Social Business Transformation Starts with Leadership

You may have already read the one about “How to Pitch Content Marketing to Your Leadership Team” but I must confess that there are two critical pieces of the story I neglected to present in that earlier post:

  1. Social business transformation and buy-in began long before I made my pitch to the leadership team
  2. The original post only reveals my take on what convinced leadership to buy-in and enthusiastically participate

Now for the Rest of the Story

So now it is time for you to hear the perspectives from a few leadership team members.

When asked, “What specifically convinced YOU, Mr. Leadership, that social business transformation and content marketing was the way to go?” here’s what they had to say. In their own words:

Josh Block

Josh Block – President of Block Imaging International

Josh Block

  • My career in sales was built around the following two components:
  1. Teaching –  Simply equipping people with information to make a great decision.
  2. Recognition that people buy from people – That while they want to buy the right THING, knowing they have a person (and team) who says what they mean and does what they say – committing all up and down the web who we are, what we stand for and what we value is a huge stepping stone to doing good business.
  • Your guts – to take the reins and dig in to what we do. So often marketing is the art of conveying what the company actually does – this forces the team to understand marketing and the marketing team to know what we do.
  • Reinforcement – this (as with anything worthwhile) can’t be a stand up and share once or twice and move to the next thing.  This is dropping an anchor. For a basketball reference, there will be no 3 second call here because we pitchin’ a tent. We gonna be campin’ in this paint.  :-)
  • It’s all about ROI and Value. Where do you get the best bang for your buck. That’s all most corporations are going to care about. So pictures, brochures, advertisements and promotions are nice and all but you gotta drive back to sales. Zig Zigler is famous for saying that “nothing starts until a sale is made”. That’s because sales people get all the credit. Marketing has to take back the reins and remember that no sale happens without a lead – and those leads should come from marketing. But as long as marketing is viewed as the sale’s teams biznitches, inbound marketing won’t ever work. Sales and Marketing gotta get married again.

Jason Crawford

  • I had really never seen the value of social media, until you showed me the pyramid with content at the base. That really was significant in my understanding of how social media comes after you have developed something worth listening to online.

    Social Business Transformation Starts with Content

    SEO Pyramid created by Rand Fishkin for SEOmoz helped our team understand that being a social business meant starting with great content first

  • Jason Crawford

    Jason Crawford – President of Block Imaging Parts and Service

    I think you addressed the ego portion of speaking to leaders and showing them where they fall on common search results. That was really significant to the team in understanding we must be doing something wrong if small competitors are beating us for common search phrases, especially when you can demonstrate how many people are searching on that phrase each month through Google keywords.

  • The added dynamic for our team was that we were very proud of the fact that we had led the way with email marketing many years ago in our industry. I remember you challenging us that if we wanted to be on the front of the wave for the next change in marketing, this was it.
  • You did not pitch the idea to the entire leadership team first. You found individual leaders to pitch the concept to until you had confidence that the leadership team as a whole was ready to hear the news and that you had certain members of leadership team ready to back you up.

David McAndrews

David McAndrews – Senior VP of Sales

David McAndrews

  • There were two major hurdles in my mind that Krista’s persistence and the shifts in the world as we knew it helped me over come.
  1. Social media had not proven itself as a business concept yet, and actually had some negative connotations of risk (people still say stupid things and lose their jobs over them).
  2. The content that would be most interesting we had long considered our trade secrets. Giving the ingredients to the “special sauce” did not sound appealing even if everyone knows it is a slightly doctored version of Thousand Island.
  • The move to content marketing was a seismic shift. For me it became the way to go through my study of Google. Google’s drive for freedom of information, open source and their rewarding (within their search algorithm) of other companies who lived by the mantra became appealing. We have always known that information is power. I think that through this process we understood that hoarding information for yourself may work in the short term. However, the realization that in the interconnected world that we live in where just about anyone can figure out just about anything given a little time and determination; the person that gives the best information and builds the best process to simplify and implement the information’s use wins. That shift still only happened because after a presentation Krista made the leadership team looked at each other and collectively said that we believed in this and would do it.
  • In the world where there are no secrets and there is no privacy; companies who can live  and operate in a genuine, open, and honest way will prosper. The rest will find gains short lived.

Leading by Example

And you know the best part? Not only did these men support the company’s all-in content marketing efforts starting 1 year ago… they continue to lead by example and challenge the rest of their teams to follow suit.

Blogging, video, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter… they’re all-in, folks! And it’s not like they have a ton of spare time. They are in charge of entire companies, running departments and are awesome dads with young kids and involved in their communities. They get the value. They see the impact. And they make it a priority because they know it is a worthwhile long term investment.

You Can Make It Happen Too

So what’s holding you back? What are the biggest hurdles you’re facing in trying to create a social business culture of content marketing? How are you going to be a warrior of enthusiasm in your own workplace?


  1. People buy from people and become inspired by people. Love that mention. Add a big-league human, interactive element to your business, and it grows by leaps and bounds. Thanks Krista!

    • kristakotrla says:

      Couldn’t agree more, Ryan! The best business success still comes from win-win relationships. Companies would benefit greatly from making the effort to teach and empower more of their people exactly how to do this digitally and make a longer term impact. Those that start NOW will reap seriously long term rewards.

  2. I agree with this we make long term impact on business.

  3. Excited to get to know you Krista… Jason has told me all about you. And mostly, I’m excited because you put noses on your smiley faces like me. (-:

    • kristakotrla says:

      The feeling is mutual, Joy! You’re already the coolest in my book simply because of your epic Instagram posts. Your throwback photos and captions are hands down the BEST. There are no words to describe my reaction to the clown costume pic. I couldn’t breathe. Needless to say, I’m thrilled to now be connected and do what I can to support you and the Love and Respect [now] team.

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