The Spot EP5: Modern Design Process, INBOUND Keynotes, Email Goodness


Ready, Spot, Go

In this episode of The Spot, we Doug, George, and Max, talk about INBOUND 2020 and the new speakers released. They also dive into a modern design process conversation and of course the conversation goes up, down, left, and right, from there.


Are you preparing your INBOUND 2020 agenda? 

Check out the Inbound Speaks interview series.

Make sure you join George & Doug for the Battle Royal (INBOUND vs OUTBOUND)

INBOUND 2020 Promo

That Hit The Spot

In this section, we dive into a conversation around "The modern web design process: putting content first". Of course, the guys have a ton to share and George has ample opportunity to use his new soundboard and sound effects toys.

Quote from the article:

"Content shouldn’t be an afterthought or a jumble of slick sales speak."

Check out the article.

Make sure you let us know your thoughts on this subject!

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In The Spotlight

In this section, we answer questions like:

  • Nurturing Your Leads
  • What are some creative ways?
  • What are some failures you’ve seen along the way?
  • What have you seen as major hurdles for most businesses?

Until We Spot Again

Make sure you connect with The Spot team. Let us know your thoughts on the shows so far.

  • Juli:@realjulid
  • Doug: @dougdavidoff
  • Max: @maxjacobcohen
  • George: @georgeBThomas

Make sure to use the hashtag #sprockettalk or #thespotpodcast.


About the Expert

The Spot Hosts

Juli Durante is an always-curious marketer interested in the big picture of marketing and sales to help companies drive big revenue. A HubSpot user since 2011, Juli’s deep understanding of inbound marketing campaigns furthers Impulse Creative’s mission of helping businesses grow better.

Doug is the founder and CEO of Imagine Business Development. He’s directly advised more than a dozen companies who have successfully sold for a combined value of more than $1 billion.

For more than 20 years, Doug has been advising small and mid-market companies that are committed to serious growth who want to hear the truth about achieving it. Doug’s worked, firsthand, with more than 1,500 companies (and seen their financial statements), so he knows the difference between what works, and what sounds good and doesn’t work.

Max Cohen started at HubSpot in 2015 as an Implementation Specialist on the Customer Onboarding team after four years on Apple's Business Team.  He joined HubSpot's Learning and Development team as a Product Trainer in 2018 and is currently a Facilitator for HubSpot Foundations, which is HubSpot's new hire onboarding program.  When he's not coaching new HubSpotters on the HubSpot product and the Inbound Methodology, he coaches New England Infamous, a competitive paintball team.  You can learn more about Max and find ways to connect with him by going to

George B. Thomas is an Inbound Marketing Marketer, Video Jedi and HubSpot Certified Trainer with more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience. He leads the Impulse Creative crew in HubSpot certifications with 19 including Inbound, Email, Contextual, and Content Marketing.

George utilizes his love of teaching and learning to help companies find their way to growth via workshops, speaking engagements, business audits, and of course, Sprocket Talk.


Full Transcript

George Thomas 0:05
Are you a HubSpot user looking to stay up to date with HubSpot, inbound and all the information that will make your job easier and help you and your company grow better? Each week the spot brings you the HubSpot, education ideas and tools that you need to maximize your success. Make Work just a little bit easier and of course, brighten your day along the way. Listen in as Julie tuck, Max and George share their authentic entertaining and valuable conversations with the people who really matter. That's right You ladies and gentlemen, let's give it up for your HubSpot journey heroes. Welcome to this week's episode of the spot ready spot go That's right we're back with another episode Episode Five we've only got two more to go before we can actually say that we've passed the official podcast dying phase they say if you make it past seven, you can go for forever. So we're in Episode Five and today we're gonna talk about some interesting things we've got to design development don't don't freak out because it's actually design ish. Content ish. So content marketing article, we've also got in the spotlight section where we're going to talk about hopefully if we get there nurturing some leads and some stuff around that. But before we get into the good stuff, let's talk about Wayne Well, it might be good stuff, but I really want to get max your thought. And Doug, for sure. This actually this little piece of this nugget right here was really for you my friend. Inbound 2020 they announced a couple of new speakers, and it's john legend, and Chrissy tieghan so they have some business that they want to. They want to communicate with us, Doug. Max, I'm super curious. Your thoughts on these two new speakers for inbound 2020 the digital experience?

