drives our market cap is the investor’s perception of the size and growth rate of the category that we're designing. Be their belief about our ability to prosecute the magic triangle, product, company, and category and earn 76% of the economics in the category that we are designing, because that's the average number that the average category cleaner can get. The other metrics like revenue growth, customer growth, margin growth, etc. are all metrics that validate that this company has massive potential.   How Legendary Marketing Executives do it The most legendary marketing executives, CEOs and entrepreneurs, when they talk to investors, the first thing they say is that we are designing a legendary new market category that has massive growth potential. And let me tell you why. So they start with the potential and marketing creates that perception and then helps the company turn perception into reality. Those are the metrics that matter: marketing needs to drive revenue, marketing needs to drive category potential, and then marketing needs to convert category potential in the eyes of investors into market cap. Because the company with the biggest market cap that is sustainable, I'm not talking about some kind of bullshit magic trick here. I'm talking about building enduring value over time. as measured by market cap, the number one market cap company in the category, always wins. Revenue, of course, is a critical metric for driving market cap. But it's not the only one. The perception of the future is actually more important from a market cap perspective. And so marketing drives revenue, short-term, medium-term, and long-term marketing drives market potential. To listen to a more detailed explanation of the three marketing metrics, download and listen to this episode.   Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some...
20/07/2213m 37s

152 The Three Stages of a Legendary Career: What Star Wars Can Teach Us

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about the three stages of a legendary career. Let’s also talk about the lessons we can learn about it from a source you wouldn’t think about at first, Star Wars. Yes, that Star Wars. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Three Stages of Legendary Career: Star Wars Style So how do we discuss legendary careers using Star Wars? Well, if you look at it on a higher level, the three stages of having a legendary career follow a Jedi’s progression. There’s being a Luke / Lucy Skywalker stage, where you are just starting out. If you’re lucky and successful, there’s the Obi-Wan stage. And if you are even more successful, and legendary at that, there’s the Yoda stage. Jedi Breakdown Let us explain even further. When you're first coming up, and if you are somebody who is gravitating towards the exponential different as opposed to the incremental better, or want to create, design, and dominate new future market categories, as opposed to just somebody who wants to kind of maintain the status quo, you get identified pretty quickly as being high potential. Much like Luke was as a padawan. If this person is lucky and successful, and becomes a mentor or teacher for other upcoming high potential individuals, they enter their Obi-Wan stage. And if you end up being a legend in your chosen career, much like Yoda, you will have the authority and success that befits the position. The True Reward When I myself was a Luke, I thought that the rewards for being a person with high potential who excels and produces great results was that you get the recognition and fame, as well as the riches that come along with it. But as you progress through the different levels of your career, you realize that while those rewards are worth pursuing, it is not the biggest reward out there. The real reward is you get to a place in your 40s or 50s, where the world acknowledges you, as a champion, as a legendary Luke / Lucy Skywalker, and you graduate. Now, the world grants you the Obi-Wan status. To hear more about the different legendary career and Star Wars, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
13/07/2217m 34s

151 How To Drive Short Term Revenue Now

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about how to use category design thinking to drive short term revenue. We talked a lot about what to do in a recession on our last episode, and on this episode, we're going deep on a very specific topic, about how to make the cash register sing immediately. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Short Term Category Design One of the things that we hear about category design is category design is too expensive. Only big companies can design categories, or it takes too long it takes six to 10 years to build a category, we need revenue now. But the truth is that category design can drive revenue for you in the next immediate term days or weeks if you take a category science approach. As we talked about on the last episode, most companies in a downturn compete harder and harder for demand existing demand that is falling. And it's like fighting for the falling demand knife and cutting yourself into shreds. Category design is distinct from Legacy approaches to marketing is actually the cheapest, fastest way to make the cash register sing. Things to Consider What I'm about to share with you is work that call Eddie and I are currently in the process of helping a legendary b2c tech company who is scaling at over 100% a year. In spite of that, they wanted to get really focused, particularly with the economy doing what it's doing on how to continue their triple digit plus growth. First, it starts with an understanding of super consumers. The general idea is that a very small number of consumers, customers, clients, readers, you know, consumers of any kind customers of any kind, typically 10% or less are the ones that are on the bleeding edge of what makes a category go. They're super influential. They're super committed to the category and typically to the brand leader in that category. They also tend to drive a lot of innovation; they also tend to be the ones that evangelize the loudest. So the first step is knowing your super consumers, and observing them. This leads to the second point, which is a genius insight from Eddie, is that a super of one is a super of nine. That is to say, people who are passionate about something, tend to be passionate about several things. So what are the adjacencies that the Supers might also love? There's a whole bunch of categories that they might be interested in. To learn more about how to drive short term revenue through category design, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
17/06/2221m 50s

150 How To Make Money In A Recession: 5 Steps To Create Demand For Your Product, Service, Or Platform

Welcome to a very special episode of Lochhead on Marketing, where we talk about how to make money in a recession. In times that are challenging, one of the greatest things we all can do is contribute what we can contribute. Given that it looks like we're about to be in a recession, what Eddie Yoon Nicolas Cole, and I aka the Category Pirates decided to do was to write a new mini book newsletter. It’s called How To Make Money In A Recession: Five steps to create demand for your product, service or platform. We elected to make the written version of this free. There'll be a link to it at the end of this show notes. So consider this episode, a mini book audio read.   We are in a Recession Dear Friend, Subscriber, and Category Pirate, We are in a recession. (Not officially, but it is not looking good.) Stocks are down. Startup valuations have plummeted. Bitcoin and Ethereum have lost more than 50% of their total value since their respective highs back in November, 2021. And sentiment around Silicon Valley is that the next 12-18 months are going to be challenging for companies looking to raise money. But where there is chaos, there is opportunity. Approximately 10% of companies get stronger in downturns. And you can’t be in the 10% unless you do some serious thinking. Through the category lens, downturns are simple to understand—and have a clear path to navigate. When times get tough, businesses, governments, households, and individuals all do the same thing: they create two lists. “Must Haves”“Nice To Haves” Then they start cutting the “Nice To Haves” to lower costs—as a direct response to their revenue / income / buying power shrinking.   The Question Every Business Should Ask Which means the seminal question is: what makes people put some categories/brands/products on the “Must Have” list versus the “Nice To Have” list?  Perceived value. (Everything we value, we’ve been taught to value.)  The difference between a dumb idea and a great one, or the difference between useful products and useless ones is the perception we have based on what we have been taught. (Don’t forget: pet rocks used to be in demand.) The trick is to get your product/service/platform on the “Must Have” list, and to be as high up on the list as possible. Because the higher the category is on the hierarchy of perceived value in the consumer’s mind, the greater the likelihood they will keep buying from you. Which is why savvy leaders market the category in downturns. Because people make their lists by category first, and brand second.   The Net-Positive Effects of Recession Elon Musk was a guest on the All In podcast and summarized the net-positive effects of recessions well: “Recessions are not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve been through a few of them. What tends to happen, if you have a boom that goes on for too long, you get misallocation of capital. It starts raining money on fools, basically. Any dumb thing gets money. At some point, it gets out of control… and the bullshit companies go bankrupt and the ones that are building useful products are prosperous.”  When most people hear the word “recession,” they imagine the housing crisis of 2008 or the dot-com bubble in the late 90s—and all of the businesses that went under as a result. But what doesn’t get talked about enough are the incredible companies that emerged out of these challenging times as well. Google and Amazon both came out of the dot-com bubble in the 90s (as did hundreds of other world-changing companies). And Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, Square, and dozens of other next-gen technology companies were founded between 2006 and 2009, right in the middle of the greatest financial crisis to ever threaten America. Recessions are pressure-cookers that rid the system of businesses failing to live up to the value they are promising society. To hear more on how you can make money even during a recession, download and listen to this episode.   Bio Christopher Lochhead    Links
03/06/2239m 27s

149 Startup Downturn Marketing Mistake, What To Do About It, & Why People Who Create Demand Are In Massive Demand

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let's talk about the big startup downturn marketing mistakes and what to do about it. We also talk about why people who create demand are in massive demand. Lastly, there is the topic about your career, and what to do when the economy goes sideways, both in your business and in your career. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Startup Downturn Marketing Mistake The reality is, it's not just startups who make this mistake. But before that, let's go through the top 10 list of what happens when the recession hits. Number one, the recession hits. The immediate impact of that, of course, is number two, demand falls. So what do most companies do? Number three, they market hard in an effort to catch demand. Remember, when most people say marketing, what they mean is compete in an existing market category for existing demand. So when they do marketing, what they're really doing is demand capture. So when the recession hits to demand falls, three, they market hard to catch, falling demand or some people say catch a falling knife. As a result, number four, customer acquisition costs aka CAC goes up. Number six to nine is just running around in circles, repeating numbers two to four. Until you reach number ten, where they finally run out of time and money. Here's the big learning: He who competes for demand loses, she who creates demand wins. It also happens to be why category design is the most powerful underground skill in business. Most people don't understand that just like you can create and design a product and accompany you could also create and design a market category. Recession through a Different Lens I get into trouble for saying this, but most people immediately assume a negative defensive position in a recession or a downturn. However, approximately 10% of companies get stronger during the recession. In the last week, I have had many conversations with entrepreneurs and CEOs about how to take advantage of the coming downturn. I know that sounds crazy to a lot of people, but you can't be in the 10%, that gets stronger, and you can't be in the elite companies that actually are able to take advantage of a downturn unless you at least ask the questions. So I'm asking you to consider a different way. Choosing a Different Way So here's the different way and specific as it relates to shrinking demand. So there's three kinds of demand. Number one, as we talked about demand capture. Number two, demand creation. That's why some people call it category creation. One of the stupid arguments we hear all the time is, “well, category design is dumb, because why would we go to a market where there's zero demand, and we have to create it all, when we can just catch demand? Okay? She who creates the demand wins. That's why. Now in a downturn, here's the problem. It can take some time to create demand. People say, “well, we don't have time our revenues falling, we need to generate revenue now.” This is where the third type of approach, wherein we dam the demand. By doing so, you redirect demand from an existing market to a new solution that your product or services provides. To hear more about how to deal with Startup Downturn Marketing Mistake, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive.
25/05/2218m 37s

148 Who Are You Going To Be When The Sh*t Hits The Fan

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about a critical question: Who are you going to be when the shit hits the fan? As we have talked about in previous episodes, it is starting to look like the business environment could get very hard here. Some people in Silicon Valley are even saying that it could be like back in 2008. Sequoia Capital wrote their seminal “RIP, Good Times” presentation, and its final slide says, “Get real, or go home”. No matter what's going to happen next in the economy, or frankly, the world, it's probably time for all of us to get real or go home. So let's dig into why some people step up, and others melt down in times of crisis. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Signs When I was in my late 20s, and into my early 30s, I was the founding CMO of a company called Scient. We were a leader in the we called E-business Innovation Space, we were one of the very first consulting firms to focus on building E-businesses or Digital Businesses. We did incredibly well, as a matter of fact, the company was founded, I believe, in 98, maybe late 97. By 2000, we had grown to almost 3000 people, which is incredible for a consulting startup, essentially. We were public and had a market cap of about $9 billion. Now, if you were around back then, you've done your homework, and you know the.com bust happened. Like all bad things, they happen over time. It built starting by about February, March, we could feel things starting to get bad. Shortly thereafter, we could feel the rumblings our pipeline wasn't starting to look very good. There was weird shit happening with our customers. And there was a slow takedown that happened from about March, slowly, slowly, slowly, building over the summer, and by the fall, we were in a freefall. Sh*t Hits the Fan Due to all that, we had to do the first ever layoff in the history of the company. It was insanely painful. So when we announced the miss in the projected stocks, we do the layoff. The people we laid off are amazing. They were cheering the company on saying please go forward and be successful sign had an incredible culture. So as painful as it was, the exiting people were, were incredible warriors and supporters. And the people who stayed really wanted to make a go of it. However, people at management seemed to be focusing on the wrong things, rather than discussing how to move forward, given the resources we still had at the moment. This continued until I left the company, and from there the company continued on its freefall rather than picking itself up and starting anew. How People React to Disruption So why do I share that with you? It's a great example of the shit hitting the fan for a company. In my opinion, an executive team unwilling to deal with the reality of the situation, and unwilling to deal with it with any kind of speed is a bad way to go at it. That's why I got so mad and took off, and that's why the CEO of the company fired me. After that, the company vaporized. To hear more how legendary people react when disruption happens in the market, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient,
18/05/2235m 17s

147 Why Most Tech Marketing Fails & What To Do About It with Chris Walker & Megan Bowen of Refine Labs

As you all know, normally there aren’t any guests for Lochhead on Marketing. But today, we have a special episode for tech entrepreneurs and marketers, as we have a dialogue with Megan Bowen and Chris Walker of Refine Labs. Megan Bowen and Chris Walker are the COO and CEO of Refine Labs. They also have an amazing podcast, called The State of Demand Gen podcast. As there have been a lot of bad thinking in marketing, a lot of which stems from old thinking. Chris and Megan have been doing a lot in helping drive the conversation onto new grounds, and making tech companies become in demand again. So if you’d like to hear their thoughts on the matter, stay tuned. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.   Contributing to the Marketing World The conversation starts with lauding Megan and Chris on the wonderful work they are doing on their podcast, State of Demand Gen. Christopher himself has been a guest before; you can check the episode here. But while Refine Labs has been around for a while, there’s not really a lot of things that people know about Chris and Megan, and what they do. Megan shares that her background has always been in customer success and company operations. For her, Chris is the true visionary and disruptor when it comes to marketing. “What I think I really bring to the table is a different way to think about company building. And I've had a ton of fun becoming a marketer in how we think about acquiring great talent and positioning our company in the eyes of candidates.” – Megan Bowen Chris adds that without Megan, it would’ve been hard to make his ideas become reality.   A Clear Shift in the Market Chris comments that it has been obvious to him and the team that there has been a shift in how people in B2B actually want to buy things. But surprisingly, a lot of companies are not adjusting to that reality because they’re stuck in the old ways of marketing. “That shift sort of goes in line with what some of those topics that you talked about, Christopher. Native Digitals and Native Analogs is one piece of it. So how do people primarily want to engage research, discover, evaluate their suppliers and decisions and make decisions? How do they want to do that? As we start moving into the workforce, there's more, I think you've mentioned, a stat of like, at least 50% of actual decision makers in a B2B buying process are now Native Digitals.” – Chris Walker With this shift comes a lot of new opportunities and approaches to try out. So the slow adjustment of most companies nowadays to adapt to such things is what gives companies like Refine Labs to sort of “pop out of nowhere” and dominate the market.   On Native Digitals and Native Analogs On the topic of Native Digitals and Native Analogs, it seems that S&P 500 CEOs, who are still majority Native Analogs, are not aware that the buying market is being overrun by Native Digitals. According to Chris, those who have noticed have started to create categories and marketing catering to that demographic. But for Chris, that isn’t nearly enough. “I think that it's important to look more holistically at the overall business. So some of the things that power our advantage. We think about our culture and our talent, talent, experience and talent management from a native digital lens. We think about building future products and experiences for customers through a native digital lens. And so when you look at the entire business, not just your marketing, there's a lot of companies that can go out and put nice wallpaper on their marketing. Well, the foundations and stuff is cracking inside of the actual building.” – Chris Walker Megan adds that it’s not only an approach that one should take in marketing, but in other aspects of the business as well. “I think that a core component of any business, being successful and continuing to grow is attracting and retaining the r...
11/05/221h 18m

146 13 Strategic Assumptions for Entrepreneurs, CEOs, CMOs and Executive Leaders

On this episode, let’s talk about some of the smart assumptions we can make about the rest of 2022. Of course, this is based on the numerous dialogues I’ve had in the past months with some of the smartest entrepreneurs, VCs, CEOs, and executives in Silicon Valley. If you’re interested in those conversations, check out Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different in your podcast feed today. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Assumptions for 2022 Without further ado, here are the assumptions that could happen during the rest of 2022: A Recession will happen – Most of the smart people in Silicon Valley and beyond are strategically planning for a recession, both in their business and in their personal lives. If it doesn’t happen, great. But it’s still better to have options should it be the case. Inflation will continue – The US government and the US Treasury trying to grapple with it right now. Wages are also going up, and supply lines are still challenged in many categories and industries. The Ukraine-Russia War will continue, and it will be long – David Gergen (FYD 266) said that he thought they would likely be sort of punch-drunk fighters before this thing ended. But we also had Dmitri Alperovitch (FYD 269), a renowned security expert, say that the war, or at least the major aspects of it, would be over within the month. Though there are still possibilities of digital skirmishes between the two. Regardless, the effects of this war will be far-reaching, and have humanitarian and economic impacts even after the war. David Sacks (FYD 267) says that there might be a GOP landslide in November – Right now, Biden's approval ratings are some of the lowest in history, and Democrats don’t seem to have a way to rally themselves, or show a specific point of view or plan to hold their position. People are Hurting – People are on the edge. You can see it all over the place. People’s mental health seem a little fragile right now. These past couple of years have really taken its toll, and you can feel that fights could break out at the drop of a hat. It will take at least 5 years’ time before Native Analog CEOs, CMOs and C-level executives to understand that Native Digitals are the new category of human – A great example of this is you hear people talking about returning to work. We're not returning to work, people might go back to physical offices, but we're not returning to work native, Digital's want to live in a native digital world. As long as Native Analogs executives do not recognize this, there will be a disconnect with the old and new categories, and those who fail to cope could be left behind. Variations and Market Caps will almost certainly continue to come down – That is what smart VCs are saying right now. So right now, they are “adjusting their thinking”. Given the data they have received over the past 12-24 months, they are expecting that there will be down runs that will happen. As a result of no. 7, raising money will be harder, and going public will also be harder – Most companies may very well have a tough time going public in the relative near term. But that should not discourage those who think that they have a new category opportunity to pursue them. It might just be the thing that helps you gather resources to go public. Cash is King again! (So manage it carefully) – This is also the result of both no. 7 and 8, so wise executive teams are managing their assets carefully. No one ever cost cut themselves to greatness – While it’s all well and good that you are able to manage your resources carefully, don’t be parsimonious. Recessions are not fun, but they can make good companies legendary – It is wise in tough economic times, to look for the growth opportunities to look for ways to make changes, and to look for ways to take your good company and make it legendary.
27/04/2214m 6s

