137 episodes

Every week Lochhead on Marketing ™ examines the mindset & strategies required to win.



This podcast is for executives and entrepreneurs who value counterintuitive marketing approaches coupled with category design and category creation strategies.



Host Christopher Lochhead is a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO, host of “100 Outstanding” podcast “Follow Your Different”, Amazon #1 bestselling author of “Niche Down” and “Play Bigger”. The Marketing Journal calls him “one of the best minds in marketing”, NBA Legend Bill Walton calls him a “quasar” and The Economist calls him “off-putting to some”.

Lochhead on Marketing Christopher Lochhead

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Every week Lochhead on Marketing ™ examines the mindset & strategies required to win.



This podcast is for executives and entrepreneurs who value counterintuitive marketing approaches coupled with category design and category creation strategies.



Host Christopher Lochhead is a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO, host of “100 Outstanding” podcast “Follow Your Different”, Amazon #1 bestselling author of “Niche Down” and “Play Bigger”. The Marketing Journal calls him “one of the best minds in marketing”, NBA Legend Bill Walton calls him a “quasar” and The Economist calls him “off-putting to some”.

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

    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 a href="https://lochhead.

    • 8 min
    The Problem With Most Marketing Plans

    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

    • 11 min
    Creating Categories, Movements, & Startups with Sangram Vajre, WSJ Bestselling Author of MOVE

    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

    • 1 hr 40 min
    132 3 Meta Problems With Facebook

    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,

    • 12 min
    131 Maybe The Most Important Equation Ever

    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.

    • 9 min
    130 Thinking About Thinking Is The Most Important Kind Of Thinking

    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!

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Drossi68 ,

Great as usual!

Since Mercury time, it's always an inspiring experience listening to Chris and get material for the brain!
Great content on how think differently.

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