Max Cohen 1:53
Yeah, I mean, well, I'm a huge fan of john Legend's music, so I'm super pumped that he's gonna be there. Chrissy Teigen, she's done a lot of interesting things. So I'm sure she's got a lot of great insight to share with a lot of folks just because I I've seen her on everything from like, cooking shows to news segments to social media influencing. There's a lot of things out there that I think she's she's done and done pretty well. But yeah, I mean, I think it'll it'll be interesting. I mean, I wasn't I don't really know like where she kind of came from, right. Like as she got famous, but you know, for some reason I ended up seeing her like all over the place and I feel like I'm Miss educated or misinformed in terms of her history and kind of

George Thomas 2:42
how she sprouted up but man max when you went there when you went there I was a little bit like access know what's going on? Oh, my goodness.

Boy, what's

the deal? So Doug, what's your thoughts on john legend and Chrissy Teagan on inbound? 2020

Doug Davidoff 2:58
Well, I love them both. And I mean, I think I think they're, they're fascinating. Broad, they're there, they're socially involved, they're there they've got a tremendous amount of business acumen there. We talk about building community there's there's no question they do a lot of those right things I'd love to see Chance the Rapper talk about how he got I mean, they're they kind of all really well you know, it's funny and if you really look at it, they've all kind of taken the the Grateful Dead playbook. And that's, that really is the playbook today is you know, kind of how the Grateful Dead did what they did. So, so I find it fascinating that they're gonna, you know, I find them fascinating people. I am curious as to what their presentation is going to be. You know, so I got I mean, for the record, I've never been, I you know, you know, the big names bring people out to get that I've never, you know, I guess Alec Baldwin was was there a couple years ago and I know some people on my team, you got to see it, got to see him got to see him and I'm like, Okay, well, I don't you know, so I think it's cool. Um, I thought I thought it was cool to critique and tweet We did out about a band. That was that was a that was fun. Um, and yeah, I'm sure I'll I'll watch at least a little bit of it. I think they'll be. I think it'll be funny. You know, I'd like them. You know, you know who did a great job several years ago where I'd like them to kind of replicate that is Aziz Ansari talked about the research that he did. So I mean, he was hilarious. He was himself. He did. You know, he did that whole joking thing. But he also, you know, really talked about, you know, the book that he wrote about, you know, as he was getting really kind of studying how young people respond to things, etc. So it was very entertaining. And you also got some really good nuggets, so I'm hoping that that they go that way.