145 All In Podcast “Rain Man” David Sacks of Craft Ventures on What Every Startup Leader Needs to Know Now

On this episode, we talk to David Sacks of Craft Ventures, on what every startup leader needs to know in the current business landscape. If you didn’t know, I recently talked with David Sacks about a variety of topics, including business, current affairs, and how the two are interconnected. Even when we don’t always see it. If you want to check that out, go to Follow Your Different episode 267. This episode is a certain portion of that, which I thought bears highlighting here on Lochhead on Marketing. So listen up, and listen good. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. How 2022 will play out for VCs and Startups The conversation starts on how 2021 was for venture capitalists and startups, which saw great growth on new businesses and new deals. Though the question that remains, according to David Sacks, is how sustainable it will be. He notes that the huge growth was caused by certain situations in 2021, and how the public market reacted to it. But it seems that the market is slowly correcting itself, so we might expect to see a “slump” this year. “Well, it's gonna be very different than 2021, for sure. There's a HUGE CORRECTION that's been underway really since November, the public markets started correcting in November.” – David Sacks Part of the huge growth was that there was an enormous liquidity injected into the markets as a result of the government reacting to COVID to act as a stimulus for the economy. The issue lies on the fact that they seem to have overdone it. To correct it, the market has seen inflation rise to new heights over the past months. It will seem erratic for now, but as the demand goes back and the excess stimulus wears off, we will see the market stabilize once more. Consolidations and Mergers One of the things that you often see during this time of sudden rise and slump in the market, is that a lot of acquisitions and mergers happen. It is because company’s valuation tends to drop during this time, so you could probably acquire one for far lower its original, especially compared to the high-rise last year. One example is Salesforce, who acquired Slack on the height of the market boom last year. If they were to buy it at this current market, they might have gotten it for about 75% or less of what they originally paid for. That goes for everybody. On paper, this should be the best time to acquire or merge with new assets. Yet that’s not what always happens because… Prices are Sticky On the other hand, it can be hard to get a lot of deals happening because they are still clinging onto the prices of the past. “One of the reasons why there's not a lot of deals happening right now is because in VC land is because prices are kind of sticky. I mean, all the founders remember the glory days, just six months ago, 100 times ARR. They're still anchored on that. And they don't believe that, like, there's been this giant repricing, and that things could really be at 20 times ARR.” – David Sacks They cling to this because most of them know that all they need is just one VC that is still willing to drink the Kool Aid and pay for 100 ARR, and they’re all set. So there's going to be resistance to these changes and price levels. To hear more from David Sacks and know what most startups need to know now, download and listen to this episode. Bio David Sacks is co-founder and general partner at Craft. He has been a successful founder and investor for over two decades, building and investing in some of the most iconic companies in tech. He has invested in over 20 unicorns, including Affirm, AirBnB, Bird, ClickUp, Eventbrite, Facebook, Houzz, Lyft, OpenDoor, Palantir, Postmates, Reddit, Slack, SpaceX, Twitter, Uber, and Wish. David is also co-host of the popular “All-In Podcast” with Chamath Palihapitiya, David Friedberg, and Jason Calacanis. David first got involved in the technology industry in 19...
06/04/2220m 47s

144 The First Native Analog vs Native Digital War: Volodymyr vs Vladimir (And What It Means For Every CEO & CMO)

Welcome to a very special episode of Lochhead on Marketing. This episode is based on a recent Category Pirates newsletter that we wrote, which is about Ukraine, the Native Analog and Native Digital war, and what it means for every business person. If you haven’t subscribed to Category Pirates?‍☠️ yet, click the link and check it out. You’ll find a few goodies and mini-books waiting for you there. That said, think of this episode as more of an audiobook than a podcast, as I will be reading the article for you. Without further ado, let’s get to reading. Part I Over the past year, we have written extensively about the bifurcation between Native Analogs & Native Digitals. Native Analogs are Baby Boomers and Gen Xers born anywhere from the 1940s all the way up to the early ‘80s. Today, they range between the ages of 40 to 75, and make up approximately 136.8 million Americans. Native Digitals are Millennials, Gen Zers, and beyond, born between the early 1980s to as recently as the 2010s. These demographics are around 35 years of age on the high end, down to as young as 6 years old, and make up approximately 140.1 million Americans. Much has been written in the past 20 years about “Digital Natives,” but this is a loose understanding of the chasm between these two demographics. When we say “Native Analogs” and “Native Digitals,” we are not talking about age. We are talking about identity. “Native Digital” is not a mindset. It does not mean “some people embrace technology while others do not.” It also doesn’t mean if you’re old, you’ll never “get it.” We created the terms Native Analog and Native Digital to introduce shared language that would allow society to discuss the differences between people whose primary life experience is Analog-first (in the real world) from people whose primary life experience is Digital-first (online). Again, this is not an Old vs Young issue. This is a first-time-ever-in-human-history phenomenon: Native Analogs are the last of a dying breed, and Native Digitals are a new category of human. And from here on out, there will never be another Native Analog generation born ever again. Think about that. Part II Native Digitals grew up integrated with the digital world. They had smartphones before they had college degrees, high school diplomas, or (for Gen Zers) a bicycle to ride around the neighborhood. (“Bicycle? Why? All my friends are online.”) They grew up integrated with the cloud. They don’t know what it’s like to not have the answer to any and every question in their pocket, two taps and a swipe away. The digital world is where they primarily live. (And when parents restrict their screen time, whether they realize it or not, they are removing them from their primary lives and threatening their core life experience.) The Native Analog & Native Digital lens is fascinating in and of itself, but it gets more powerful when changes in the world are viewed and understood through it. For example: nowhere in the media have we seen anyone discuss the Russia/Ukraine war through the Native Analog & Native Digital lens.  Most people think this support for Ukraine “just happened” (the same way most business media think demand for a given business just “happens,” like the weather). It did not. The support was created—in exactly the same way Category Designers create net-new demand out of thin air. Volodymyr’s digital dominance has led to historic pressure being put on governments and corporations to inflict more economic pain on Russia than has ever been levied on any country, ever. It used to be that what happened in the analog world dictated what happened in the digital world—but now, the two have flipped (and most people don’t see this radical transformation happening in plain sight). Digital stories, digital messages, digital photos, digital conversations, and the subsequent digital movement in support for Ukraine that has had catastrophic consequences for Russia in the analog world.
24/03/2215m 15s

143 What’s the Role of Business, Beyond Business?

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s ask what is the role of business, beyond just business. Today marks the 5th day into the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, the first attack of its kind since Sept. 1, 1939 – the start of World War 2. So let’s talk about how this affects businesses, and how businesses can affect it. Roll Call for Companies According to the Wall Street Journal, the US is still buying 8% of its oil from Russia. On the commercial side, there has been no announcements by companies such as McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, and Papa John’s to name a few, on closure of their branches in Russia, temporary or otherwise. On the tech side of things, there have also been no word from Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, nor from Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as well as CISCO CEO Chuck Robbins and Oracle CEO Safra Catz on their stance and plans as things progress in Russia. I'm disheartened, somewhat defeated, and absolutely fucking royally mad about the silence from Silicon Valley on this topic. There are some exceptions, of course. Criticize the man all you like, but Elon Musk made a commitment to keep the Ukraine connected to the internet via his Starlink satellite internet. Less than 48 hours after he made that promise, a shipment of Starlink terminals arrived in the Ukraine. Businesses Getting Involved in War There are those on the web that criticize people who celebrate when big corporations do something in the situation. My response to them is this: “Anyone who supports in any way, a free democratic society, who is being invaded, attacked, and mass murdered is a hero.” – Christopher Lochhead Now, if you wish to join me in making a financial contribution, we took a list of charities helping in the Ukraine(published by NBC News). You can check out that list of charities and I encourage you to crack open your wallet and see if you can make a difference for the people of Ukraine. You can also donate to Doctors Without Borders as they mobilize to help Ukraine and nearby countries that were affected. The Role of Businesses beyond Business As a business owner or entrepreneur, you might be asking – how exactly can businesses help in this situation? Well, imagine what would happen if all the tech security companies pulled the plug on the Russian government and on major Russian enterprise. Imagine if all tech infrastructure companies pulled the plug on Russia. Imagine if all of the SAS application companies, the database companies, the gaming companies, the IT operations companies shut down Russia's digital world, the digital world is as important today as the analog world. if they manage to shut down the Russians government's ability to do things in the digital world, we're going to shut down a lot. Of course, there are certain companies and certain situations where it makes sense to keep doing business. In Russia, for example, communication, and social platforms is critical for Russian citizens to be able to see and hear what their government is doing in the Ukraine. So what leaders do in times of crisis matters, what you and I do in times of crisis matters. If the US federal government will not stop buying Russian blood oil, will we stop doing business with Russia? Will our CEOs put peace before profits? Or will businesses do whatever they want to do? It's easy to be great when everything's great. But what defines our lives is who we choose to be in times of crisis. Bio Christopher Lochhead  We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
02/03/227m 13s

142 Marketing’s Job Is NOT Serving Internal Customers

On this episode, let's talk about one of the things that drives me the craziest and more importantly, ruins marketing results and careers on a regular basis. That is, why marketing's job is NOT serving internal customers. Speaking of which, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making our new books into bestsellers at Amazon Books. You can check the whole list Category Pirates mini-books at Amazon Books, and expect more in the near future! Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Concept of Internal Customers is Dumb The idea of an Internal Customer is dumb. Listen to it: Internal Customer. First of all, what does a customer do that an internal department or “internal customer” doesn’t? That’s right, customers actually pay you money. Companies who are so internally focused and direct marketing inwardly, that they are confused as to what it should be targeting is a company destined for disaster. So point number one is this: “There is only one customer, and those are your actual customers.” – Christopher Lochhead You can put whatever modifier in front of customer you want, but customers or consumers and putting a stupid modifier in front of them is well, frankly stupid. What Marketing should be doing That said, what really is marketing? Firstly, Marketing is a leadership function. Its job is to lead the company, lead the category and ultimately design and dominate a legendary category that matters around solving problems or creating opportunities for customers. Second, marketing organizations often get trapped in this feeling of being an internal service bureau. That's ridiculous. Marketing is no is no more of a internal service function than finance than engineering or products. d in this being of being an internal service bureau. HR is not a service function either. It's a leadership function. So the first thing to understand is marketing is a leadership function, whose job is to partner with the rest of the organization in creating, designing, and dominating a market category that makes a giant difference for customers who pay us money. How Marketing works within the Organization Now, what does that mean for how marketing works within the organization? You do it as leaders, as you partner with other leaders. So is Sales Enablement important? Yes, of course it’s important. As a marketing leader, we want the sales organization to love us. Are there a certain set of things that we want to deliver to sales to help them be successful in their job? Of course, there are. But we're not order takers, we're leaders. And we're partners. We're in a co creation relationship. You're in the business of co-creating a legendary relationship. Are there some service elements of that? Sure, there are. But that is not the primary paradigm, the primary paradigm is a co-creation relationship. That's the relationship marketing wants to have with sales, that is to say, both of which should get together and say, what are our objectives for the year for the quarter for the month? How do we partner together to produce legendary revenue with the exact kind of customers that we want? So in that regard, marketing and sales work together, hand in glove. To hear more on how Marketing should be done in your business, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactiv...
16/02/2213m 45s

141 Why Most Marketing Fails, and what CEOs and CMOs need to know to fix it

On this episode, let’s talk about why most marketing fails, and what we can do about it. Speaking of marketing, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making our new books into bestsellers at Amazon Books. You can check the whole list Category Pirates mini-books at Amazon Books, and expect more in the near future! Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Marketing Folklore When most people say marketing, they usually have a preconceived notion to what it is. That is, to compete for an existing demand with a better product and a better brand in an existing market category. The reason most people think like this is that it is what is taught in business schools and MBAs. That’s what is said a lot in marketing books and the like. So it has become a belief, almost a folklore, that things should be done as such. Competing for Leftovers The problem with this line of thinking is that it’s a very bad idea. We did a data science project published in the HBr, as well as in our newsletter Category Pirates, and discovered something fascinating. We found that in tech categories, on average, the category king or queen wins 76% of the total value created, as measured by market cap in the entire category. This means, if you’re not doing category design, you’re playing in someone else’s category. When somebody says marketing, what they’re really saying is, we are going to fight for the remaining 24% of the value. The issue now is that most companies don’t realize that they’re only fighting for a small piece of the pie. “Because the vast majority of marketers don't know that that's what they're doing. When they hear the word marketing, they make an unconscious, undiscussed unanalyzed choice to compete in a category designed by somebody else, which only allows for 24% of the value. And that is why most marketing fails.” – Christopher Lochhead Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes!
02/02/228m 30s

140 Microsoft Buying Activision Blizzard: What Most People Don’t Get

This episode is based on some of the thinking in the #1 bestseller: The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche Since Microsoft announced that its purchasing Activision Blizzard for $70 billion, a lot of people have called this stupid. Others said Microsoft overpaid, and other various things. So on this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let's break down why this acquisition is actually a legendary move and examine the difference between acceleration deals in growing categories, and consolidation deals in slow growth to declining categories. Let’s also look at Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard from the future, as opposed to from the present. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Did Microsoft Overpay for Activision Blizzard? Most people think that Microsoft overpaid with the $70 billion price tag on Activision Blizzard. Not necessarily. People tend to look at this as a consolidation deal, where Microsoft buying a company at a decline, which is not. The important point of the deal was to facilitate Category Acceleration. The goal of this deal or purchase is to buy a leading position in a category with a massive future potential. They are not buying people, products, customers, or even the revenue; they’re buying a dominant position in a category with massive growth potential going forward. These types of deals are often employed by Category Designers that are actively pursuing the next Category King. A practice that Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, seems to be well aware of. The Big Play for the Metaverse So why did Microsoft purchase Activision Blizzard? Simply put, Microsoft is making a huge bet on the new Metaverse. For them, the gaming category will be the gateway into getting a solid foothold in the metaverse. Here’s what Satya Nadella has said on the matter: “Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today, and will play a key role in the development of Metaverse platforms” Digital Natives and the Digital Gaming Industry In 2020, the online gaming category in the US reached a peak of 166 billion. Why is that? Well, it’s because of the 140 million Native Digitals in the US alone, 70% of which identify as gamers. Digital Gaming has been a booming business lately that it has far outstripped Hollywood. Also, there are now colleges and universities that offer scholarships to a new category of athletes who play eSports. Yes, Native Analogs. Young people today are getting college scholarships for playing video games. Getting a Head Start on the Metaverse You all probably know about the Metaverse by now, and watched the bizarre presentation that Mark Zuckerberg did. In that presentation, he said Facebook is investing 10 billion on the Metaverse. Microsoft just one-upped them and did 70 billion. Consider this as well: aside from Facebook, most of Meta’s category-defining products and services were not internal projects. Their key brands and properties were startups that they have acquired once the category has proven successful and already dominate as Category Kings. In terms of the Metaverse, Meta might be on to something. Unfortunately, it will take a lot of time to develop and visualize what they want their metaverse to be like. Microsoft, by buying Activision Blizzard, sort of stole the march from them and established an initial goal for their idea of the metaverse, and an existing system to implement it on. In other words, this deal suddenly puts Microsoft in the pole position and the driver’s seat. To hear more about Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard and why it all makes sense, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startup...
24/01/2212m 12s

139 How To Inspire Legendary Marketing Work

On this episode, let’s talk about how to inspire legendary creative marketing people to do their legendary creative marketing work. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Letting Legendary Creative Marketing People Do Legendary Creative Marketing Work Years ago, I was the head of marketing for a red-hot internet company called Scient. We had engaged with a group of creative marketers, designers, and copywriters led by the legend himself, John Bielenberg. At the beginning of the project, this is what I said to him: “Look, I know you guys are standalone, in terms of the incredible legendary marketing creative you guys create. So what I'm asking you to do is go away, and design the most legendary piece of work you've ever done.” In this case, it was a brochure that will serve as “grenade”: it was the kind of piece that when you got it, you knew you got it, and you never forgot getting it. They did just that. So when they came back a week or two to present their work, I asked the question that I always ask, “Do you think what you're about to show us is legendary work?” John smiled and looked at me and said, “Yes, we do,” and he showed us this most legendary brochure that he created. Acknowledge Your Legendary Creative Marketing Team’s Efforts Another thing to address is to let your creatives know that you are aware that their best works don’t usually see the light of day. This is either due to poor follow-through by the higher-ups, or poor feedback from people who weren’t involved in the project, but higher up the food chain. So acknowledge this and then tell them, that once they deliver a legendary creative marketing piece that will blow away everyone, you will fight tooth-and-nail for it to see the light of day. Once they do so, remind them to remind you to not fuck it up. The Takeaway So what’s the lesson here? First, when you're talking to creative people about doing creative work, let them know that you want them to do their most legendary work. Feedback and instructions are good, but it's best to let their creative juices run wild. Second, let them know that you also know that most of their most legendary work has never seen the light of day. This is because most of the companies they worked for or the clients that they had didn't have the courage to execute their legendary work. They didn't have the courage to say to them, once they presented truly legendary work, “Don't let us fuck this up.” Now, here's the other AHA about this. If you as a marketing leader/CEO/CMO get a reputation with the creative people in your company for A) inspiring it and asking them to do legendary work, and then B) with very few modifications, actually execute the legendary work, guess what happens the next time they have to do something creative. They know that you want their most legendary work. Also, they know that if they put the thinking and their heart and their soul and their blood, sweat, tears and whiskey into that work, that you are not going to be the leader who takes that legendary work and lets it get crushed and watered down so that it never sees the light of day. And when legendary creative people know that you want them to do their legendary work and that you're actually going to implement it, guess what? They're going to keep giving you legendary work. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercur...
12/01/2211m 22s

