“Marketers should ignore customers.” Well, that pokes a hornet’s nest.

Posted on Dec 8, 2014

A number of readers were upset when I challenged the dogma that “customers are your best prospects.” That cliché is routinely accepted as reasonable, but is in fact lazy and limited thinking, particularly for marketers. If you’re a marketer, prospects should be your focus. Customers, a distant second. Ignore might be too strong a word, […]

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The texty turnoff. Can TL;DR kill your brand story?

Posted on Dec 2, 2014

First, count the number of words “above the fold” on your website home page. Are there… • 1 to 40 • 41 to 75 • 76 to 100 • 101+ • I got a headache trying to count them all. The answer to “can there be too much text?” is of course yes – but […]

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Customer insight is silver. Prospect insight is gold.

Posted on Nov 21, 2014

Do the math. Your prospects outnumber your customers by a ratio that should inspire your fondest dreams of exponential growth. Your “ten-bagger,” your “BHAG.” 1000-1? 10,000-1? Any way you slice it, every marketer has a prospect audience out there with enormous potential. If. (Big if.) If, for example, marketers get over the obsession with customer […]

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How to avoid UX wrecks: don’t make them think.

Posted on Nov 9, 2014

There’s a 2014 revised edition of my favorite book about user experience (UX). Time has seen an avalanche of changes in the digital world (Duh!) since Don’t Make Me Think appeared in 2000, but the commonsense wisdom embodied in the title is unchangingly true. Most web surfers have only a teaspoon of patience these days […]

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Viking River Cruises are setting fire to money.

Posted on Nov 6, 2014

A mind-boggling waste of money: Viking River Cruises sent me about 100 catalogs this year. Sometimes two a day. I have never opened even one of them. Can you imagine the content marketing ROI improvement they would get from knowing which readers spent time actually reading? Or knowing which pages interested readers spent time on. […]

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“What are you wearing, Jake from State Farm?”

Posted on Oct 23, 2014

In crafting your brand message, you have to be an engaging storyteller. B2B or B2C, product or service, you story is what will turn suspects into prospects into leads into customers into brand evangelists. Be visible, be engaging, be relevant. But in the struggle to tell your story well, you must walk a tightrope: entertain […]

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Tinker, tailor.

Posted on Sep 30, 2014

If you’re like 90% of us, you haven’t tinkered with your home page or other landing pages this week. Or this month. Maybe this year. But you must tinker. An edit to re-word a call to action (CTA) might take five minutes effort. Check your bounce rate and you’d learn within a day whether to […]

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Three (very different) books we’re recommending today.

Posted on Sep 23, 2014

Books we recommend to thoughtful readers. 1. Next-Level Content Marketing by Ted Box. New and essential for CMOs who crave better results and shorter sales cycles. 2. Orfeo by Richard Powers. Long-listed for the National Book Award, this brilliant page turner explores the intersection of contemporary composition and genetic engineering, with an added dash of […]

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Four smart steps to shorten your B2B sales cycle and identify real leads in real time.

Posted on Sep 15, 2014

Every considered purchase means a prospect needs time to consider. (Duh!) But what can you do to shorten that sales cycle? Four practical steps: #1. Don’t make them read. The technology exists to put your content into kinetic motion to engage “readers” who won’t read. #2. Don’t just sit there. Auto-respond to warmer prospects who […]

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