George Thomas 4:37
Yeah, I'm definitely what do you think? No, no, I'm excited. I'm excited. I actually like the big names but before I get into why I'm excited, I don't believe that Doug just dropped a chance the rapper. So that gets three snaps right there on the show. Because Doug, you just shocked the crap out of me. I'm gonna throw that out there. But But here's the thing. I'm excited because I like this. The big name folks, I think that it's interesting to always let our brain go in a different direction. Like I understand business business business. But there are some things that you can learn and bring into business, if you'll just let your mind kind of go that direction. Like for instance, you know, one of the things when producing the show, or doing webinars at sprocket talk or impulse creative if we just stayed with the same old same old if we didn't look out into different venues, we would stay the same. So for instance, right, we've had the, the Oh, and the snaps, that's, that's going out and looking at the gaming community, and what gamers are doing and how can we take that and bring it into business? Right. And so when you think of like john legend, first of all, Max, I love his music too. Just don't tell the internet's that because they might explode but if you I love his music, but if you listen to what they're saying, and you look in between the cracks, for those nuggets of things that might be bright for your business or might be right for business in general. I think that it'll be fun. I think it's gonna be exciting and inbound 2020 to be honest with you. It may never be the same like, Doug, we should let people know. We should let people know that there's gonna be this special Battle Royale happening in inbound 2020 if you're listening to this, if you're listening to this, you'll definitely want to tune into the game. Oh yeah, let's listen. Battle Royale. Like, here's the deal. Here's the deal. Doug Davidoff and a guy you might know George V. Thomas GBT are gonna battle inbound versus outbound live at inbound 2020 so you might want to stay tuned and definitely check that out. Now with that said, let's go ahead and get into our first section here. And of course, you know, we call that huh, that hit the spot. So this week I brought an article to the team. And this article kind of intrigued me there's a couple of things that I definitely want to talk about. But it is really about design. It's about development, but at the core it's really about content and and the title of the article is the modern web design process putting content first and as I go through this, there's some there's some snippets and little clips that I want to pull out that I highlighted the actual article right I don't know if you guys do this, but I have this extension it's literally you know, it's like a highlighter extension and you can go through and you can highlight blog articles I don't know Am I the only one that does this hashtag sprocket talk on the Twitter's if you highlight blog articles, too. I got it. I gotta know. And I think the extension called like simple highlighter or something like it's, it's stupid, you might have your own highlighter extension. But here's the thing. here's, here's one of the things I pulled out here. Content shouldn't be an afterthought. Thought or a jumble of slick sales speak. And when I read that part I was like, oh God, amen. Just please, please everything that's holy baby Jesus throw, throw all the demigods down whatever you believe, like, please, it's not about sales it's not about like this jumbled mess. I'm really on this kick of like getting rid of complexity and leaning into the simplification of the communication whether it's textual, or video or audio like you got to simplify the complex so so again, content shouldn't be an afterthought or a jumble of slick sales speak down a little bit further. I love this. It's a content first approach that prioritizes SEO leads to better search rankings and and because we already know SEO search rankings, but this is the part of a and better user experience. And and we're at the point where that's what this is all about, like your content, your website, your design, your development wrapped around the content, being First is all about creating an experience if you're not creating experience, I can't wait till Doug talks By the way, cuz he's probably gonna like go all sorts of crazy on. But if you're not building an experience with your website, then you should just pack it up. And and when I got to this point too, I started to lean a little bit into like growth driven design and Luke Summerfield and like, you know, iterating over time, but then we get down here, we get down into this section, and it says, make sure again, remember I said simplification a couple minutes ago, make sure your content remains useful and clear. Like if you just start out on any page and go, how can I make this useful in clear, it's going to be like 20 bazillion times better than anything that you would write if you started with, how can I get a sale at the end of this article, or at the end of this page, right, useful and clear. One one last little piece I'll add here I have more by the way, but I want to hear you guys starting with must have content and us sitemap will help your team see how the different types of content fit together and how users will interact and navigate the site. So many times, I think I see websites where people are like, Well, we've got to have an About Us page, we've got to have product pages, we've got to have service pages, we've got to have this page that page, but they don't sit down and they don't like map out how those actually flow together. Other than like a main nav site navigation, there's nothing that in the About Us page is leaning or leads to or links to this other piece of content that they want people to know, right? That there's no just like, General easy flow in a lot of websites that we look at. But if you use what they're talking about, which is a content map, along with a site map, then this B get this this gets very interesting content creators and designers are empowered to produce stronger work when they have a common goal. Your goal as a designer is not to make pretty jump Yes, we want it to look good. But it should look good based on the content because you, the content creator, and the designer should have a common goal. And understand how all the pieces work together. I'll be quiet, Max. Doug, what are your thoughts?

Max Cohen 11:14
Are you saying that they should be aligned?

George Thomas 11:17
I'm definitely saying they should be aligning so many times. Like, I think designers and developers and content creators, like there's this friction that we just got to get past and figure out how can we do this together?

Max Cohen 11:30
I think the biggest thing for me with this article and I read this thing from from top to bottom is like, I think it's easy as inbound marketers to get kind of stuck in the school of thought that when we say content, just like the word content in general, we're really meaning blogs, videos, podcast, educational knowledge transfer vehicles, right. That's like what we're thinking when we when we say content, right? But for me what this article kind of did is it it It pulled me out of that, that whole little bit and kind of brought me back down to earth and grounded me a little to kind of say like, hey, the rest of the stuff on your site is important, right? That experience that you create in order to deliver the content needs to be good too, as well. Otherwise, it can serve as a distraction, or some sort of barrier that gets in the way of someone consuming content through your site versus doing it off a YouTube medium or like some other platform that you deliver content through. So I just thought it was like a really, really good reminder to say like, Hey, if you're going to, you know, write the book that is content, you have to think thoughtfully about how you frame up, you know, the pages, the cover the spine, that you know, everything that like, puts that content together in an easy to consume and logical way. Otherwise, you know, it's just going to serve as a barrier of people actually going and just experiencing it and learning from it, because they're too busy figuring out how to navigate it, or they aren't sure where to click or they don't have any clue. calls to action. Right? So I think it was it was just a again, a good reminder to say like content is not just blog video audio images, right? Yeah, it's your sales copy his content. So you have to think critically about that. Right. So yeah, I really enjoyed it.

George Thomas 13:19
Yeah, duck, you're next but let me set you up. What? Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, let me set you up for success. Doug, your next your next. So here we go. We got such a.