138 Unlocking Native Digitals with Hannah Grady Williams, author of Unlocking Gen Z

Welcome to part two of the Native Digitals series here at Lochhead on Marketing. On this episode, we have a conversation with Hannah Grady Williams on how your business can tap into the Native Digitals workforce. For those who are not familiar of what Native Digitals are, give part one of this series a quick listen (LOM 137). Hannah Grady Williams is the Gen Z CEO Advisor, sort of like a Gen Z whisperer for CEOs and executive. She is the author of a new book called A Leader’s Guide to Unlocking Gen Z: Inside strategies to empower your team. If you are over the age of 35, which is a Native Analog, this is a must-listen podcast. Because Hannah has a tremendous amount of insight for how Native Analogs can bridge the gap to work, recruit, and build our companies with a whole new slew of Native Digitals workforce. Generation Differences: Gen X vs Gen Z, Native Digital vs Native Analog When asked if the generation differences also coincide with the category of Native Analogs and Native Digitals, Hannah says that there are overlaps, but they are not completely the same. These overlaps are more on how each generation treats technology. “Well, Gen Z, you think about all the kids sitting around the table constantly on their phones, not paying attention to anything. To you, you think it’s a distraction or something that’s taking my mind and my presence away from the people around me. The way I see it is a door that opens me to experiences I never could have had in my natural environment. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that distinction of the way that my generation looks at the world.” – Hannah Grady Williams How Native Digitals Use Technology, and Why Analogs Don’t Get It Hannah then talks about the time his brother mentioned what he has learned from Tik Tok. If you are a casual user, you might think that the platform is just all dance and viral memes. Yet there are people who use the platform to share important life lessons and tips they have learned themselves, in digestible, bite-size content. Sadly, most parents’ reaction to someone just spending their time on social media is to just strip their phones or tablets from them. Rather than engaging with them and understanding, they just stop the activity. Because again, to them that is all just distraction. “What they don’t realize, you know, if I’m looking from a Gen Xers perspective, or a Boomer’s perspective, I think of technology maybe the same way as any other technological innovation that might distract you from family time at the dinner table. But the way my generation sees it is, not only are we getting access to an entirely new world of people. It’s actually a portal to a new world. it’s a portal, it’s a new way of thinking.” – Hannah Grady Williams Millennials and Gen Z are the New Category of Humans Hannah states that Native Digitals is a great way of describing the New Age of Humans that we have now. She also thinks that it will become more pronounced once the next generation Gen Alpha, comes around. Hannah then brings up a book called Ready Player One. It is about living immersed in a digital world and treating the real world as the alternative. While the real-world economy is at a downfall, it didn’t really matter to its citizens. As their life is spent in their digital selves, they saw no need to be lavish in real life. While it is an exaggerated version, it does mirror how Native Digitals prioritize their digital lives over their physical ones. You see people buying expensive digital products while in real life, they barely buy new clothes and the like. That’s what Native Analogs should take note this early. Otherwise, they might be left hanging once almost everything goes fully digital. To hear more from Hannah Grady Williams and how your business can reel in the Gen Z and Native Digitals of the world, download and listen to this episode. Bio Hannah Williams’s story began in a blue pickup truck when her father handed 12-year-old Hannah the phone and...
29/12/211h 31m

137 New Category of Humans: Native Digitals Are Transforming The World & No One’s Paying Attention!

Originally published in ?‍☠️ Category Pirates: It’s not a weekly newsletter. It’s a weekly mini-book. Lately, there has been a fundamental, dare I say, seminal change in the category design of human beings. That is to say, the definition of what a human is has changed. You see, if you’re 35 and up, you are the last of a dying breed called Native Analogs. If you’re 35 or younger, you are the first generation of Native Digitals. Native Digital’s experience life in a digital first way, and an analog way, second. Native Digitals have come of age integrated with the machines. Your smartphone and technology overall are like part of who you are as a person. Most Native Analogs do not get this. Most people are not ready for the fact that everything is moving from an analog paradigm to a native digital world. Wait, haven’t we had this dialogue before? Yes, we did in FYD episode 250. But this change is so radical, that it bears repeating, so we are doing it here as well.  So in this two-part series of Lochhead on Marketing, we explore Native Digitals versus Native Analogs, and how it is important to realize that we are shifting to a digital paradigm faster than you think. Category Neglect First off, we start as to why it is important to recognize category shifts like the one we are experiencing now. Most category kings and queens tend to fall into a trap, in which they ignore new categories that may be adjacent or indirectly related to theirs. When a new category arises (seemingly out of nowhere), the incumbent doesn’t topple over because they were unaware of the new category queen. More often than not, they fall because they dismissed what was happening right before their very eyes. It’s not ignorance. It is arrogance coupled with the gravitational pull of “the way it is.” Because the people profiting in the present want things to stay the same. This is called Category Neglect. Category Neglect doesn’t come from people being stupid or lacking sufficient data and resources to spot the headwinds and tailwinds of the future. It comes from a refusal to acknowledge which direction the wind is really blowing. Why do they fall to such a seemingly obvious trap? This happens because the gravitational pull is too strong. A company gets used to earning hundreds of millions, or billions of dollars per year, and thinks it can do no wrong. The company becomes deeply invested in the present. Anything that threatens the way it is now is dismissed. Native Analogs vs Native Digitals One of the most profound shifts happening in the world today is rooted in the ever-escalating debate between generations young and old. It is a shift hiding in plain sight. Just like the Tymshare executives staring out the window at Apple’s cranes building the headquarters of the company that would ultimately put them out of business, most people over 35 years old can’t see this shift happening. Instead, they say to themselves, “Eh, we’ve got nothing to worry about.” As Category Pirates, we feel it is our obligation to sound the alarm when we see rocky shores ahead. Some of us are facing a once-in-a-generation set of headwinds that could not just stymie growth, but sink our entire ship. If those of us over age 35 aren’t careful, this divide could result in one of the greatest instances of Category Neglect. However, those who see this mega shift and act on it, on the other hand, will sail into the sunset a lot of happy pirates, make more money, and make a way bigger difference in the world. With that said, let’s first give a better definition of what a Native Analog and Native Digital are. We’ll also define where their biggest difference lies. There are two types of people on planet earth today. The first are Native Analogs. These are Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, born anywhere from the 1940s all the way up to the early ‘80s. Today, they range between the ages of 40 to 75, and make up approximately 136.8 million Americans. The second are Native Digitals.
22/12/2144m 34s

136 Rivian IPO Through The Category Lens

In Lochhead on Marketing episode 127, we talked with Al Ramadan, Co-founder of Play Bigger Advisors and co-author of Play Bigger, the book. On that episode, we unpacked the upcoming Rivian IPO. Now that Rivian has gone public, we thought it would be cool to get together again, and unpack what happened through a category design lens. Specifically, how Rivian was able to use their IPO not just as a financing event, but a category-defining event. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. The Rivian IPO: An Update after the Launch Al Ramadan recaps what Rivian IPO was during the public offering, which had a market cap of $60 billion at the time. This was already a very impressive number, considering that it was still an IPO. What people didn’t anticipate is that after Rivian’s launch, they blew well past that and now sits over $100 billion in valuation. As a result, they are now the third largest automotive company behind Tesla and Toyota. All in all, it is an incredible IPO, and one to observe in the future as it develops. Betting on Potential vs Performance Despite all that, there are those who are still skeptic of what had happen, and consider it as a fluke or a big risk. But it all boils down to betting on the potential of an idea, rather than just prior performance. Right now, some investors are seeing things in a new light. “I think it's hard for investors to understand because that's been just been the way they are. They look at multiples of revenue or multiples of trucks shipped, or all of those other vital metrics within an organization. But the new investors I think, are starting to look past that.” – Al Ramadan Paving the Way into a New Category What Al finds interesting is that currently, 70% or more of the market cap for the electronic car category is cornered by Tesla. Yet Rivian might have to potential to great its own category within it, and be the category king for it. Because Rivian is not just planning on the electronic cars and trucks. They are also including everything else that comes along with it. We’re talking charging networks and stations, dealerships, and the like. It’s taking into consideration the whole ecosystem, as supposed to just that one product. “So if you go into this with the mindset of like, I'm going to value this as an automotive industry as it was over the last 125 years, you're gonna miss big time.” – Al Ramadan To hear more from Christopher and Al and their thoughts and updates on the Rivian IPO, download and listen to this episode. Bio Al Ramadan is a co-founding partner of Play Bigger Advisors and coauthor of the book, Play Bigger. He also co-founded Quokka Sports, which revolutionized the way people experience sport online. Al then joined Macromedia and Adobe, where he spent almost ten years changing the way people think about great digital experiences. At Adobe, Al led teams that created the Rich Internet Applications category and helped develop the discipline of experience design. In the early ‘90s he applied data science to Australia’s Americas Cup — an innovation in sports performance analytics. His work in sailing led directly to the idea for Quokka. He lives in Santa Cruz, California. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
08/12/211h 6m

135 Sales Kick Off: The 2 Questions You Must Answer for Your 2022 Kick Off Event

In this episode, let’s talk about Sales Kick Off. Since it’s that time of the year where most sales, marketing, and executive teams are working on sales kickoff events for the new year and/or a company kickoff event. While most people work on the practical and tactical aspect of things, there’s a strategic question that we need to address. If we get the answer right, it can lead to a very successful sales kickoff and a successful year. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Sales Kick Off Events Like most companies, you are also probably working on this as early as the 4th quarter of the year. If you’re in a well-established company, you probably have all the basics down, in terms of systems, workflows, and all related processes. While those parts are also important, the focus in these kinds of kickoffs is the context that it operates in. Why are you doing this sales kickoff? Is it for something new, or maybe an important change in your company that will affect how you interact with your clients and customers? Why Should I Stay? That said, we have a very unique context going into 2022. You have probably heard about the “Great Resignation”. People have been quitting their jobs to find better work or pursue other careers. Those who stayed are probably getting recruitment emails from competition due to this sudden lack of high-value individuals in certain industries. So heading into 2022, the context of your sales kickoff needs to answer the question, “Why should I stay?” In order to answer that question, you should look on what truly motivates people. The first point is, people who are invested in the company are motivated by a mission. They want to feel like they’re a part of something greater than themselves. That what they do for the company makes a difference. The second point is that they want to feel connected to their colleagues. Granted, this is harder nowadays due to COVID and social distancing. So instead of being physically around people, find a way to align people’s goals, so that they get to interact with each other while having the same mission. This ties to the first point as well. If your company is still on a full remote capacity right now, you can also be creative with technology. Instead of socializing in the pantry like before, set up zoom meetings for your team where you can just talk about the recent activities you have done outside of work. Or maybe share what you have been doing lately, so that other people in the team are aware of your contributions and could help with your struggles. In the situation where we're primarily using a digital first native digital way to do that, think about using the technology and creative ways to bond people to each other into the mission and point of view. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
01/12/218m 50s

134 The Problem With Most Marketing Plans

In this episode, let’s talk about the problem with most marketing plans, and what you can do about it. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Planning Based on the Past Let’s talk about the problem with most marketing plans: mainly, most of them start with last year’s template. The big problem with most marketing plans is they take last year's marketing plan and they extend it forward. In category design, one of our favorite expressions is to reject the premise. In the end, we challenge ourselves to push and poke and stretch our thinking. Also, just because it worked in 2020 or 2021, it is not evidence that it will work in 2022. More importantly, when you start your planning by rejecting the premise, you create a blank sheet of paper. Crowding Out Innovation It is also difficult to create a different future when the past is your lens. So if a prior marketing plan is the start point for a plan for the future, by definition you're taking the past and figuring out how to re-implement it going forward. That might be feasible for maintaining certain market margins and the like, but it risks crowding out innovation in your marketing plan. We’re also not telling you to reject the past and just YOLO your future. Going forward, you should have a dialogue on what worked and not worked based on the data from the past, find a way to highlight those points, but at the same time look for things that have not been explored in the market. That way, you can produce a breakthrough in a new field or even create a new category out if it, without having to go for broke. Three Pillars of a Great Marketing Plan Once you have rejected the premise and open yourself up to thoughtful data-centric analysis of what works and doesn’t, it’s time to think about going forward. How do you design a marketing plan that creates the future of your choosing? To do so, try to anchor it around these three pillars. Information Wars: This is what sets the strategic context. It’s the combination of ways in which you educate the world about the category you’re designing, and learning from your Superconsumers to accelerate your effectiveness both in the air and on the ground. This is more focused on POV marketing / word of mouth than anything else. Air Wars: In many ways, marketing is “Sales at scale.” Air Wars are the high-level strategic marketing you do in service of the new and different category you are creating in the world. All the while positioning yourself as the leader. These efforts are more focused on demand creation. Ground Wars: This is tactical marketing (often at the point-of-sale and heavily integrated with sales) that supports your strategic efforts marketing the category and driving near-term revenue. These efforts are more focused on demand capture and lead generation. If you want to learn more about these three pillars, check out this Category Pirates article about it. Conclusion So in closing, what would I leave you with? Don't use the past as a template for creating the future. Allow yourself to think in unconstrained, super creative, super innovative ways around “what is the strategic context?” “What's the POV that you are using to drive your category and your brand and ultimately, the success of the company?” How are you scaling through air wars, so that you begin to make your strategic point of view move from being a new thing to an of course. And the ground Wars is all about how you make the cash register sing and drive near-term revenue. And guess what? To succeed, you got to get all three right. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketi...
24/11/2111m 17s

133 Creating Categories, Movements, & Startups with Sangram Vajre, WSJ Bestselling Author of MOVE

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we go on a deep dive into category design, community building, to starting a company and becoming a category leader with Sangram Vajre. Sangram Vajre is the co-founder of Terminus. He is also the author of a WSJ bestselling book called MOVE: The 4-Question Go-To-Market Framework. We touch on the different startup marketing topics, including how to avoid the SaaS Valley of Death. We also talk about how to build a scalable marketing and sales model. Most importantly, we talk about how to leverage your competition to build your category. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing, the number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Sangram Vajre on his Bestselling Book, MOVE Sangram shares the one question that he always gets when he talks about his book. That is, why did he put THAT specific quote on the cover? The particular quote was made by me, and it read: “Love the guys, but hate this book.” Sangram explains that he has a good reason for putting it up right in front for everyone to see. “I think you and I both know that everybody feels like they're walking on eggshells. They can't say anything. Everything has to has to be politically correct. Everything has to be in agreement. I think people have forgotten a good way to discourse. That it's okay for two people to have completely different opinions. And that’s the point of being people. Otherwise, we’ll be animals eating each other.” – Sangram Vajre Coming in from Another Angle Sangram then explains that while his heart bleeds category design and creation, he believes that not every company should be a category creator. To him, there are some that are not destined to be category creators, and that is fine. They could still be a better company; they just have to approach it from a different angle. That’s where his book, MOVE, comes to play. “There are 99% of the companies out there in the world, who probably are following suit to become a better company. And this book is for them. If you want to build a category, go and read Play Bigger. But if you want to build a great high performing revenue team in your organization, I hope you'll take a look at my book.” – Sangram Vajre Sangram Vajre on Engaging the Community to Create a Bestseller Sangram talks about his process on making this bestseller of a book. He says that he has always believed that without a community, you’re just a commodity. “I truly believe that every company needs to think about building a community before they think about the product they want to build. Because your community is what's going to give you the float that you need to get your business going.” – Sangram Vajre So consult the community, he did. He would send out early parts of his book and asked people for their feedback. Those that gave him feedback, he made sure to acknowledge in his book. So when the book became a WSJ bestselling book, his community who gave their feedbacks are now part of it, which gave his community an even greater sense of belonging. To hear more from Sangram Vajre and how to become a high-performing company in your market, download and listen to this episode. Bio Sangram Vajre is the co-founder and chief evangelist of Terminus. Before Terminus, Vajre led the marketing team at Pardot through its acquisition by ExactTarget and then Salesforce. He is also the author of Account-Based Marketing For Dummies and is the mastermind behind #FlipMyFunnel. Links LinkedIn: in/SangramVajre Twitter: @SangramVajre Check out his book: MOVE: The 4-Question Go-To-Market Framework We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
17/11/211h 40m

