142 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
    • 4.7 • 178 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”.

    Microsoft Buying Activision Blizzard: What Most People Don't Get

    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,

    • 12 min
    How To Inspire Legendary Marketing Work

    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 f**k 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 f**k 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.

    • 11 min
    Unlocking Native Digitals with Hannah Grady Williams, author of Unlocking Gen Z

    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,

    • 1 hr 31 min
    New Category of Humans: Native Digitals Are Transforming The World & No One’s Paying Attention!

    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.

    • 44 min
    Rivian IPO Through The Category Lens

    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 ona href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/legendsandlosers/" target="_blank" rel="noop...

    • 1 hr 6 min
    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

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
178 Ratings

178 Ratings

malfoxley ,

Great show!

Christopher, host of the podcast, highlights all aspects of marketing strategies and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

Jorgy74 ,

Business Owner Must Listen

I've been listening to Lochhead on Marketing since it started. I launched my business in July of last year and have applied much of what he and his guests talk about, to great success. I feel like the guidance I've received from this podcast has shaved years off my learning curve and helped me avoid some costly mistakes. Most recently I've been working on my "and, but, therefore" statement from episode 100's interview w/ Park Howell.

Eddie Lazzari CYPOV ,

Amazing Show!

When you are in the mood for a real authentic content that cuts through the BS. Look no further, this is my first stop!

Well done Chris! Keep the unnecessary profanity coming I love it!!

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