Doug Davidoff 13:32
I'm hoping I'm not gonna let you down here.

Unknown Speaker 13:35
All right,

Doug Davidoff 13:36
I think we would all be better off. I think we would all be better off if we stopped talking about content and content marketing, and we started talking about content experience. I think it's the content experience that matters. And I think if that was the term, it really is, how does the content get consumed? That really makes all facets of it. But But my question, like I don't even disagree with anything that's been said. I don't disagree with with most of what I was most very Read the question that I'm stuck on is how does like, for all the conversation we just had about content? How does that connect to the designer? Like I didn't get from this? What does that mean? For design? But what does that mean? Yeah, the content map. What does that mean? Like it?

George Thomas 14:16
Yeah, yeah. So for me here, so historically, I've worked in design. I've also worked in development, and now I get to be a marketer. So this is interesting for me. And maybe that's why Doug with this is like really you I had to wrap my mind around all the different places or parts that I've played. And there have definitely been design projects, where you would be handed Hey, we need to build this website, build a website, let's make it pretty. Let's make it look professional. And then they jam content in around the thing that you designed. And so now there's like this disparate images that don't make sense. There's iconography that does not help tell the story at all. And there's also been projects where it's a matter of like, here's all the content, let's build a site around this, which then you can actually lean into what's being said. And the visuals help tell the story from from the entire outer box framework of like, should it be full width? Should it be centered content? Like, should it be cartoonish? Should it be iconography, should it be photos? And so what I'm saying and what I think this shows is a couple of things. One, the way that design can lean in and work with content to tell a fluid story, as well as when you have that visual and that story happening, how it can happen across pages, versus feeling like you've just got one special page that amazingly design Dev and content got together. And but the rest of the website feels all like separated. It's just more of a unified, amazing user experience storytelling with content design and Dev. Working in harmony. That's where this article led me as far as a mindset and where I wish a lot of companies could get you because Doug, even like, think about from an agency standpoint, we've got a designer in house maybe, or we're paying somebody on Fiverr No, we're not doing that God, if you're No, you're not doing that. But right, we've got this designer over here. We've got this content company, it could be something like zeros or somebody, whoever or you know, you're you've got them in house maybe. And then you've got this developer or this developer. So there's already three disparate teams that are working on this one goal. But are we ever sitting them down and saying, here's the superhero, the superheroes, the content, so that every decision we make be based off the content that they're we're displaying across all these pages?

Doug Davidoff 16:49
So I kind of two elements that I heard here first one I want to deal with what what I heard you say, George, I made me think of two things. One is, you know, Steve Jobs definition Great design is when everything that can be taken out has been taken out when it's down to its essence. And then I also remember, you know, an old story. A woman is charged with giving a major presentation to a business conference and like, this is a career maker conversation and she goes to her designer to to get the best dress for the occasion. And the question is, describe the best dress, what is the best dress? And the answer is, we'll say sometimes the answer is the one that no one notices. Because if you notice the dress, you didn't notice what she said. Right? And so, you know, great design is when whatever the message is, whatever the experience is what comes away from that, right. So yes, if that's what it's saying, then I agree with that.

George Thomas 17:52
Yes, yeah. And I totally agree with you, Doug. Totally agree with you. I've always said that design should be the salt and pepper to the meal.