132 3 Meta Problems With Facebook

This episode is based on the top 1% Category Pirates ?‍☠️ newsletter. On this episode, let’s talk about at least three Meta problems with Facebook. How, in light of their recent situation, they managed to launch a new category out of nowhere. The question is, was it a legendary move? Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing, the number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Launching Meta There’s an interesting thing that most people don’t realize and has not been reported on the mainstream press. That is, never in the history has a trillion dollar publicly-traded company launched a new category, that is so forward-leaning. So whatever you want to say about Zuckerberg, what he pulled off there was legendary and by the book, at least from a purely category design perspective. That said, given the fact that the new category is the metaverse and the fact that he named renamed and rebranded the company as Meta is genius. When you tie your company name to your category, you have real staying power in that category. The 3 Meta Problems with Facebook With that out of the way, there are at least three very serious problems with this launch. Ignoring the Elephant in the Room Zuckerberg ignored the elephant in the room, and just launched Meta in spite of recent situations developing even as we speak. If you’re interested in this, The Wall Street Journal is keeping an ongoing series on the matter called The Facebook Files. The most glaring one is the recent whistleblower that exposed the company as someone who exploits its users and their data. Yet for Zuckerberg to just get up and launch a new category, brand, and giant demo is incredible, and not in a good way. Pretending that Facebook does not have a self-inflicted existential wound doesn’t make it go away. The fact that he didn’t address it is stunning. It shows how much out-of-touch they really are. Mercenary, not a Missionary Zuckerberg’s announcement made it clear that he’s a mercenary, not a missionary. This is where he drops off on being a legendary category designer. Because category designers, as you know, are always on a mission. While making money, building highly-valuable companies, and being economically successful is what we’re trying to do in business, entrepreneurship, and marketing, most legendary category designers and innovators are on a mission to make a difference. They use their category, and therefore their company and products to do so. If you listen to the Metaverse presentation, it’s 100% about Facebook. They are not solving a new big problem that they have a solution to. There wasn’t a new big opportunity and a way to make a difference for others. Sure, there was an innovation on how VR and the tech behind it was being used, but he never anchored it to why it matters to us. This is because the new category of Facebook’s Meta is not about us, the users. It is solely for them, and how it benefits Facebook. If you listen carefully, it’s all about me, me, me. That is classic mercenary talk. Public Trust Out of the three problems, this one should be the most obvious. If you simply Google around, you’ll find that Facebook is the least trusted social media company. Yet in the whole presentation, he has not mentioned anything about trust, or try to comfort us in anyway. So the question is, can one of the most nefarious companies in history convince the world to bet their digital lives and future on a dubious, distrusted bedrock of technology from Facebook, without even building trust. He didn’t even try. Like the first problem, he didn’t even address it. If you’d like to hear more about the 3 Meta Problems with Facebook, download and listen to this episode. We’ll also go into a deep dive about Meta and the issues surrounding it in Category Pirates. So stay tuned. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.
03/11/2112m 43s

131 Maybe The Most Important Equation Ever

On this episode, let’s talk about what might be the most important equation in business and in marketing. Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing, the number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind. Maybe The Most Important Equation Ever I want to share with you a little bit of math that I learned very early in my career. It was incredibly eye-opening, and has been a bedrock that I have tried to stand on ever since. And the equation goes like this: Results do not equal No Results plus an Excuse. Now, this might seem obvious, but if you look around, you’ll find the contrary to that. You might also think, what’s the harm of having a great excuse when you can’t achieve the results you want? Well, here’s the interesting thing: That mindset can perpetuate. Over time, you’ll start thinking that it’s perfectly okay to not reach the result you want, as long as there was a valid excuse not to do so. Who You Are in Business Here’s the AHA moment in business, entrepreneurship, and in category design: Who you are is based on your results. It may sound harsh, but think about the people that you work with, particularly those who you admire. Chances are, you respect and admire them the most because they can be counted on to produce results. If we use sales as an example, it’s easy to see one’s value for the business. That is, if they hit their target numbers or not. If they do hit their numbers and beyond, they are recognized and rewarded for it. You also gain the reputation as someone who achieves their goals, or if you already have said reputation, it is further reinforced. The reason this matter is, in marketing and category design, there are winners and losers. In every category, there tends to be one category king or queen who gets roughly 70% of the market, and everybody else are fighting for roughly a quarter of it. So train yourself. The excuse doesn't matter when it's on the line. The most legendary people produce results no matter what. That's the mindset. Don’t be Afraid to Ask If you’re a product manager, developer, or engineer, it can be easy to measure goals and objectives. You either meet the requirements, or you don’t. Though for marketing, the goal or objective might not be as clear. If you’re not sure about the goal of your marketing is, don’t be afraid to ask. After that, make sure the rest of your team is clear to that goal. That beats running around doing things that might not even be related to your goal, which wastes time and resources. So to recap: Results do not equal No Results plus an Excuse. Results equal Reputation. Which means you are your results and your results drive your reputation. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
27/10/219m 22s

130 Thinking About Thinking Is The Most Important Kind Of Thinking

In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about why thinking about thinking is the most important kind of thinking. Context Matters More Than Content This might be obvious, but it bears repeating: context matters more than content. In any strategy discussion, the context of which is what leads to some kind of outcome or content. Most people, particularly those who are entrepreneurial, have a strong bias to action, which can be healthy and powerful. However, it does have it downsides sometimes. “A strong bias to action means that sometimes, and I know I've been guilty of this more times than I will ever know, we spring to action without doing enough thinking. More importantly, without doing enough thinking and dialoguing around what the context is for whatever it is we’re talking about.” – Christopher Lochhead Accept or Reject the Premise The next piece to think of when discussing the context, is that whether you accept or reject the premise of said context? It could be a product, a service, or and prevalent idea. Here’s what I know. “Legendary category designers, legendary entrepreneurs, creators, and marketers reject the premise. They start by rejecting the premise. So somebody says something and you go, that's interesting. And in our mind, we go, I reject the whole thing.” – Christopher Lochhead Now, you may end up circling back to that premise and either accepting it entirely, or just part of it. Though the reason why starting by rejecting the premise is so powerful, is that all premise, context, and established thinking is based on past experience, insight, or research. Of course, there are many cases where accepting the premise is the wise thing to do. Yet here’s the rub: how do you create a different future, if the premise or context you start with is tied to the past? So we reject the premise, we reject the rules of the past and open ourselves up to a whole new kind of thinking. Listen to the Words In business and marketing, almost every sentence that somebody says to us use “accept the premise” language. Part of rejecting the premise is listening to the words they say. One example is “go to market”. You might ask, what’s wrong with that premise? If you think about it, that premise suggests that there is a market out there, and we need to go and grab it. Which means that you are competing for other businesses that are also going to the same market. Yet wouldn’t it be better to create your own market? That way, you get the lion’s share of it outright, and you don’t have to compete for it. Moreover, the customers/users then come to you, and not the other way around. To hear more about how thinking about thinking is the most important kind of thinking, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
20/10/2117m 26s

129 Presentations: Why They Suck & What To Do About It with Dushka Zapata & Dan Roam

If you’re a regular listener, you know that we have very few guests on this podcast. That is because I believe that 90% of what we get taught about marketing and entrepreneurship is either wrong or not very helpful. So I want to make sure that whoever we have is legendary, and also very helpful. Well, today at Lochhead on Marketing, you not only get one, but two legendary guests, Dushka Zapata and Dan Roam. Dushka Zapata has been on Follow Your Different, and is one of my absolute favorite people in the world. She’s the author of many legendary books. Her most recent is called The Love of Your Life is You: A step by step workbook to loving yourself. When she's not writing, she has had an extraordinary career as a PR communications executive and coach. Dan Roam is a multi-time bestselling author as well. His most recent book is called The Back of a Napkin: Solving problems and selling ideas with pitchers. In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we talk about presentations, and what the template and architecture of a legendary presentation is. Pay special attention to Dushka and Dan's thoughts on the real reason most people suck at presentations, and what they think you can do about it. The Principle Behind The Back of the Napkin The conversation starts of with a brief introduction of what Dushka and Dan do, besides writing bestselling books. Dushka describes her work as drawing a connection between what executives say and the company’s brand. In essence, she helps people say what they want to say in the simplest terms possible. Dan shares that his work is pretty much the same, in which he draws clarity out of these executive’s ideas. Except that he literally draws them out on whiteboards, paper, and if nothing is in reach, napkins. Dushka then brings up the principle of The Back of the Napkin, and Dan explains it in detail. “Why it's called the back of the napkin is (because) some of the very, very best ideas, whether they're related to business, or organizations, or leadership or anything else come from a simple sketch, (gets) invariably drawn on a bar somewhere between a couple of people who are sitting there talking about their idea. One of them pulls out a pen, and on that napkin on the bar says, “Wait a minute, wait a minute, if it could draw it out, what would it look like?” They draw a triangle or an arrow or a circle. And that becomes the basis of the idea.” – Dan Roam Dan Roam on Thinking Differently Dan was then asked if there were people who told him as a child to stop drawing and start paying attention to the “normal” stuff. He replies that he had a teacher that said exactly that, to stop drawing and pay attention to reading books and whatnot. What these people did not know was that this was Dan’s own way of paying attention and expressing his thoughts on paper. So just because it was a little different, doesn’t make it any less important or valuable. “My teacher said that I drew too much, and I talked too much. And I need to sit down and listen and pay better attention. What that teacher didn't realize is that I was really struggling to learn to read. And the way I made up for it was by talking a lot, and being kind of boisterous. And drawing was not a challenge. I think maybe if we dug just a little bit deeper into what your I think you might be talking about, is a lot of us maybe didn't do so well in school or in formal situations as we might have, because we thought a little differently than we were supposed to. And now we're finding thankfully that the people who think different, kind of people from the island of lost toys, are the ones who actually are the most needed right now.” – Dan Roam Legendary Doodler Dan shares the story of where it all began, and it was a place that we had a shared history together, Scient. During those brainstorming meetings at Scient, Dan would often draw out his interpretations of what others were saying, which in turn gave others a visual representation of that spea...
13/10/211h 9m

128 The Theranos Scam: Implications for Entrepreneurs, Startups, VCs & Marketing Leaders

All of you have probably heard about Theranos by now, and the huge impact it made in the industry. Though no matter the outcome of the trials of Elizabeth Holmes ( Theranos founder & CEO) and Sunny Balwani (Theranos COO), their actions represent a demarcation point for Silicon Valley, startups, VCs, and marketers. If by chance you don’t know this story, I would recommend you search “Theranos” on Google or Youtube and get your popcorn ready, because it is one hell of a story. Short version of it was Elizabeth Holmes offered a technology that could revolutionize healthcare, but it all turned out to be a scam. What made the story interesting is how long Theranos had strung people along, until the inevitable caught up with them and it all crashing down. So in this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s dig into the three major things we should learn from in the wake of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes, and how the new line VCs need to walk because of her. Don’t Fake It ‘Til You Make It One of the biggest BS axioms in the industry is “Fake it til you make it”. It promotes the idea that people should project proficiency, even if they don’t have the right skill set for it. There’s actually an episode in Follow Your Different where we talked with Sabrina Horn (FYD 228) on why following this mantra is such a bad idea. So what’s the difference between being a visionary, an optimist, a CEO, or a marketer versus being a scam artist? Let’s be crystal clear about the Difference between these 3 things: Future Vision Current Capabilities Past Performance Is it okay to have a huge vision to have a radical category design, Hell yeah! As a matter of fact, it’s the people who have huge visions, those who allow themselves to be radical and be unencumbered by the present and the past, that create new categories and massive new value. Though it is okay to lie about what your product or service does now? No. N.O. No way. We can’t make promises to customers that we know we cannot keep. The Difference between Category Creators and Scam Artists In our last Lochhead on Marketing episode, Al Ramadan (Coauthor, Play Bigger) and I unpacked Rivian and their new IPO. Though before that IPO, they also had another revolutionary idea, which was the Tank Turn. It was a cool feature to have for your car, and people where hyped for it. Unfortunately, Rivian couldn’t make it happen. They did not have the technology for it at this time. So what did they do? Well, they admitted that they could not do it. No BS, no cover-ups. Just straight-up admission and apology. While it did cause them to take a hit, they actually ended up building trust and affinity between them and the customers and the ideas that they are pursuing. Looking at it now, Rivian is poised to have a massive multi-billion IPO, and it’s all thanks to the trust that they have built up for being radically transparent about their mistakes and overall process. Compare this with Theranos, who did almost the exact opposite in everything. While the initial idea for a compact medical testing machine would’ve been an amazing product, the fact that they strung investors along and straight-up faked results to keep up the facade was abhorrent. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones who seem to operate like this. Due Diligence and Good Governance Matters We cannot lie about what our products and services currently does. Also, legendary companies are radically transparent. The second you know your product is not performing up to task, you have to tell people, regardless of the impact on your revenue and stock. Due Diligence and Good Governance matters. When asked why they turned down Theranos, Bill Maris, founder of Google Ventures, told Business Insider that there were so much misdirection and disconnect in Theranos’ pitch that it did not add up. So they sent someone to try it out, and it didn’t take long to figure out that things may not be what Theranos wanted everyone to see.
06/10/2124m 46s

127 The Electric Vehicle Category: Unpacking The Rivian IPO with Al Ramadan, CoAuthor of Play Bigger

The electric vehicle category is a giant new mega category that is completely changing the transportation landscape. Rivian is a startup who has yet to ship a product, yet somehow is pioneering a differentiated category in EVs. It is also on the verge of what will likely be a massive, multi-billion dollar IPO. In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, Al Ramadan and I unpack all of it through the category lens. He has been blogging about this lately, so it seems fitting to invite him and have a conversation about it. If Al’s name sounds familiar, that’s because he and I co-founded Play Bigger Advisors, and coauthored the book, Play Bigger together. So sit back and enjoy this dialogue between two category design enthusiasts as we share our thoughts on Rivian’s new upcoming massive IPO. Al Ramadan on Rivian and the Upcoming IPO Al shares his thoughts on Rivian, and what they are doing for the Electric Vehicle category. He describes its founder as something of a combination of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, and thinks he is a remarkable entrepreneur. He then talks about the upcoming IPO they have planned to release around Thanksgiving. “A couple weeks ago, they announced that they're going to do this IPO around Thanksgiving. And it's an IPO, not a spec. All of the other EVs are going out with specs. And the zinger was that the market cap was going to be $80 billion. Bigger than GM, bigger than Ford. But it was just this moment in time where you look at this thing is like, “what, they haven't shipped the vehicle”. And they've valued more than Toyota's entire SUV line and Ford or GM, it just doesn't make (sense). That's just crazy. And so the category designer in me sort of took over and started dissecting all of their filings and I came up with a few insights that I think is worth sharing. ” - Al Ramadan The Potential of the Rivian IPO For something that has not even shipped the product yet, it seems amazing that they are valued so highly. For it to do so well at this point, it must’ve hit all the right notes and laid out its potential to be able to grab the attention of investors and consumers. “What they miss always, is what the real drivers of market cap are. Which is, number one: what's the potential for this category? Number two: do we believe that this company can prosecute the magic triangle company; product, company, and category and earn 76% of the economics? And number three: when we look at their numbers, metrics, financials, etc., are we comforted about the first two things? And if the answer to all of those is that you got a company who's designing a market category, that right now looks like that has the potential of almost infinity.” - Christopher Lochhead Al agrees with this points, and further explains how this new IPO is changing the vehicle industry, and how the transactions and support will be implemented once it comes out. Up until now, most EVs still operate in the traditional car dealership model. Rivian seeks to create a new category centered not just on the cars, but the services provided with it. Reactions to the Rivian IPO One of the things that piqued Al’s interest was how certain people or companies reacted when the valuation for the Rivian IPO went out. One particular instance was Elon Musk tweeting about it, saying that they should at least put out a product before the IPO. It seemed illogical that someone like him would be alarmed by this, especially if you’re perceived as being the king of a certain category. Yet for a brief moment there, it seems that he has shown concern over the matter, and saw a challenger on the rise. According to Al, it’s right that he would be concerned. Because if you look at it, Rivian seems to be taking the Electric Vehicle category and evolving it to something that can make their current category obsolete in the future. While the implementation of which remains to be seen, it’s definitely enough to be concerned about.
29/09/2150m 14s

126 How To Spot Legendary Startup / New Category Ideas

In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about how to spot a legendary startup / new category idea. It turns out there are a few secret hiding places where these ideas hide, but they’re in plain sight. One of these ideas was shared by Avram Miller in a recent episode of Follow Your Different (FYD 234) when we were discussing his new book, titled The Flight of a Wild Duck. It is a simple, powerful, yet under-used idea for discovering massive ideas for new companies, products or categories, so we are going to talk about it in detail here. As a bonus, I’ll share one of my own as well! So stay tuned to this episode, and enjoy. Avram Miller on Being a Legendary Startup When we talked to Avram Miller in Follow Your Different, we got into the discussions of why a lot of startups seemed to fail. These startups had, on paper, great ideas for products, services, and categories that should have dominated the market. Yet looking back, most of them did not achieve that potential. So what was the culprit? It was time. Specifically, they were too early or ahead of their time. Whether it was due to being technologically early or there’s no demand for that particular idea yet, it was just too early. One of the examples was WebVan.com. It was a startup designed to deliver groceries to your home, and it was launched in the late 1990s. If you think about it nowadays, it makes sense that it would be a successful business. Yet WebVan.com shut its business down in 2001, while the same model today made Amazon a household brand. So if you have a legendary startup idea, one of the things you need to consider is this: is it too early, or just the right time to launch it to the world? Never Stop Innovating Idea no. 2 comes from me, and what I have observed upon past and existing category leaders in their respective markets. As I have discussed here in Lochhead on Marketing, and also at our Category Pirates newsletter, sometimes these Category Kings settle with fighting for a share of the market, rather than innovating and creating new markets for their own. One of the most known examples of this was Kodak and the physical media category, which tried to adapt too little, and too late. Surprisingly, Avram Miller shares in our conversation that Intel’s CEO Andy Grove was also resistant to innovating things early on in Intel’s history, which almost led them to miss out in getting into the chipset business for personal computers. As for a great example in the opposite direction, Victoria’s Secret got left in the dust by Rihanna's line of lingerie called Savage. This was because it moved away from the POV of "be like these supermodels", to more inclusive and being comfortable with their own body. This radically different POV redesigned the category. As most native digitals see exclusivity as elitist and not welcoming, it was also embraced by the market almost overnight. So at the end of it all, would you rather be fighting to stay on top of your current market, or be the King of the Hill in a category that you have created or innovated? To hear more ideas on how to become a legendary startup or innovate your current business, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient,
22/09/2118m 36s

