When you go fishing, people like to talk about the lures/bait, the casting and the location. Little time is spent on how to land a fish. I think of all the fish I’ve lost because I didn’t know how to properly set the hook or keep the fish in play all the way to the boat.B2B Nurture leads

Landing leads is the same way. There are plenty of techniques and advice in the industry on how to entice the next big client, yet little on how to nurture a lead once it is first cultivated.

A recent survey found that 8% of business-to-business marketers feel they do an excellent job at “nurturing.” According to a report by Demand Gen and PathFactory, most find that very low results come from very low efforts. Only half the people who had lead-generating campaigns also had nurture campaigns to follow up.

Most are finding that webinars and content development (gated and ungated*) including educational newsletters and reliable personalized direct mail work best to continue to build the relationship.

Enticing a lead is relatively easy compared with landing the lead in the boat. It’s always good to spend as much time on nurturing as you do on developing the next shiny lure.


*Gated means that you must fill out a form to get the content you want from an organization. By gating the content, the results are lower, but the leads tend to be warmer. 


I’m not sure where I first heard the phrase “sea of sameness,” but it is now one of my favorite sayings. I love the alliteration, of course. Yet the underlying meaning is so powerful. IMG_20190903_153706_325

With the advent of digital marketing, everything has become over saturated.  Clutter has reached an all-time high. There are too many commercials on non-streaming TV. There are now four full-service gas stations within a block of each other. Our email is chock-full with offers. The marketing sea level is rising rapidly.

So what do most marketers do? They copy their competition. That’s because it is familiar, and it is safe. The frequency of looking at competitor work makes it even more attractive. So copying is at an all-time high.

You can copy an idea. What you cannot copy is brand consistency, strategy, multiplatform integration and content extensions.

How do you get out of the sea of sameness? You go deeper with your thinking/strategy and push outside your shell.

Does it seem like it is just getting harder and harder to see traction on your website? Get in line. The communications world is more cluttered no matter the medium.

Each website is really just another channel to watch. Although each is a micro channel of information, it is still a channel of content nonetheless. Finding audience and delivering a cogent message is becoming more and more specialized. In spite of how easy Google makes it sound, getting your digital ads seen requires more and more money and expertise.

websites in world

We did our first website during the late ’90s. There were only about 3 million websites. Today, there are more than 1.7 billion.

And you thought the TV satellite universe of 200+ channels was daunting.

Marketing today is more complicated. Strategy and measurement will lead the way. That’s why we adopted the branding line of “Move the needle.”  Because in a sea of sameness, the best way to stand out is with results.

“Hey, how come that guy didn’t have to wash his hands?” That is what my son said — circa 5-6 years old — to a very large, tough-looking gentlemen as he left the public bathroom. Believe me, we left the restroom cautiously. The message is that not everyone washes hands after going to the bathroom.


Now there are new hand-washing signs in the bathroom, and those signs started me thinking about how important it is to understand the environment where we place marketing and the customer journey people travel.

Restaurants are required to post a reminder to their employees to wash their hands prior to returning to work. It’s a great reminder, and I always appreciate the idea. So one is posted by the sink. What? This is a reminder. You have to be at the sink to be reminded, and I’m pretty sure if you are at the sink, you are going to wash your hands. The other sign (the smart marketer) is at the door. Perfect place on the journey to catch someone before they go back to work.

You must think of the journey your customer, donor, stakeholder, prospect or employee is taking before you start marketing. Otherwise, you end up with messaging that only speaks to the choir — or hand-washer in this case.


If you’ve regularly read my blog, you know that one of my favorite sources of new information and research is NN/g (Nielsen Norman Group). NN/g is hyper-focused on user experience, which runs counter to almost every way an organization looks at its website. Chocolate Fudge Cake

NN/g research using eye-tracking and gaze plot analysis reveals that people are lazy: They do not read every word of a website (or any other digital communication such as email). People want to find what they want quickly and easily. As NN/g says, “People are naturally efficient and attempt to put in the least possible work for achieving their goals.”

Essential Information

Website layouts must visually organize the information so users can identify “essential” information. The layer-cake scanning pattern is created by people stopping mostly on headlines and subheads. So heat maps show stopping at a headline (the frosting), only occasional stopping on body copy (the cake), stopping on the subhead (frosting) and little stopping at attached body copy (cake). The layer-cake method is how people scan a page.

How to Do Layer-Cake Design

The problem arises when type sizes, colors or fonts do not make a clear delineated pattern of headline and subhead mapping.  Here are a few ideas on accomplishing this for mobile and desktop websites:

  • Mark subheads so they clearly stand out
  • Use a “consistent, predictable” format
  • Clearly show which body copy goes with a headline
  • Prioritize content ordering on website
  • Chunk content blocks

The layer-cake approach is much more efficient than the F-pattern. UX is what web design is all about.

Fewer apps are being developed today. The high-water mark was 2016. In 2008, only 500 or so apps were developed.


Today there are 2.5 million on Google Play (Android), 2 million in the Apple Store, 700,000 in the Windows Store and 500,000 in the Amazon Appstore. That is a lot of apps. So what is the No. 1 app? It’s not a game. It’s Facebook, followed by WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, WeChat and Instagram.

Although there is a lot of focus on developing apps, the real focus should be on how to disseminate the app. Businesses and organizations are using apps for all kinds of specialty uses, such as board member information, trade-show material distribution and special events (such as fundraising or bidding apps for charity auctions).

Take the trade-show distribution app. No longer do you need to cart around boxes of brochures and sales sheets.  Just have participants download the app, and they have all the specs. The best part is you can easily update all the spec sheets over time by just updating the app.

Again, the problem is not creating the app. That has been simplified over time. The hard part is getting people to download and use the app. That takes sales ability and planning. The technology is the easy part.

I subscribe to a lot of e-newsletters on topics from healthcare to financial marketing. One I make sure I read every day is called “Innovation of the Day.” It’s just one of those that makes you believe the future will be brighter than today.


One post has been haunting me for its simplicity and revolutionary thinking — and it hit home this week.  Amazon and UPS, which deliver to my house sometimes daily, told me my address was wrong on one of my orders. On the day the email was delivered, I got a package from Amazon. As you know, Amazon is one big robot, and besides the expert drivers, UPS is just one big computer. So try to get the robot and computer on the phone.

Zalando in Denmark has developed a novel idea of using private homes as delivery points. The private homes — made up of seniors, homebound and unemployed individuals, who are home most of the day — serve as a pickup and drop-off service in neighborhoods. The delivery hubs are more personal and have better information than the robot and computer. And they’re safer than leaving a bunch of packages at your front door all day.

As “Innovation of the Day” says, “Unpacking this innovation is like trend bingo: The GIG economy! Peer-to-peer! Eco-logistics!”

Brands that can tap into the growing at-home market will win on the front lines. I’m not sure I want Amazon to put things in my car trunk. They have trouble just figuring out where I live sometimes.