Doug Davidoff 18:01
Yeah, okay. Yeah, yeah. Because I you know, salt salt and pepper is a is a amplifier. Right so so if you if you use salt and pepper correctly and it actually really amplifies the, you know, the certain tastes like the way you mix right that I want to hit on alignment though because we all I'm on I'm on an alignment kick sorry max I because everyone talks alignment, alignment alignment, and I'm increasingly convinced that no one knows what that means. Or, you know, they know what they know what it means, but it's just it's just not operative. right because I don't believe that those i don't i don't believe that in most cases. The the content person, the design person, like all I don't believe that they're acting out of alignment. I don't believe that, you know, they're all striving to do the best things that they can do. And I think I finally discovered why this alignment thing drives everybody so freakin crazy. And that is alignment is a byproduct. It's not the objective. alignment is what happens When it's done, right, right, it's not Hey, everybody, let's get a lot, right. And so, you know, to the web developer, you know, have have or to the designer has whoever you're designing for clearly stated. You know, what is the message? What is the experience supposed to be? And and look, if you're not communicating that then don't blame the designer for doing something designing, they're probably being sets on like, hey, this has to get noticed. And and whenever someone's working on something, we you know, we have a tendency to push it because you notice it right. And so, you know, it's hard to, you know, without those areas of clarity, so, you know, and here's the other thing I'll say too, it's, I think, and I don't know that people listen to this are gonna like it but you know, you had all the whole warm up music for me and everything I have to deliver. You know, if you have a crappy bottle of wine, you know, they deal with a crappy bottle of wine. You know why you get headaches from crappy bottles of wine? If you ever noticed we had a great bottle of wine, you very rarely get a headache from it, right? And the reason is in crappy bottles of wine, they throw sugar in it, their sugar, and they throw more sugar in it, because it takes the sourness out, it makes it you know, it makes it more universally acceptable, if you will, yeah, right. Yeah. And, and so that's what like, so if you've got a crappy message, then then don't blame your designer that, you know, of course, you're gonna have a lot of animation and things are going to be moving all over the place, because you got nothing else to say. Right. So So, you know, I think a lot of this is about, you know, are we putting the time and effort and energy upfront to to clearly identify and to provide, you know, to provide the type of uptake and clarity so that alignment can occur?

Unknown Speaker 20:51

Max Cohen 20:52
I think I think a lot of people define alignment like differently, right. So like when I say alignment, I'm not thinking Kumbaya everybody. Be nice to to each other, to me that's synonymous with real actual teamwork and communication, right and having a shared common goal, not just necessarily like getting along with each other too. But, you know, alignment is like one of those words in our realm that we operate in, that I think can mean a million different things to a million different people.

Doug Davidoff 21:19
Right? But But the problem with that Max is when we're using a word that needs a million different things to a million different people doesn't mean anything. And yeah, and I'm not saying I'm not at all talking about the soft Kumbaya, because I'll tell you a critical element of an organization that has alignment, there's a lot of conflict. Well, hold on a second conflict in alignment, those words do not align. Right. You know, it's, it's the, it's the team that that won 80% of their games that had a ping pong table and a pool table. And, you know, a couple fights in the corner, like, Well, you know, they're an elected group of people that take it seriously and have a lot of fun, versus the team that lost 80% of the games that has a pinball You know, that has a pool table and a table tennis machine. And I've got a couple fights, which is, well, you know, they just don't take the game seriously. And they're dysfunctional. Right? You know, and we say one team has great chemistry, the other team has bad chemistry, my experience in sports, I learned the key to good chemistry is are you winning? And so my it's the same thing again, when you look at what you just defined as alignment. That's a byproduct. Yeah, it's not let's get aligned. It's, you know, you need clarity for there to be a line, right? There needs to be openness, there needs to be honesty there. You know, there needs to be friction in that process. There should because I'll tell you, what, if there's not friction between the content creator and the designer, then the user is going to have the friction.

Max Cohen 22:42
Yeah, and it also means they're not communicating in a way where they actually care about a good end product to

Doug Davidoff 22:47
see I don't agree with that. I don't agree with that at all, actually, that that that's putting

Max Cohen 22:50
where's the conflict coming from? Well, there's conflict getting created, you know, I mean, cuz to me, that comes from good communication.