125 How Services Firms Do Legendary Category Design / Category Creation

In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let us talk about something that I get asked about all the time. That is, can service firms do Category Design? Simple answer, Yes. I would even say that the most legendary services companies are almost always created or led by a legendary Category Design. Long answer? Well, listen to this episode to find out. The Management Consulting Category Design There was a point in time where there was no such thing called Management Consulting. Remember, everything is the way that it is because somebody changed the way that it was. So, McKinsey and Company is the firm that created and designed the Management Consulting category. The interesting thing is the guy that built McKinsey into what it is today is a guy named Marvin Bower. McKinsey started out as a group of bean counters and accountants doing accounting stuff, and nothing like what McKinsey is today. The Aha moment that Bower had is that he noticed that while clients were paying for accounting services with accountants, and legal services with lawyers, what they often wanted and valued more from their accountant was actually business advice from a trusted source. With that idea, Marvin became the category designer of a new services category called Management Consulting. Marvin Bower as a Language Master Marvin is an incredible kind of master at Languaging. He intuitively understood that in order to create a new category of Services Firm, he had to language it differently. That is to say, you can't talk about a new thing with old language. Under his leadership, projects were not called jobs, they were called engagements. It’s a word that is much more relational than it is transactional. Internal groups within McKinsey with specific industry or functional expertise were not called groups, they were called practices. Bower borrowed a term from doctors to demonstrate a level of professionalism to elevate these “groups”, or now practices within McKinsey. Finally, he made sure that nobody ever referred to McKinsey as a business: McKinsey was a firm. He highlighted the core values that held the company together. Today, there are very few firms who are rigorously committed, some might say consciously committed to the original language that Marvin Bower put into place. All of these distinctions, all of these differences, help McKinsey thrive. It also help to position McKinsey in a new category: not a law firm, not an accounting firm, but this new thing called a Management Consulting Firm. To hear more on how Service Firms do Category Design, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
15/09/21

124 The Big Brand Lie: How Categories Make Brands & Why Brand Marketers Never Believe It

Welcome to a very special episode of Lochhead on Marketing. This episode is based on a recent Category Pirates newsletter that we wrote, which was about Big Brand Marketing and why it doesn’t work. It is also available as a mini eBook here. Think of this episode as more of an audiobook than a podcast, as I will be reading the article for you. Without further ado, let’s get to reading. The Brand Cult A meaningful percentage of marketers, entrepreneurs, and executives are in what we like to call “The Brand Cult.” They’ve been taught the best (aka: “the most well known”) brand wins. Even though the data shows this is not true. Ford spends $2.5 billion per year on brand advertising, with a market cap of $50 billion. General Motors spends $3 billion, with a market cap of $70 billion. Meanwhile, Tesla spends $0, but has a market cap of $700 billion. In 2011, Google spent almost $600 million building and launching a social network to compete with Facebook and Twitter called Google+. If “the best brand wins,” how come Google+ failed? After all, Forbes named Google the 2nd “most valuable brand in the world” in 2020. Comcast spends more than $5 billion on branding and advertising each year. And yet, Comcast has long been considered “America’s Most Hated Company.” There’s even a Wikipedia page dedicated to the company’s inadequacies, titled “Criticism of Comcast.” (United Airlines is a close second, if you ask us.) So if branding and “shouting from the rooftops” is the key to winning the game, how come $5 billion per year can’t solve Comcast’s problems? Maybe they need $10 billion? Though sharing data with a cult member is about the worst thing you can do. That’s because facts are upsetting to feelings—particularly facts that disprove everything you’ve been taught to believe. Well, here’s a fact: Categories make brands. Not the other way around. How The Brand Cult Began In 2011, The Atlantic published a piece titled, “How Brands Were Born: A Brief History of Modern Marketing.” “In the 1950s, consumer packaged goods companies like Procter and Gamble, General Foods and Unilever developed the discipline of brand management, or marketing as we know it today, when they noticed the quality levels of products being offered by competitors around them improve. A brand manager would be responsible for giving a product an identity that distinguished it from nearly indistinguishable competitors.” Note that last sentence. From our perspective, the obvious response and clear “no brainer” solution to being “nearly indistinguishable” is to get different: design a new space, come up with something new, and make others play a game you created. But that’s not what most “marketing & branding experts” decided. Instead, they said, “Let’s ignore the fact there is nothing unique about us, our product, or what we do for the world. Instead, let’s do some branding.” As if sprinkling some kind of magic dust on your “brand” (changing the colors, the font, the logo design, etc.) is going to drive a breakthrough in growth. Or, even worse, “Let’s call ourselves a community. Let’s use big, all-encompassing, undifferentiated language to make ourselves appeal to everyone. Something like, ‘We are an authentic, purpose-driven brand.’” Thus, “the brand cult” was formed—and The Big Brand Lie began. If you’d like to hear the rest of the article, download and listen to this episode. You can also check it out at Category Pirates. Who knows, you might find that you have a little pirate in you as well. ?‍☠️ Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to som...
08/09/2146m 22s

123 The Two Categories of Problems / Opportunities

In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about the two categories of Problems and Opportunities that we face, and the questions that we need to ask to figure out what we’re dealing with when an issue or an opportunity arrives. Know the Category of Problems / Opportunities First If you're a business leader or marketing leader, you're an entrepreneur. Of course, your job is to deal with problems and opportunities as they arise. So when any new problem or opportunity arises first, let's think about what is the context of it? What type of problem or opportunity is it? It turns out there's really only two big problems that we face. One, knowing what to do and two, doing it. So when an issue, opportunity, or a problem comes up, it is critical that we ask the questions that we need to ask to understand: “Is this a ‘knowing what to do’ problem, or is this a ‘doing it’ problem?” Most people just jump to problem solving before they know what category of problem they're solving. Of course, solving a ‘knowing what to do’ problem a.k.a. strategy is very different from solving a ‘doing it’ problem a.k.a. execution. So the next time something pops up, ask yourself and your colleagues, is this a ‘knowing what to do’ problem or ‘doing it’ problem? Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
01/09/215m 14s

122 How To Create A Successful Newsletter On Substack (Or Anywhere Else)

In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about newsletters. Particularly, how to create a successful newsletter. Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding newsletters: how to create a successful newsletter. With the success we are having on Category Pirates, I would like to share some of my thoughts on how you can create a successful newsletter yourself. It Is Never Too Late One of the things you’ll hear when you express the intent to create a newsletter (or podcast for that matter) is that there are already a million other newsletters and podcasts out there. If you hear this statement, stop listening, and continue on. Just because someone is already doing well in a field you are attempting to be in, doesn’t mean you don’t do it anymore. It just means you have to take a different approach on getting to the top. The other premise that keeps being pushed around is that people don’t want to read long newsletters. They want soundbites, or easily digestible tidbits of information. Well, we reject that premise, and sought to create a newsletter that we ourselves would want to read. It turns out, other business leaders also love reading it. How to Create a Successful Newsletter That said, here are some tips on how you can write your own successful newsletter. Have a different point of view. It’s astounding how much stuff out there is just a regurgitation of the same thing. Figure out what makes you unique, make that true north, and stick to it. Bring fresh data, frameworks, and insights. Some people just tend to recycle other people’s data and call it “research”. If you want to be a successful, differentiated newsletter writer, do your own primary data research. Write with courage. Don’t write anything that is already being written. When something popular is going on, everyone wants to have a hot take on it to ride along the wave. But if everyone is already writing about the same stuff, why would you write about the same thing? Don’t “curate” recycled stupidities. If you want to include other people’s work in your newsletter, that’s fine. As long as you make sure what you’re curating is high-quality content. Write tight. Don’t write anything you’d see in tier-2 magazines. If your content consists of clickbait-y topics and other nonsense, then how are you different from the hundreds of other clickbait websites out there? You will just be another carbon copy of the same thing. Know who you’re NOT writing for. It is important to know who your audience is. Although, it’s equally important, if not more, to know who you are NOT writing for. Because the worst thing you can do is listen to the wrong crowd. Keep your eye on the ball, not the audience. Don’t obsess about subscriber counts, social media metrics, etc. If you have too little subscribers, it will just bum you out. If you suddenly have an influx of subscribers, it might affect your decision-making and quality of your content. Write every day, regardless of how often you publish. You’ll be amazed on how much ideas can come out of the blue. Don’t waste them; write it all down. Also, it will help you improve your writing skills if you put it to practice daily. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you the newsletter category is saturated and therefore you shouldn’t do it. If you want smart readers, write smart. There’s a difference on writing it so it’s understandable by a huge audience, and dumbing it down to appease the mouth breathers. Do work YOU think is legendary. Minimum viable newsletter is as dumb as it sounds. If you’re going to do something, make it legendary. And here’s a bonus one for the road: Don’t be marketing your shit all the time. This is a big turnoff for a lot of readers, especially those who are looking for informative content. A shoutout or two once in a while is good, but don’t make a habit of it. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down ...
25/08/2116m 36s

121 How to be more creative (Inspired By bestseller “Two Beats Ahead” By Panos Panay & R. Michael Hendrix)

In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about how to be more creative and two beats ahead of the rest. I’ve been inspired of late by a new book called Two Beats Ahead by Panos Panay and Michael Hendrix. What I love about this book is these guys are musicians who teach entrepreneurship and how to have an entrepreneurial mind in the musical world, so to speak. This book is about how to take some of the big creating learnings from some of the greatest music artists in the world and apply them in a business context. If you want to hear more from them, check out this episode of Follow Your Different (FYD episode 218) or get Two Beats Ahead here. Though for this one, I wanted to focus on the ideas that have been rattling around in my head and in my conversations with marketers and entrepreneurs. So if you want to hear more about it, stay tuned to this episode. Two Beats Ahead If you haven’t listened to our conversation at Follow Your Different, you are really missing out. Panos Panay and Michael Hendrix are amazing people, and our conversation about the book and their thoughts on business is legendary. One of the things we talked about in the books is that they ask a question. When they do workshops, they ask the CEOs, “who would you rather hire, an athlete or a musician?” I thought this was an interesting question, because musicians, particularly ones that write their own music, usually have a high degree of creativity. Three Takeaways There are three big ideas I wanted you to take away from how I've been taking the learnings from Michael and Panos. Dare To Suck The first comes from a quote from Justin Timberlake in the book: “ I only have one rule in the studio, and that’s this: dare to suck.” I think when many of us are in business jam sessions, whether we are thinking about products or marketing campaigns or new business models and whatnot, we’re in some kind of jam session with a group of people. Our objective is to do some thinking out loud and be creative. Though what tends to happen in these sessions is not about being creative, innovative, and coming up with legendary ideas. It can often be sort of about posturing, looking good, currying favor with the boss, or something along those lines. I think it’s best to not worry about those things and dare to suck. Let ourselves be free and be open. Don’t worry about what we look and take Justin’s advice: Dare to suck. Collaboration As you read through the book, it is painfully obvious that legendary musicians collaborate in a way that is unusual, to say the least. Here’s a quote from the book: “The company that operates more like a band of collaborators than a strict corporate hierarchy has the ability to shape an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging.” – Two Beats Ahead As someone who collaborates with two highly creative people in Category Pirates, having a highly intense and creative environment multiple times a week as we work on the newsletter has been an amazing experience. When you have a group of people who are committed to doing legendary work, who are willing to suck, and willing to jam with each other like a band would, it can be quite rewarding for everyone involved. The opportunity to be playful and truly collaborative and not give a shit about sucking or how we look is a very freeing thing in business. Keep Creating, Not Editing One of the things mentioned in the book is that musicians just keep creating. When they get into a creative zone, they just keep going and not worry about editing it. The time for editing comes later. I think that’s remarkable as when you think about it, when you have a creative jam session in business, a lot of the time is spent on editing rather than creating. Whenever someone comes up with a new idea, it’s either immediately criticized or shut down. It’s rare that an idea is allowed to be built up by the person who mentioned it or someone else in the session.
18/08/2113m 1s

120 14 Reasons You Should Not Create A Category

In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let us talk about the 14 reasons why you should not create a category. You believe in hustling – If you are one of those hustle porn believers, then you believe it’s all about hard work and more hard work. Hamsters in wheels hustle, but they never get anywhere. You Believe that the best brand wins – Microsoft spent billions of dollars putting their brand on retail stores, and had their ass handed to them. Google tried to compete head-on with Facebook with Google Plus, and got their ass handed to them. So if you believe the best brand wins, don't create a category. You believe the best product wins – This mindset means you’re aiming for market share instead of creating one. If you like to change “strategy” often, you should not create a category. If you’re a mercenary, not a missionary – That is to say, you’re only in it for the money. You think “re-branding” will drive growth – When a new CMO comes on board, I always look: is there a rebrand that comes out in the next six months? Because nine times out of ten, when a new CMO immediately rebranded the company, they have their head on backwards or up their ass, You believe in achieving “product/market fit” – There are a few phrases that have done the damage that that one has done because it tricks legendary marketers and entrepreneurs to thinking they should fit their product into a market. There's no legend that ever did that. “Go-to-market” sounds like a smart thing to do – In many ways, category design is about making the market come to you. You think category design is a marketing exercise – If you just want to do a marketing exercise, hire some marketing people to reshuffle some words in your website and call it the day. Category designers are expensive and hard to find – That's true, because they're in massive demand. You think you can win on quality, features, and price – Again, aiming for market share. If you believe that marketing products is smarter than marketing problems – Do you believe that you want to market your products, and not the problems? You probably shouldn't create a category. You think asking customers what they want is the best strategy – There are a lot of people who say that business is really not that hard. Just ask me what they want and give it to them.Well, in a blind taste test, 10 out of 10 people said that bottled water was bottled water, and before Évian, 10 out of 10 people said they wouldn't pay for it. So remember the sage words of Henry Ford: “If I'd ask people what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse.” You should not create a category because creating demand takes a lot more thinking than capturing demand. – It's easy to try and run some Google ads and try to capture demand. But the question is, or the issue is she who creates the demand wins. That's it, folks. Please stay safe. Stay legendary. And the quote I'll leave you with today says, “If you don't think you should create a category, then you probably shouldn't.” Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners.
11/08/216m 48s

119 The Conversation You’re Probably Not Having, That You Probably Should Be Having

This episode is based on the Category Pirates  Newsletter.  In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we continue our discussion on Native Digitals and the impact they are having on the way we live, work, and play. You might find this episode confusing if you haven’t checked out the last two episodes (LOM 116 & LOM 117). You should definitely check them out to be informed of what exactly are Native Digitals and their relevance. As for this episode, I will try and re-create some of my conversations with entrepreneurs, CEOs & VCs lately about the biggest sea-change in a very long time that is hiding in plain sight. Though for some reason, most people are not talking about it. Native Digitals vs Native Analogs Best I can tell Native Analogs (people who are over 35 years old) are pretty much asleep to a massive transformation. The fact that Native Digitals are the first generation of humans ever to grow up integrated with technology and have a digital life experience is lost to them. The problem with this is the disconnect between a company trying to move into the digital age, but still have Native Analogs for their CEO. Take for instance the WSJ article about working from home. Now that restrictions are lessening, most Native Analog bosses want their employees to be back in the office. Though Native Digitals think otherwise. “Many CEOs say their companies function best when employees can interact in person. (Though) Workers have indicated in surveys that they want greater flexibility about where and how they work.” – Wall Street Journal So Native Analog CEOs are saying you've got to come back to work. Though a lot of employees, a meaningful percentage of them, are millennials who want to continue working digitally from their homes. Native Digitals are even saying that they’d rather quit than go back to the old office system. So if you’re a company looking to hire after this new normal, working remote could very well be the signing bonus you can offer to these Native Digitals. On Digital Creation vs Digital Transformation The big AHA moment for me here is that this new category of humans are creating a new category of work. They’re not just being transformed digitally. It’s being created anew in the digital space. It’s not just creating an imitation of the office remotely, the remote digital space is their office. So this Native Digital versus Native Analog conversation has been coming up a lot with entrepreneurs and marketers. The reason behind this is it has profound implications for how we build companies, products, categories, and brands. “I think the first thing it means is if you're a Native Analog is that you got to start off by realizing you don't get it and you got to build a bridge to the Native Digitals. It's sort of like if you're a woman, you can empathize about what it might be like to be a man, but you will never truly get it. And of course, the opposite is true as well. ” – Christopher Lochhead In order to work together, we need to build bridges of understanding to really get some powerful things done. Because as somebody who is Native Analog who works with other Native Analogs and a lot of Native Digitals, there's something magical here when the two generations could come together. To hear more on how you can transform yourself to become more digital, download and listen to this episode. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006,
04/08/2119m 46s

118 How to YOLO And Execute A “Personal IPO”

In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s have a very different conversation about your career. Here’s how you can take the plunge and achieve your “Personal IPO”. This episode is based on the Category Pirates ?‍☠️ Newsletter. The YOLO Economy Welcome to the YOLO economy. You’ve probably heard this term. It stands for You Only Live Once. That said, there’s certainly something really interesting going on. One of the powerful effects of the pandemic is that it has created a sort of a global existential life set of questions and redesign for many people. Millions of people around the world asking the same kinds of questions: Why do I do what I do? Does my work matter to me? Why do I live where I live? Am I making a difference in the world? How do I integrate my personal and professional life? I've always thought work/life balance was a broken paradigm. You only have one life and sometimes you’re working, sometimes you’re not. There’s really not a clear-cut way of dividing and “balancing” it. It all depends on your preference in the end. According to The New York Times, we are now in this thing called the YOLO economy, and people are saying, screw it and let's go YOLO. Taking the Plunge According to a study by Microsoft, more than 40 percent of the global workforce is considering leaving their employer this year.  Blind, an anonymous social network popular among tech workers, shares that 49 percent of its users are planning to land a new position in 2021. For most people, a good job, nice car, steady paycheck, and a house on the suburbs are no longer enough. “In the words of Loverboy, many are done “Working for the Weekend”. People want agency, choice, freedom, and meaning.” – Christopher Lochhead Your Personal IPO I think as a result of this pandemic, a lot of people are making a shift in their thinking. With all of that said, here are some ideas that might make a difference for you. One is to think about doing what you might call your personal IPO. And this is an idea that Maddie and Cole have been writing a bunch about. It's a strategy for finding deeply meaningful work, living a happy and successful and highly profitable life all at the same time. To those doubting this I say, Why not? Who said we couldn't have it all? And the sort of concept of a personal IPO is how can we successfully take control of our life and career while achieving agency? So let's address three big things: How much is agency worth to you? What are you working for that’s greater than a paycheck? Who is your Archimedes? Archimedes said, “If you give me a lever and a place to stand, I can move the world.” You don’t need the whole world to support you. You just need that one supporter, one client, one customer, or that one opportunity. Who is your Auctioneer? Who can advocate for you is your auctioneer. Your auctioneer is probably a friend, mentor, family member or former coworker. Someone who bolsters you with: “You need to charge 10x more!” Although sometimes, you have to be your own auctioneer. You need to dig deep, look them in the eye and say: “That will be .” In order to do so, you need to build your Personal IPO. Change your investor base from people who buy on past performance (your former employers) to people who buy on potential. Simply put, you’re swapping out “value investors” for “growth investors”. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Me...
28/07/2119m 10s

117 How “Native Digitals” Are A Threat To All Companies That Make “Stuff”

This episode is based on the Category Pirates  Newsletter.  Welcome to a two-part series of Lochhead on Marketing, where we talk about Native Digitals and the profound changes they are bringing to the way we live, work, and play. If you haven’t heard the first episode, why not check it out so you’ll have an idea of what’s going on with Native Digitals. To recap, there are about 140 million Native Digitals in the United States, and we are witnessing a new category of human beings emerge. One that is fully integrated with the technology for whom their digital life is their primary experience of life. That last bit puts companies that make “stuff” in a lot of trouble, because it turns out that most Native Digitals don’t want their “stuff” anymore. Which might put a serious dent on the economy, as roughly 30% of the U.S. GDP is in the “stuff” business. Stay tuned to learn more on how they are affected, and how they can adapt to this new market situation. What Native Digitals Think of “Stuff” Most millennials and Gen Z are what we call Native Digitals. They grew up in an era where they have observed that their parent’s pursuit of “stuff” did not really lead to as much meaning as they would’ve thought. Suddenly, getting a big house, driving a sports car, and having a lot of trinkets and expensive jewelry doesn’t seem like a priority anymore. This might be the reason why 74 percent of Americans now value experiences more than physical products. At the very least, the majority of millennials feel that way. Virtual products are now selling for more than their analog counterparts. This might sound stupid to most people who are Digital Analogs, but you have to realize that their primary experience and interactions are those in the digital space. An example of this is NFTs, which are Non-Fungible Tokens that certain digital artworks now use as a badge of authenticity. Not to mention cryptocurrency, that is slowly creeping into mainstream and becoming a primary “store of value”. Another reason for the lack of desire for “stuff” is that 70 percent of Millennials aren’t in a financial position to buy a house, even if they wanted to. Which means they don’t have a place to put their “stuff” anyways. Younger generations aren’t even prioritizing getting their licenses, which means less demands for cars and other vehicles. Lastly, Millennials would rather travel and have autonomy in their schedule than land a high-paying job. If you were a Gen Xer or a Baby Boomer, those statements would have probably driven you into a fit of anger and confusion. What is happening here is the biggest shift in the perceived value of “stuff”. If you’ll remember, nothing, not even human life, has any intrinsic value (LOM #105: Value is 100% Perception). “Stuff” Companies are in Trouble Knowing all this, if your company is in the “stuff” business, you might be in a bit of trouble. If you’re company is completely analog and doesn’t offer digital goods or services, you’ll probably be left behind. This macro trend is happening in plain sight. If your customers are 35 years or younger, they will progressively spend more time, energy, and money enhancing their digital life, themselves, and their careers through products, experiences, and what our friend Joe Pine, author of Experience Economy, calls transformations in your digital life. So let me say this again. Native Digital people under 35 will progressively spend more time, money, and energy enhancing their lives, their work, their play through digital experiences, products and transformations, not analog ones. Consequently, it's starting to look like analog only manufacturers as we know them today will be an ever-decreasing percentage of GDP. Said another way, “stuff”-only categories are going to continue to shrink. Which means that stuff manufacturers need to innovate around digital products, services, experiences and what Joe Pine calls transformations to go along with their physical stuff.
21/07/2125m 34s

116 New Category of Human: “Native Digitals” (People Under 35) Are Radically Different People & Most “Native Analogs” Don’t Get It

This episode is based on the Category Pirates ?‍☠️ Newsletter.  Welcome to a two-part series of Lochhead on Marketing, where we talk about Native Digitals and the profound changes they are bringing to the way we live, work, and play. In this episode, let’s talk about how these younger folks, 140 Million of them in the United States, are the new category of human. These native digitals are the first to grow up completely integrated with technology. I think it has a profound meaning, and I also think that most people aren’t paying attention.   Native Analogs vs Native Digitals: Perceiving Reality While having my friends and their kids over one time, I’ve realized something different. While my friends and I are enjoying the beautiful sunset on the beach, the kids were doing something else. They were at their phones, talking to their friends or watching something online. Which seemed like a waste of a perfectly good sunset, though they did take a picture to post on social media. This got me thinking and gave me the idea: these kids are Native Digitals. It means that their primary experience of life is within the digital one, and their analog life is secondary. That is to say, the photo or video of the sunset is more important than the actual one, because they can show it off to their network. If you are like me, a Digital Analog, it’s the reverse. Though the insight that I had that morning after that sunset on the beach was quite interesting.   Who are the Native Digitals and Native Analogs? If you are 35 and above, you are most likely a Digital Analog. You value your life outside technology, and are one of the categories of human that exists today. If we are talking about generations, they fall under the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers who were born in the early 80s or earlier. They make up approximately 136.8 million Americans. The second category are the Native Digitals. These are millennials and Gen Xers who are born between the early eighties and as recently as the 2010s. The high end of these folks are around thirty-five today and the low end are as young as six years old. Get this, they make up 140 million Americans.   Why is this Important? So there’s the great AHA. There are more Native Digitals right now in the United States. As time goes on, the gap between the population of Native Digitals and Native Analogs will widen. Yet it is our strong suspicion that both category of humans does not understand how profound this change is. It’s not just a normal generation stuff where the older generation has different trends than the newer one. One major difference is that Native Analogs think of technology as an add-on to their lives, and sometimes even a distraction. Whereas Native Digitals grew up where technology is a necessity and deeply tied to their daily lives. Hence why they think their digital lives and personas are more valuable than their physical ones. So why is this important? Because some of the biggest companies that are trying to appeal to Native Digitals are being run by Native Analogs. This causes a disconnect in their ideas, and might hurt their company in the long run, either by further showing their lack of comprehension. Or worse, being late to the punch in creating new categories that appeal to these new humans. It also extends to their company framework. While there are still benefits to having a physical office or venue for work, stubbornly clinging to a full office experience can be detrimental. Especially since the current situation has proved that working remotely is not only viable, but sometimes better. These are just some of the things to consider, and we would love to tackle it more in the 2nd part of these series. So think about this the next time you are looking into the sunset on a sandy beach: which type of human are you?   Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed sta...
14/07/2115m 7s

115 2 Legendary Questions (Part 2)

Welcome to a special two-part series of Lochhead on Marketing, where I answer two of the most important questions in my life and career. If you haven’t listened to Part 1 yet, give it a listen here: 2 Legendary Questions (Part 1). Go on, we’ll wait. Now that you’re all set, here’s part two. Let’s go! The Legendary Question at the End of a Conversation If you are an avid listener of Follow Your Different, you have heard me ask this question multiple times. An old friend and mentor of mine named George Brown got me into asking the same question. It goes like this: “Is there anything else?” Now, why is that a powerful question, you might ask? First of all, if you went to Sales School, you know that there are two kinds of questions if you look at things on a higher level. There’s open probes and closed probes. A closed probe is a question designed to get a specific answer, while an open probe sort of leaves it to the one that was questioned. If you listen to me on Follow Your Different, I tend to ask more open questions. Those are all open probes and they're designed to elicit a lot of information. So generally, when you ask an open probe, hopefully you'll get more information from the person you're in communication with. Is There Anything Else? Now, as to why this particular question is so powerful in a conversation, particularly at the end, it’s like this: Often in any conversation, you get the most powerful information at the end. So when you ask someone if there is anything else, what you’re really saying to them is, “Hey, anything else on your mind?” This can elicit a feeling that they might not have given enough information before, and so it opens them up to share more, which you can then follow up with some close probing questions specific to the new information. You will notice how often that question blows something wide open and when it does. It’s also a good way to keep the conversation focused on a topic you might be interested in continuing the conversation on, rather than getting sidetracked by another topic. Particularly when the person turns the table and tries to turn the tables on you. All right. That's our two-part series on Legendary Questions, starting with “Is this legendary work?”/ “Do you think this is legendary work”, and finishing with “Is there anything else?” I hope you put these two legendary questions to good use. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
30/06/219m 34s

114 2 Legendary Questions (Part 1)

Welcome to a special two-part series of Lochhead on Marketing, where I answer two of the most important questions in my life and career. Are you curious as to what those questions are? Stay tuned to find out. My Favorite Question to Ask You need a bit of back story for the first question. In 2006, I was the head of marketing for a software company called Mercury Interactive. By June of that year, we sold the company for Hewlett-Packard for 4.5 billion dollars, which was a sizeable amount back then. So as part of the transition to HP, our team met with the team in charge of marketing for the announcement of the acquisition. The marketing strategy was being handled by a famous ad agency; one you’d probably recognize if I describe one of their projects. After we made our introductions, the head of HP marketing asked me if I had any questions before they start with the presentation. So I asked them a question: “Do you think what you are about to show us is legendary work?” That question made them pause for a bit, and the head of said ad agency looked at the head of HP marketing and said, “Can we have two more days?” Good on them for realizing that they could do better, but it would’ve been better if they gave it their 100% in the first place. Setting the Bar High So one of my favorite questions to ask at the beginning of any meeting where somebody is about to show you something. On this case, it was ad creative, but it could be anything. It could be a product prototype, a marketing plan, or a category design. It could even be the justification for why we should buy Company X. Whatever the thing is that they're about to present, my favorite question to ask before that is, do you think this work? That is to say, the work they're about to show is legendary. What I learned over time is if you want to set a high bar for excellence in your organization, it's interesting to find out where other people's bar for excellence is. Because if they don't bother to show you their best or legendary self, then why would you want to see it? Now, it’s a different situation when you have something that is a work in progress, and need help in making it legendary. In which case, I ask this question instead: “Do you think we’re off to a legendary start?” Though if you are presenting something that you think is final or close to the final work, you’ll always get the same question from me: “Do you think this is legendary work?” If you want to learn more about my two legendary questions, listen to this episode and check out part two coming soon! Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
23/06/2110m 32s

113 Are you Crazy or Mission Driven? Musing on Play Bigger’s 5th Anniversary

Welcome to this very special episode of Lochhead on Marketing, on what is the week of Play Bigger, my first book’s fifth anniversary of publication. Recently on Follow Your Different, we had on Captain Paul Watson, who is the co-founder of Greenpeace and the founder of Sea Shepherd. Sufficed to say, Captain Paul is vey mission driven. Some would call him a saint, while others call him an eco-terrorist. What I could tell you for sure is that Captain Paul, like almost every other legendary person, is “kind of crazy”. We also want to share with you something that Churchill famously said, and that is to “Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about”. Now, what Churchill didn’t say is what you should do if the thing that you can’t stop thinking about makes you batshit crazy. Even worse, what do you do if the thing that you can't stop thinking about isn't really something that you think about? It's something that thinks you that is to say, it owns you. So in this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, the fifth anniversary of Play Bigger coming out, let's talk about the difference between being passionate and possessed and what that means. What Comes After Thinking It Churchill once said, “Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.” What he didn’t say is what you should do if that thing drives you nuts. Is this thing that's driving you nuts? The difference between choosing a passion and being possessed? Now that you’re thinking about it, what if you really can’t stop thinking about it all the time? In the end, all you could do is embrace it and call it your own. What happens after that? What happens if when you share it with people eight out of 10 times, they think you're nuts or you fail? Now imagine if that something causes you to fail 8 times out of 10 for 30 years, then what do you do? It’s daunting, right? So what if I tell you that this is a big part of my story? For me, my something was Category Design. This week is actually the 5th anniversary of my book Play Bigger, which introduced Category Design to the world. What I have rarely talked about is the fact that Play Bigger was my last-ditch effort to try to make category design land. It was my last effort to try to make it have value and impact at any kind of scale for entrepreneurs, for creators, for innovators of any kind. I figured it would fail. I didn't want it to fail, but I figured it would be because 30 years of a two hundred batting average would kind of give that to you. Well, it turns out Play Bigger didn't fail. If you read it or shared it, I want to thank you very much, because your efforts put Play Bigger into the top one percent of books in the business book category. There is No Cheat to Success I wish I could tell you that having a legendary product will automatically lead it to success. It doesn’t. This was also the case when I talked about Category Design before. Entrepreneurs and other business leaders would either misinterpret it as just another marketing or watered-down messaging, which is actually one of my least favorite words in marketing. What also irked me is when Hustle Porn Stars sell you the idea of how to be successful instantly. You just need to follow X, Y, and Z to achieve your goals. Based on experience, it never is as easy as that. Take it from someone who fell for it and have learned his lesson the hard way. “There is no shortcut to success. There's no such thing as a 4-hour work week. All that stuff about hacks and hustle porn, motivational garbage is a lie, and I'm no liar.” – Christopher Lochhead Sure, there are some people who get born rich or born beautiful and there are some people who win the lottery. But success in life is not about that. So I wanted to share with you what it really took, what it took to make Play Bigger and everything that's come since then successful was approximately two thousand five hundred and fifty five days. That's seven years. Play Bigger
16/06/2114m 21s

112 Maybe The Only Career Advice That Matters

These days, we hear a non-stop barrage of career advice. Some of them is good, but a lot of them are not. In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about what might be the only career advice that matters. Relationships, Marriages, and Divorce By now, you may have heard of Bill and Melinda Gates are getting a divorce, and that Jeff Bezos and McKenzie Scott got divorced a couple of years ago. You might be wondering why we brought this up. You see, these people are some of the wealthiest entrepreneurs and biggest philanthropists ever. According to hustle porn stars and business advice gurus, these are the people we should aspire to be. Yet for whatever reason, their marriage didn’t work out. While there is merit to saying that sometimes divorcing doesn’t mean it failed, but just ran its likely course, it does make you wonder. “The reality is if your personal life isn't working, all the money in the world can't save you.” – Christopher Lochhead Living a Legendary Life Which brings us to the second point: the decision about who your significant other or partner is going to be is arguably the biggest decision that you will make. Because when it works, it is the foundation for designing a legendary life. If it doesn’t work, everything just seems out of place. So we should ask ourselves: are we designing our life around our work or our work around our life? While this is not necessarily a binary decision, most people would want to live a legendary life. “I think what most of us want is we want to have a legendary life. And whether we're working or in our marriage, our primary relationship or with our family and friends, we want to have what you might think of as a 360-degree life.” – Christopher Lochhead   Getting Things Right Herein lies the question: is it possible to get everything right all the time? Of course not. Though in general, it is what most of us are trying to do. In that context, our work sits inside of our non-work life. So if you're somebody who's been working too hard, work 80 to 100 hours a week and travel two to four hundred thousand miles a year on a plane, here's a career advice. Ask yourself: what am I working for? We're living at a time of massive personal self-examination that has been brought on by the pandemic. We recently wrote a Category Pirates about this, how people are going YOLO, YOLO being an expression for you only live once. Now is a time for consideration. And I think what these high-profile divorces tell us as somebody who's been divorced myself, is that it's time to consider our work in the context of our lives. Links A Very “Different” Approach To A Legendary Career: YOLO And Achieve Your Personal IPO Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
09/06/217m 16s