Doug Davidoff 22:57
No, no, there has to be good communication, but like You know what? No, but what you did was you you added and I just you, I hear this all the time in places you added because they don't care I forget exactly what what the modifier that you added an intent to the to the bad communication. And and let me tell you a 90. I mean, I used to get mad at my team. They don't have a sense of urgency. They don't listen. They don't care. And you know what I realized? I was not clear. I was you know this and then this and then this and they're like, Hey, you know what, I had one person that said to me, they said, Doug, you're like a train station in Paris. You're getting on and off every single train and I'll tell you what, I'm over here in the coffee shop. I'm having a nice relaxing cup of coffee. When you decide which train you want to be on. I'm ready to join. Right I'm all in but but until you've decided on your Trek, so are we communicating? What is the clear message? Who is the hero? What is the one like whenever we work with people creating content, we say, Be very clear before you start. What's the one thing you want them to remember? What's the one thing You want them to do? Right? Are we clarifying that right? When you create clarity? when when when the end point is clear. And And oh, by the way, what are the other things that we're talking about where we're getting in the way of process, like the number of times where I've seen people say that they're given a charge, they start talking about how they want to do it. And then someone comes back and says, No, no, no, that's not the way to do it. Well, what you've just done is you've told me not to be engaged not to own my path, right? And all of a sudden, you know, communication dies. And it's, and by the way, the senior person isn't doing that to sabotage they're not, they're not striving to micromanager. They probably don't even think they're a micromanager. They probably think they're helping out. Right and and, you know, the toughest thing is being really, really clear on what the end point is. Because you know what, until you get to the end point, you might be wrong. And so when you make that and you're like, how many times does someone new they make the modifier of you know, because because we realize all the sudden awareness If I tell everyone to go here, and they all Marshal their forces, and they go here, and it turns out, I'm wrong. Oh my god, what are our voice starts starts popping in. And so I'm just saying that 90 I'm not saying there aren't people that don't care. I'm not saying there aren't people who don't sabotage. I am saying that is actually very, very rare. You know, 99.8% of people wake up every day, they want to do the best that they can. They want to help the people that they care about. They want to care about the place that they work, right. And, and the question is, you know, I mean, you you happen to work at a place that does a phenomenal job, you know, to let that unfurl and and sometimes they deal with the chaos associated with it. You know, but HubSpot does a great job of here's where we're trying to get and and they let people own their mistakes and so forth. So I'm again, I'm just saying that, like, I don't think HubSpot if you look at HubSpot, I mean, I can tell you with my experience with them, if you get HubSpot in a micro level, zero whirlwind mix with a tornado in a hurricane There's no alignment, everyone's You know, this person is talking. The alignment comes as it works through there's, you know, so we have this idea of alignment, you know, we show the, the the road team all all orchestrated in an eye, you know, in an act in an absolute time pattern, which again, all I'm saying is that's the byproduct of creating clarity of creating accountability, and of letting people do their thing. And that's hard for me. But that that's all. That's all I'm saying. I just think when we say you need to be aligned, I think I think a lot of people listen to that to go. Yes. And then they don't know what to do with it.

George Thomas 26:34
Who's there? Who's there? Who is there, the rewind point, that's who's there, man, that whole section right there. You just need to rewind that re listen to it because Doug was like preaching. He was preach like, he stepped up on the pulpit. He set the book down. He said, everybody in my church, listen, I got something to say that was good stuff right there, brother. That was good stuff. Max. I'm going to Give you like 10 seconds to give some parting words if you have any not for the show, but just for that section, because Doug was like laying it down. I actually for a while there, I thought like, man, it was like a karate match happening. I was like ducking and bobbing and weaving all sorts of crazy stuff.

Max Cohen 27:17
Well, I mean, oh, it's just funny. Whenever we have these conversations around alignment, you know, Doug says this piece and I'm agreeing with every single thing that he says, right. So I think we we agree more, I think we have a tough time just communicating exactly like or at least I do, have a tough time communicating like exactly what that is. Right? Because everything you said yes. Like when you're talking about the, the common if it was like the common goal or the common message, like what's the one message, right that everyone's working towards? To me, that's what like, the act of aligning is, is getting everyone around that one message, right. But yeah, I mean, every team is gonna get there differently. You know, and you can force people to work within certain And parameters to get there. Right, right. The end goals what's important? Right, right.

George Thomas 28:05
Speaking of aligning, let's get aligned on this and head into the next section called in the spotlight where I actually have a couple questions for you guys. Because here's the thing, everything that we do on the show, most times, not all the times most times ties back to major problems that people face. For instance, the article I picked, is because when we pulled all the sprocket talk audience or as we're pulling the sprocket talk audience, one of the things that they say that's hard is creating content or creating effective content. So there's an article we had a discussion, it's towards that problem. Another major problem that sprockets tears viewers listeners have is around lead nurturing, it's like automating the process and stuff like that. So I want to take a couple minutes and I want to I'm just gonna ask the question and then Max, Doug, you can grab one you can talk about bow, you know, multiple, whatever you want to do here. But when we think of lead nurturing, and people are sitting here and they're like trying to Figure out what to do how to do it. What are maybe some creative ways that either of you have seen that companies are using lead nurturing in a really smart way? Where does your mind go when asked that question.