111 Mike Maples, Jr. On How Legendary Entrepreneurs Create Categories

Welcome to a special episode of Lochhead of Marketing. What you’re about to hear are the thoughts of one of the smartest people in Silicon Valley on Category Design. He is the entrepreneur turned venture capitalist Mike Maples, Jr. Mike Maples, Jr. Is the co-founder of Floodgate Capital. Floodgate has led early-stage investments in companies like Twitter, Lyft, and much more. Recently, I had the pleasure of showing up as a guest on Mike’s podcast. Usually after the guest podcast, he does a shorter episode where he synthesizes what he thinks he has learned from the guest. Today’s episode is just that. Listen to Mike Maples, Jr. as he shares his thoughts on category design for entrepreneurs. With that said, let’s get into it. Being a Legendary Entrepreneur “Why do I, as an entrepreneur, want to begin category design at the beginning? Because you want to be 80 percent of a multi-billion dollar market that you created, that you design. And that makes you almost impossible to catch.” - Christopher Lochhead Mike starts off by quoting a quote from the episode. This quote pretty much sums up why someone aiming to be a legend should do category design right from the onset. Legendary companies are born from extraordinary startups building breakthrough products that change the future. Though you don’t always have to start from scratch. Few entrepreneurs and businesses realize that there's a third lever to pull on the path to greatness: creating a category to add to the confusion. Category Design vs Branding Mike is aware that a lot of people are still not clear as to what Category Design is. Some confuse it with branding; some marketing ploy that can help your product resonate without actually changing the product. “Category design could be confused with getting the right marketing slogan or the right three letter acronym like CRM or ERP or some other type of message that will hopefully resonate. Or we make the mistake of believing it's a message you use to describe your business after you've achieved product market fit. But it's far more than that.” - Mike Maples, Jr. Traditional Marketing vs Breakthrough Startup Mike gives a brief explanation of how Traditional Marketing works. Simply put, they are more concerned on fighting for market share of their current category. Think marketing battles between Pepsi and Coke. Conventional Startups tend to think along the same lines. Whereas Breakthrough Startups try to create new categories to dominate in, making sure that they are the Kings of the Category before anyone else grabs a share of the market. In a world of marketing slogans blaring at you left and right, having your own category lets you avoid the need to seek attention to compete. All you have to do is to show people that your new category is worth it, and the market will do the rest. “All of us, including your future customers, employees and any potential believers, live in a very confusing and noisy world. Your startup won't have a chance to get people to remember much about you and why you matter. So you have to be really clear on what you want people to know about you and only you, why it matters and why they should join your cause. The way to do this is not to talk about jargon, buzz words, or what Christopher Lochhead calls why my carbondigulator is better. Category design is about avoiding the comparison game. It's not about being the best, it's about being the only one in the category.” - Mike Maples, jr. To hear more from Mike Maples, Jr. and his insights on category design for entrepreneurs, download and listen to this episode. Bio Mike Maples, Jr. is the Co-Founder and Partner at Floodgate, the host of the Starting Greatness podcast and a Co-conspirator with awesome Startup Founders. Links Connect with Mike! Twitter: @m2jr LinkedIn: in/Maples Podcast: Starting Greatness Website: Floodgate We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners.
26/05/2114m 30s

110 Category Creation: How To Dam The Demand

With Category Design or Category Creation strategy, we often talk about the distinction between capturing existing demand, and creating new demand. In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about an in-between strategy that category designers use as a powerful tool in creating demand. That is to dam existing demand and redirect it in their own way, like the way a dam redirects water. Damming the Demand Marc Benioff, found of Salesforce.com, used this approach when marketing his new category. Bear in mind that when he launched Salesforce Automation as a CRM, CRM was already an established category. What made Benioff legendary is how he redirected the CRM traffic to Salesforce. All it took was an idea: Sure, you want CRM, but you don’t want one that’s only available on-premise. Cloud CRM is where it’s at. By adding a modifier to CRM, he dammed the demand for the old category and redirected it to his own. He’s creating a difference that did not exist in the minds of the market. Most importantly, he creates a new choice for them. Expanding Your Reach Much like Salesforce, Peloton did the exact same thing and ran away with it. They offered an alternative to boutique fitness in the form of home fitness. Yet again, it’s a choice that the market did not anticipate would have a demand. Peloton harnessed that demand and redirected it to their new category. From there, they expanded it from Spin classes to treads. Eventually, they added home classes for Yoga, Pilates, and other activities usually reserved for group boutique fitness. The use of the term Home Fitness created a demand that wasn't there before. It's like creating the void yourself and filling it up with your own category creation. Tried and Tested in Category Creation It turns out damming demand has been around for a long time. Henry Ford did the same thing with his new category back then. He dammed the demand for a horse and buggy with his new category name. His new innovative category? It was the horseless carriage. The same could be said for Marty Cooper and his wireless phone, which lead to the mobile phone category. “Sometimes, new categories are named by what they are not. And when a category is named by what it is not, the category designer is purposely trying to dam demand.” – Christopher Lochhead While Microsoft did not follow this model, they nonetheless created a new demand from existing categories. They did so by combining their word processor, presentation, and spreadsheet application into a bigger category that is Microsoft Office. Now, you don’t have to buy each software separately, and most consumers expect other companies that offer the same services to also have everything in one whole bundle. So when you’re designing a new category, ask yourself: Where is existing demand that we can dam to drive revenue in the near term? Afterwards, how do we leverage the demand in the existing category to expand the demand of our own category design? Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,
05/05/2111m 42s

109 Want To Do Legendary Marketing? Do The Opposite

In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s talk about how to stand out. In many ways, if you want to do legendary marketing, you need to do what the opposite of what most people do. Doing the Opposite As part of the mega category people refer to as Creators, there was something that we’ve noticed: People spend a lot of time telling other people how awesome they are. When you start looking at creator marketing, what you’ll see is a lot of creators just touting their best achievements and how great they are. Ergo, you should consume the content they create so you can share in his glory, or something. So what did we do? First of all, we do very little paid advertising. Recently, our friends at Podcast Magazine ran their annual edition that has a directory of all the top podcasts. What we did was buy a full-page ad in it. Though rather than your usual positive reviews and highlights, we ran it featuring negative reviews. “We ran an ad featuring negative reviews: “Off-putting to some” from The Economist and The Fall. “Annoying host uses profanity needlessly”, and “Very disappointing”. So imagine a photo of myself with those big headlines next to me.” – Christopher Lochhead   Follow Your Different You might be asking: Why do this? John Bielenberg talks about how he’s always looking for the dog with the red hat. In other words, he’s looking for ways in order to stand out. At a time where people are bombarded with information from all sides, people have learned to tune things out. So if they see something that’s pretty much the same as any other information they’ve seen before, they pay less attention to it. Yet if something different suddenly comes along, say a dog with a red hat, you’d immediately notice it. Because it’s new and it’s not something you see every day. So I would encourage people to do the opposite of everyone else and stand out amongst the crowd. “In our case here with this ad, the creator industry is stuffed with what I would call self-congratulatory influencers and hustle porn stars. They are all very busy breaking their arms, patting themselves on the back. So we said, what's the opposite? Well, the opposite is running an ad with negative reviews in it.” – Christopher Lochhead   Things that Drive Us If you’re not convinced or still wondering why we did all this, here are seven key things that were driving us… sort of. It was Funny It’s Different It's Provocative This is a first in #podcasting Category designers force a choice, not a comparison Knowing who is NOT your customer, is more important than know who IS your customer I want to empower all creators to say "fuck the haters!" We share that story with you to encourage you to think in broad and unconventional ways before you're going to take on any marketing or advertising. Ask yourself: “what's the opposite of what everyone else would do here? What's provocative? What's funny?”  You ask yourself, “what is everybody in our industry doing? What is the exact opposite of that?” You don't have to do exactly the opposite. Just map it out and see what others are not doing, and eventually new ideas will probably emerge. As you're looking for those new ideas, start with what's the opposite. Do what John Bielenberg suggests, and go find your dog with a red hat. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the foundi...
28/04/2110m 13s

108 Advice for 30 Year Old Marketers

In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let us talk about some advice for 30 year old marketers. I have been asked this question a bunch of times, so I just put together my response as a LinkedIn post. A lot of people though it was a great list, so I thought I’d share it with you. Making the List As said earlier, this list was originally a LinkedIn post, and it’s a list of practical advice for 30 year old marketers. There were some who asked if it was in a certain order, and one outright challenged me to do so. I did not want to do that because I wanted to present them as ideas. Because what might be important for me might not be for others. Sure enough in the comments, different things on the list resonated with different people. Though there is an argument to be made about creating lists in certain order, so as to elicit something close to a call to action. “It seems we live in a world of prescriptions, where people want to do lists and more and more inane sort of business and marketing advice. You know, the seven things Elon Musk does before breakfast. And we've gotten to a place where a lot of content about business, about self-help, about marketing is very pablumatic and sort of at a prescription level, do this, do that, etc.” – Christopher Lochhead While we do create prescription type articles, mostly on what you should and shouldn’t do, that’s not how we work most of the time. Our job is to give people ideas, and with those ideas, they can come up with different combinations or new ways to approach things. We feel that having something close to a to-do list hinders that process. The Advice for 30 Year Old Marketers That said, here’s the list of Advice for 30 Year Old Marketers, in no particular order: Do legendary work Position yourself or be positioned You're not too young to be a CMO, or start a company Stop giving a shit about what other people think of you, it’s a trap Thinking about thinking is the most important thinking Most marketers have been recruited into the cult of the brand Categories make brands, not the other way around Marketers who create new demand, are most in demand They are called category designers Nobody legendary is working on their “personal brand” The most influential people in the world are not “influencers” Only work on legendary teams If your company is not going to be a category queen, quit Be very careful who’s content you consume 90% of what we get taught about marketing is BS Learn to write Make friends with other Superstar 30 year old’s One day, you might rule the world together It goes by fast, soak up every second Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
21/04/217m 14s

107 Did The Roaring 2020s Just Start?: The Economy (Part 2)

Welcome to the second of a special two-part series here on Lochhead on Marketing called, “Did the Roaring 2020s Just Start?” In this episode, we talk about the Economy. We believe there is a chance we could be heading into a time of unprecedented economic growth. For a year now, a Categorynado of newness has been gaining momentum. There has never been a higher receptivity to new “stuff”. Now of course I’m no economist, but I thought it would be powerful to connect some dots on some critical data points in our economy through the category lens. This two-part series is based on a recent letter published in Category Pirates, my newsletter with co-pirates Eddie Yoon and Nicolas Cole. Go check it out today! Drawing Parallels Before we get to the 2020s, let’s talk about the roaring 1920s, and the parallels to what we are experiencing today. At the time it was the end of a pandemic, there was an explosion of new technology, and there was a rocking and raging stock market as well as an explosion of new categories. There were also political and international tensions on proving who was the best that drove development. Fast forward to today, and we are experiencing the same thing. Only instead of television and vacuum cleaners, our new categories involve AI, Robotics, and information technology. “That's what was going on in the 1920s. So for example, electric blenders televisions and vacuum cleaners were categories that took off. Now let's think about what's going on in the 2020s. Same thing with the pandemic. Of course, same thing with technology and new categories. Only this time around the new categories are things like AI, video communications, robots, self-learning, robot vacuums, citizen space travel, the electrification of everything and digital Education, telemedicine.” – Christopher Lochhead   Bannister Breakthroughs are Everywhere We’ve talked about Bannister Breakthroughs in part one of the Roaring 2020s, and how we see it all around us nowadays. Strangely enough, the 1920s also had a lot of Bannister Breakthrough moments. There was an explosion of new categories and ideas brought about by the limitation of the pandemic. Electricity became widespread to households, new innovations in the automobile industry drove down prices, which brought about various lifestyle and economic impacts. Mail order became a booming category, and companies like Sears. Roebuck and Co. became category kings in this regard. If you look at how things are today, it is eerily similar yet slightly different at the same time. E-Commerce is booming, and there has been a drive for more efficient electric devices like e-bikes and robo-vacuums. Of course, there’s also Tesla paving the way for developing electronic hybrid cars. Experts are predicting that another ‘roaring 20s’ is in the making. The Wall Street Journal reported that analysts have increased their economic growth forecast for 2021 to 5.95% The last time the U.S. economy hit a growth rate anything like that was in 1984.   Looking at the Tailwinds Let's take a look at some major tailwinds that we can see on the horizon. First of all, cash. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that, “US companies are sitting on the largest pile of cash ever”. Furthermore, according to Investor’s Business Daily, “Nine companies in the S&P 500, including Goggle, Apple, and Microsoft, each hold a net cash of 5 Billion apiece or more. Together, these companies hold a total of $325 billion”. Simply put, there's a lot of cash in corporations sitting on the sidelines waiting to get deployed. On the consumer side of things, consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, jumped 2.4% last month, according to Reuters. The Wall Street Journal reports, “consumer spending has nearly returned to pre COVID-19 levels. The average personal incomes of US households, surpassed pre pandemic levels in September.” Not to mention all the money being pumped back to the economy via the new Bi...
14/04/2121m 27s

106 Did The Roaring 2020s Just Start? Bannister Breakthroughs (Part 1)

Welcome to a special two-part series on Lochhead on Marketing called, “Did the Roaring 2020s Just Start?” In this episode, we talk about the Bannister Breakthroughs, and how its influence can be seen everywhere today. We believe there is a chance we could be heading into a time of unprecedented economic growth. We’ll get to the specifics of it in part 2, but for this episode, let’s talk about how category breakthroughs can lead to even more category breakthroughs. If we play our cards right, we might be living at the greatest time for new innovation in history! This two-part series is based on a recent letter published in Category Pirates, my newsletter with the legendary co-pirates Eddie Yoon and Nicolas Cole. Breaking Through the Limits On May 6th 1954, a young British land named Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. Before the feat was achieved, this was deemed impossible or only doable under the right circumstances. Yet Bannister broke records and expectations by doing it his way. The Harvard Business Review published a terrific summary of the story: “The four-minute barrier stood for decades — and when it fell, the circumstances defied the confident predictions of the best minds in the sport. Experts believed they knew the precise conditions under which the mark would fall. It would have to be in perfect weather — 68 degrees and no wind. On a particular kind of track — hard, dry clay, and in front of a huge, boisterous crowd urging the runner on to his best-ever performance. But Bannister did it on a cold day, on a wet track, at a small meet in Oxford, England, before a crowd of just a few thousand people.” Roger Bannister’s achievement served as the breakthrough that led to more breakthroughs in the world of competitive running. Only 46 days later, the “impossible” record was broken again. A year after that, three runners broke the four-minute mile in a single race. Much like Bannister, legendary innovators and category designers make the impossible possible. While it may seem mundane now — like Bannister’s four-minute breakthrough, it still serves as a catalyst for others to believe that something impossible could be done. It makes people receptive to the idea that there is a possibility that they can explore which leads to a different future. Creating a Before and After The results of a Bannister Breakthrough or creating a revolutionary category always creates a before and after. People who bear witness to both sides are changed as a result. They either embrace it, or find new ways and breakthroughs themselves. “Category designers, innovators, entrepreneurs, that's what they do. They create a before and after they change reality, they make new possibilities into new realities.” - Christopher Lochhead Category designers create a before and after they change reality, they make new possibilities into new realities. In Rogers' case, he smashed an imaginary what seemed like an immovable milestone. His breakthrough, like all legendary breakthroughs, opened up others to ask, “What else is possible?” Bannister Breakthroughs Everywhere Fast forward to today, where you can see Bannister breakthroughs happening everywhere. With information at our fingertips, you’ll see people come up with new categories to solve things others didn’t know they even needed up until today. For a more relatable example, having a large-scale remote workforce wasn’t deemed possible before. It was always a means for emergency access to work for some, and usually only available for managerial roles. Yet within the span of a year, we’ve seen businesses thrive in full-remote or hybrid setups worldwide. As these breakthroughs continue to happen, just like back in Roger’s days, there are three categories of people: “There are the people who make the change. There are the people who sit there and go, “oh look, something just changed”. And there are people who say, “What the fuck, did something happen?” - Christopher Lochhead
07/04/2113m 49s

105 Value is 100% Perception

In this episode, Christopher Lochhead talks about value, and how it is 100% dependent on people’s perception. That is to say, nothing has any intrinsic value until someone believes it has value. You can also learn about one of the greatest stories about how an entrepreneur and category designer created value, that is to say, the perception of value for a product that left a lot of people scratching their heads. Gary’s Pet Rock Gary Dahl and his pet rock is an amazing study on how people assign value to something based on their perception. In 1975, Gary Dahl thought it would be funny to sell pet rocks. He never would’ve thought that this funny running gag would sweep the nation, selling roughly 1.5 million pet rocks at $3.95 a pop. Christopher remembers his sister wanting to join in the fad, so he offered to catch her a pet rock himself. “I remember this well. I was a kid at the time and my sister wanted one, and I remember exactly what I said at the time: “Well, if you like, I'll go outside and catch you a wild one.” “- Christopher Lochhead Was it a weird fad? Probably. Yet it wasn’t the first of its kind, and certainly not the last crazy fad people subscribed to. Value is in the Perception While it may seem silly that Gary Dahl managed to sell that many pet rocks, but how he marketed it was nothing short of genius. He packaged it in a colorful box that even had holes so your pet rock can “breathe”. There was even a comprehensive manual on how you can take care of your pet rock, which just adds to the hilarity of it all. Basically, Gary Dahl assigned a value to his pet rocks. As a Category Designer and some brilliant marketing, he made people perceive the Pet Rock as something of value. All due to the story he weaved to back it up. So what does this teach us? For Christopher it means that nothing is intrinsically valuable. That value is 100 percent a perception. “If you're a regular listener, you've heard me and you've heard Jason talking about these new NFTs in the digital space: people selling digital products at extraordinary prices. Jason made the comment that his dad is in the art business and he grew up in that business. In his words, what sells a painting is a story. And so what makes something valuable is that people perceive it as valuable.” - Christopher Lochhead Creating Value Out of Nothing Legendary category designers are legendary because they create new perceptions of value. They establish the belief that something is valuable when that belief did not exist before. So as category designers, the challenge is to change people’s perception about your product or services. If you are successful, you can create something valuable… out of nothing. Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
31/03/218m 12s

104 Languaging: How Category Designers Use Language to Change the Future

In this episode, Christopher Lochhead talks about language. Specifically, a concept that most entrepreneurs and marketers don't know much about: Languaging.   Languaging and Creating Context Languaging is the strategic use of words and language to change and create the future. As any category designer worth their salt should know, how you frame a category could make or break them. Having a great context for your category is a must if you want to be ahead of the pack. What better way to add a strategic context than to use statements that will make customers relate to your category. If you do it right, even just one sentence can propel you to the top.   Language and Differentiation Christopher uses MP3s and Apple iPods to make his point. In the early 2000s, MP3 players had already been in the market for almost half a decade. Yet a lot of people were not using them, and a bigger portion of the population doesn’t even know what it was. So when Apple launched the iPod in 2001, they had to find a way to get people to switch from their Walkmans to their new product. To do this, Apple used strategic languaging to distinguish iPod from other MP3 players by calling it a digital music player. That's differentiation. To drive it all home, they have this one-sentence slogan that resonates with consumers. One thousand songs in your pocket. On his first Apple iPod press release, Steve Jobs made it very, very clear that Apple was absolutely designing a new category with its new product. It wasn’t just another MP3 player. He said: “With iPod Apple has reinvented a whole new category of digital music player that lets you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you go. With iPod listening to music will never be the same again.” - Steve Jobs Apple redesigned the category and ran away with it by putting the technology in a context people could understand.   Frame it and Name it It is important to note that language we use to describe something changes the thing, the way people see and value the thing. So what does this mean for category designers? Legendary category designers frame it and name it. Legendary category designers can and do change the future with one sentence. If you start listening for languaging, which you could think of as the strategic use of words and language to change thinking, you'll start to notice it more often. “Remember, a demarcation point in language creates a demarcation point in thinking which creates a demarcation point in perceived value, and action.” - Christopher Lochhead   Bio Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
17/03/217m 19s

103 Digital Products, NFTs, Clubhouse, Oh My with Jason DeFillippo

In the last episode, Christopher popped the hood on digital products, more specifically about NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens. As you may know, a 10-second GIF recently just sold for $6.6M. This was due to NFTs. Now, there are other companies and celebrities jumping in on it. Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, is now auctioning off the first tweet for $2.5M, as of this taping. Rock band Kings of Leon is set to be the first band releasing a record as an NFT. These cyber collectibles are taking off and having a profound impact. Yet our producer, Jason DeFillippo, has some questions.  Jason is the greatest of all time in podcast producers, and he's worked with Tim Ferriss, Jordan Harbinger and many others. He also hosts one of the greatest podcasts ever, Grumpy Old Geeks. He also has a lot of experience in the art world, as he worked with his dad for a long time.  Jason has an opinion about NFTs, and he and Christopher talk about that, Clubhouse, and a bunch of other fun things. Digital Products have been Here Forever Jason DeFillippo comments about Christopher’s statement about digital products and NFTs being a category-defining moment. For someone who has played online games like Jason, digital products have been around since the early 2000s. People have been buying and selling digital items to use in-game, and there’s even a whole industry built on farming in-game currency for it. As for NFTs, Jason doesn’t see the purpose to all of it other than being a rich man’s game. It’s like buying a pet rock, but at least with the pet rock you get a rock for your troubles. “We had this kind of shit back in the day, 10 years ago, and we would buy digital items, we would buy digital clothes, we would mine gold. It was Bitcoin before there was Bitcoin, and it was just a bunch of nerds sitting around killing orcs. There was a purpose to the NF T's back then, because it was all in-game. Now we have all of the crap that you know was the digital stuff, but no game to play. Today’s NF T is one of those things that to somebody like myself with a highly tuned bullshit detector made my head explode.” - Jason DeFilliippo On Digital Natives Buying Digital Products Christopher asks if it makes sense that native digital people are buying more digital products than physical ones. Jason thinks it is, but it again depends on the purpose of the purchase. It depends on the context of why they bought the item, either to make their digital home look better, or have the best weapon for a game they’re playing. Again, NFTs miss the mark in this regard. Jason thinks that this $6.6M purchase just got overhyped because people are looking for excitement. That, and because it is attached to blockchain. So people who are looking for the next big thing are suddenly scrambling to see if NFTs fit the bill. According to Jason, it doesn’t. “That's the problem with it. It doesn't make any sense. I think it's a fad. This has all of the hallmarks of us being stuck inside for far too long. We need something to excite us. It's on the blockchain. You know, if they could just sprinkle in some AI, we would have like a BS trifecta here.” - Jason DeFillippo Why is Clubhouse a Thing? Christopher and Jason discuss the app Clubhouse, and why it’s even a thing. For one thing, the features it has is already present in various other apps, like Discord and other online voice chat software. What makes it weirder is that it is trying to bring back the feeling of radio, something that podcasts have killed a long time ago. The appeal to some comes from the fact that it is invite-only. Though that in itself is not a unique feature, as Jason points out. There are a lot of apps that can just integrate such features into their own well-established ones. It's why Jason thinks that Clubhouse will come to a quick demise soon. “My buddy John Wall of Marketing Over Coffee was quick to point out that as a creator, there's no value here. First of all, I got to be Live.
10/03/2140m 1s

102 The Future Just Changed and Most People Missed It

In October 2020, a 10-second video clip sold for $67,000. Just recently, that same 10-second video sold for $6.6 Million. This selling of a piece of digital art changed the future… and most people didn’t even notice. This new category design could have profound implications in the art world of art –  and soon, everywhere else! So in this episode, Christopher Lochhead talks about digital-exclusive products, how it can be the next mega-category, and how it can affect your business and brand in the future.   Prioritizing Your “Real Life” As the age of digitization continues to evolve, people find themselves becoming more invested in their digital life. If you’re between thirty or thirty-five, you’re probably a digital native. Everyone below that are definitely digital natives: those who spend most of their time online and connected digitally. The big AHA moment here for Christopher is that digital natives prioritize their digital life more than their physical life. It is almost as if their digital life is their “real life”, therefore it has more value for them. “If you're a digital native, the AHA here is your digital life is more important than your physical life. If you're a digital native, you're having the opposite experience that someone like me. Someone who believes my primary experience in life is a physical one, but it’s supplemented with a rich digital life. But if you're my buddies and their kids, your real life is the digital life and the ocean and the sunset are an interruption to your real life. That was a profound moment for me. I understood at that moment the difference between digital natives and non-digital natives were 180 degrees different.” – Christopher Lochhead   Digital-Exclusive Products as a Mega Category Digital products have been around for quite some time. There are games that sell digital clothes to make your avatar look good or play better. However, this 10-second digital media clip that sold for $6.6 million dollars in an NFTE auction classifies as category design. This new art category design is changing the definition of the category of what it means to be an artist and what a piece of art means in the digital age.  Art is now a new digital category; it's not only physical anymore. Who's to say that other products won't follow suit in the future? “In the past, people would pay six point six million dollars for a painting, not a bunch of zeros and ones. This is a way bigger development than somebody paying a few dollars to buy a digital tractor or a rifle in a video game. Someone paid over six fucking million dollars for some zeros and ones, and those zeros and ones are artificially being restricted. In this case, they paid that money so they'd be the only people in the world to have those zeros and ones.” - Christopher Lochhead All of these circle back to digital natives and how they prioritize things. It is why you see people being reluctant to buy a car but willingly fork over money for a digital vehicle in an app. They want to live out their best lives in their perceived “real life”. “If you're a digital native, your digital life by default is more important and more valuable to you than your physical life. If that's true, it stands to reason that digital native's want to buy shit for their digital native selves and they'll buy things in their digital world that they wouldn't buy in their physical world.” - Christopher Lochhead   Should You Ride the Digital Wave? So what does that mean for companies and their corresponding categories and brands? Well, if you want to stay ahead of the pack, you need to step back and think about the increasing role of people's digital lives in the market. Especially in the new marketing landscape that COVID has wrought, where people live in a digital workplace in a way that they didn't before. “I think we have to ask ourselves: is there an opportunity and or threat for our categories, brands and businesses in a world where people's digital life is their...
03/03/2113m 36s

101 Category Design Scorecard

This episode talks about the Category Design Scorecard and how you can use it to spot a Category Designer. It also breaks down how you can evaluate a company's ability to create a new category or redesign an existing one. Christopher and his Category co-pirates, Eddie Yoon and Nicholas Cole, just unveiled this new Category Design Scorecard. It is based on a tremendous amount of primary research, and they can't wait to share it with all of you. How the Category Design Scorecard Came to be The episode starts off by explaining why they created the Category Design Scorecard. Christopher, Eddie, and Nicholas wanted something that can distinguish a company that is a category designer or creator from a high growth company fighting tooth and nail for market share in their existing category. We analyzed Fortune magazine's 100 fastest-growing companies list for over a decade. Were there certain things that companies are trying to design and dominate a new category? They were easily distinguishable from other high growth companies due to certain things they said. So we picked the Fortune 100 fastest growers list over a decade. What we discovered as we began to dig into the data are five key indicators. Those five key indicators distinguished category designers from other successful companies. - Christopher Lochhead The Five Components of the Category Design Scorecard Christopher then enumerates the five components of their new Category Design Scorecard, and they are as follows: 1. Category POV Does the company have a clear “Point of View” of their category? Are they able to frame a powerful problem, articulate a compelling vision, and most importantly, communicate the core compromises, trade-offs, and problems inherent to the way the category is today, but in such a way that the consumer/customer will be open to a new and different approach. Category designers have a very specific way of doing it; which is they are going after something that they see as a noble cause, a noble purpose, or a giant problem worth solving. It's either a problem that we didn't know that we had, that they're educating us about, or it's an existing problem that they meaningfully reimagine it in a new context. - Christopher Lochhead  2. Future Category Reimagined and Without Compromise Does the company cast a compelling future — free of any fundamental problems, compromises, and trade-offs inherent to the category as it is today? We've learned a lot from our friend Joe Pine, who is one of the co-authors of The Experience Economy. One of the things that he teaches us is that companies that are successful in doing this transform their customers, transform their partners, and as a result of bringing new things to the world, they generate a tremendous amount of abundance. So the second criteria is, are they articulating a future category in a reimagined way without compromise? If they do, can the future category break new grounds and get us an exponential kind of future? - Christopher Lochhead  3. Radically Different Offer + Business Model How does this new category get delivered to the customer? Is it both through a breakthrough product/service/offer, but also through a breakthrough business model? How does product innovation and business model innovation come together in a way where 1 + 1 = 11?  There has to be something radically different about either the product offer, the business model, or both. - Christopher Lochhead  4. The Data Flywheel Does the company generate data about customer/consumer with demand/preferences that creates a unique opportunity and advantage to anticipate the future of consumer demand and any category shifts? Will this Data Flywheel provide insight into not only how to improve company offerings, but predict where demand for this new category will unfold next? One of the big insights in Superconsumers is a relatively small percentage of the most enthusiastic consumers are customers that drive any category change.
24/02/2120m 28s

100 How To Write A Legendary Brand Story w/ Park Howell

Stories are incredibly powerful. It is legendary. People fall in love based on the stories they tell themselves about each other. People go to war and start countries over stories. Furthermore, when stories are used to design a category and a brand, it creates massive enduring value. In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we talk to the guru of the business of story himself, Park Howell, to educate us on how to construct legendary marketing stories and how story marketing and category design actually come together. Park also shares his fantastic thoughts on nursery rhymes and the Gettysburg address. What Marketers Get Wrong About Storytelling Most marketers are not award-winning screenwriters, they’re not great at long-form content like in Hollywood and Pixar. Park discusses how marketing comes down to just three words, one framework that is built on: and, but, and therefore (ABT). This perfect three-act structure is a complete customer framework that will allow the connection to the customer on an empathetic level and help develop the contrast in their problems. “I've learned that this framework hooks the subconscious of your audience, which is always looking for this fight or flight. It’s a problem-solution dynamic that you are playing to the natural way your audience's brain creates meaning. Now what a lot of people do is they start with the problem in the ‘and’ statement. Start with the aspiration, what is it that your customer wants and then insert the problem in your ‘but’ statement. Therefore, here's my solution on how to help you get that. And the trick here is to have as much contrast between that aspiration and that problem as possible. A short, succinct, and specific contrast. If you do that, your audience will give you all the time you need in your therefore solution.” - Park Howell How to End Up with A Captivating Story Park encourages everyone to start in the middle through the ‘but’ statement and then proceed to answer the singular problem that needs to be solved. Once the singular problem is determined and boiled down, then jump to the ‘and’ statement, the specific audience, and lastly the ‘therefore statement’. Following the ABT framework can lead to amazing and captivating brand and founder stories. He discusses that when somebody articulates the customer’s problem powerfully and effectively, the human brain makes the assumption that the person by definition must have the solution. “A good story can kill a bad product quicker than anything. If you've got a great founder story, well told that has nothing to do with the product or offering, you create a disconnect there. There are a ton of those stories out there that have gone untold, and they are like gold sitting below your feet. You just have to unearth them and tell them well, but it has to tie to your why it is you do and what you do in your business. Huge believer in that.” - Park Howell How Story Marketing and Category Design Unite Christopher and Park discuss how to create legendary stories in context to the use of category design. Park comments one can do this by getting the ABT super focused so nobody can share the same ABT. Along with a little shadow on the category design, this little algorithm tool can help separate and differentiate from the competitors.  Park also discusses how the Gettysburg address and nursery rhymes all used ABT in their brilliant storytelling.  “If you go to the Gettysburg address, you'll see the Gettysburg address is a perfect and, but, therefore. Lincoln steps on stage and addresses the GRA crowd. Exactly two minutes, 272 words. Yet it's one of the most iconic, legendary leader addresses of all time. If you look at it, it's set up in a perfect and, but, and therefore for him to give. He was just a brilliant storyteller. He knew the power of contradiction and consequence, and that's what he was delivering that day. If you look at any nursery rhymer, most 90% of all nursery rhymes are an ABT.” - Park Howell
17/02/2140m 7s

099 Why CMOs Get Fired: Results Do Not Equal No Results Plus An Excuse

On this episode, let's talk about producing legendary results in the context of CMO tenure. According to the Wall Street Journal, based on research from Spencer Stewart, the median tenure of a CMO was only 27 and a half months in 2019, which was down from 31 months in 2017. This is in stark contrast to the CEO's average tenure of 88.4 months or about seven and a half years. CFOs have roughly 63 months or nearly five and a half years. Success is about producing legendary results. So on this episode, let's talk about that. Marketing Is A Constant Revolving Door One legendary marketing consultant in Silicon Valley and friend of Christopher says that marketing is now a constant revolving door. CMO tenure is down to more or less two years and across all levels in the marketing department. Covid-19 made matters worse and we ask, what is driving this “revolving door”? “One of them is, everybody in marketing is very busy all the time, very frenzied in a stimulus-response like we're trying to win the activity contest. Success in business is not about winning the activity contest. As a matter of fact, activity does not equal to results. So yes, shave the dog.” - Christopher Lochhead Results Do Not Equal No Results Plus An Excuse The big aha here is results do not equal no results, plus an excuse. Christopher describes sales as binary, you either hit the numbers, exceed the numbers or do not hit the numbers. It is the sole indicator that you are doing well, but this should not be the case for marketers. “As a CEO, you live and die by the numbers. Every quarter, as the head of sales, chief revenue, officer, VP of sales, whatever title it is, head of sales, that's true too. The reality is, that should be true in marketing as well. This sort of leads us to the question, what are the marketing results that matter?” - Christopher Lochhead Marketing Results That Matter There are lots of things that marketing do so in this episode, Christopher discusses the results that matter. There are only three things that marketing organizations should be focused on:  “Number one, design and dominate a category that matters. Number two drive revenue near term midterm and longterm. And number three, create enduring value as measured by market cap or company valuation. We want to be creating the most valuable company in a category that matters.” - Christopher Lochhead To know more about the three marketing results that matter, download and listen to this episode. Bio: Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; was the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
10/02/2115m 26s

098 Social Media Marketing Lie: You Have Be Everywhere on Every Platform 100 Times a Day

In this episode, let's talk about one of the dumbest social media marketing lies out there: you have to be everywhere on every platform and you need to put out a hundred pieces of content today. This is terrible advice and it will exhaust you and your marketing team and will piss off your prospects and customers. Ultimately, it will not help you become a category queen and king. Bio: Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger. He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur. Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist. In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion. He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; was the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive. Links: Legendary copywriter Ben Settle Category King of History Podcasts Dan Carlin We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.
05/02/2114m 57s

097 You Are What You Subscribe To

Today, let’s talk a little mor