Doug Davidoff 29:12
So I mean, the first thing that comes to mind is there not a lot of people that do it well, um, and and I'm gonna sound like a broken record here. I think what's happened with lead nurturing is that some study got done a while ago, that's that identified that leads that are nurtured effectively produce better outcomes, higher average sales, shorter sales cycles, all that stuff. And so people started doing lead nurturing, and and, you know, it's kind of like someone said, If you blog three times a week, you get more leads, and they forgot that you have to have something worth blogging three times a week about you certainly, and that's one of the reasons why we got a lot of content. So, you know, I think I think a lead nurture it's called a nurture. It's not called a sale. If you have to solve for the customer, there has to be, you know, here's the thing every time you touch somebody metaphorically speaking, every time you touch somebody in a business standpoint, it's a binary experience, you're either creating value or you're extracting value. So so when you do your next nurture I asked one question to say whether or not you should do it with the person receiving it, be willing to pay for receiving what they pay for, and and realize they are paying for it if they see it, because you're asking for their intention, which I think is probably the, the most valuable resource on the planet today. So that so so that's number one. Number two is and I don't know like this became the dominant way of we took the funnel, mash it up with the customer journey, and through a lead nurture piece in there and and the, the six to 10 nurture sequence got created were number one number like the First 25% were top of funnel. And then the next 25% 30 you know, the next group were bought it were middle of funnel, and then we went to bottom of funnel like in a single nurture sequence we're going from, I'm intrigued that I downloaded an infographic on something to, I'm ready to buy from you. Right? Like, we don't do that what we do is we, we have nurtures for different contexts So, so again, it gets down to persona, journey issues context, and then as they hit various triggers, so any nurture we do has a trigger, you know, set of, of enrollment criteria. You know, sometimes it's they've been through X number, you know, X number of plays have been run or they you know, this set of plays have been run, so that we're, you know, there's a, there's a theme to it, it moves through things. And by the way, last point for before let max be the single greatest nurture on the planet. And people are like, I don't see him Anyone talking about this game or get people to subscribe to your blog? It's the greatest structure in the world.

George Thomas 32:05
Everybody, everybody who's been doing it's been doing it too long, and now it feels old. And so nobody talks about it. But I agree with you, Doug. Everybody should be talking about it. Max. Max. I know as

Doug Davidoff 32:15
subscriptions are going down, but by the way, George, George George, on that subscriptions are going down. Right. And there's there's a whole lot of reasons for that. But I would say focus on like, focus on your blog, get your subscriptions back up, that's the best way to know are you effectively nurturing people?

Max Cohen 32:28
Well, and I mean, your content good enough where someone just says, I want to hear more of it. Right? And here's the thing, offering them something like a downloadable.

George Thomas 32:36
Yeah, and I don't care if By the way, this is gonna sound counterintuitive, if you will. But I don't care if subscriptions go down as long as the people who are subscribing are the right people. I don't need a number for number sake, I need it. I need a number because it's the community then building that are the potential leads that actually could use the product or service for the problem that I'm solving for them.

Doug Davidoff 32:57
So So I agree who is far More important than how many what and I think it was HubSpot, who had this blog several years ago. But it was somebody who talked about the fact that stop paying attention to the, to the growth of your web traffic, pay attention to the growth of your subscriber of your blog subscriber traffic. Now, I would say that if you have a significant number of people subscribing to your blog that don't fit your who, then there's probably something wrong with your blog, because that that is like that gets back to the first part of our conversation, your your, the story framework isn't clear enough to drive the alignment of the content around the blog, see how he's aligned with their Max?

Unknown Speaker 33:39
The whole season? Right?

Doug Davidoff 33:42
And so I do think like, if you you have to grow community in some fashion, right, who's paying attention to you whether they're thinking about buying from you or not? Right. And I think the blog is a it is not the end all be all and if you've got a full community strategy, you might look It's something else. But and I would fully agree that that blog subscribers is at best a correlating factor. But I think it's a highly correlating factor. And so it's a it's an easy signal to, to monitor and and if you bring in if you have any intelligence in your, in your marketing automation system, then you'll be able to track your blog subscription counts while paying attention to who matters so that the total number going up and down, doesn't I agree with you completely that you know, but what is that, you know, of the audience that you want? Is that community growing and if and if that community is not growing, then then you probably have some problems.

George Thomas 34:42
Yeah, yeah. Max, as as the HubSpot guy, as as the trainer in the room as max Jacob Cohen. What do you have to say to what Doug just said?

Max Cohen 34:56
Well, no, I agree with all of it. I think the only thing that I would add on there too, is like To me, the most creative or like the best nurturing strategy is, you know, create the content that keeps people coming back without having to see an email to do it. You know what I mean? Like, you're like, I'll ask anyone, I'll say like, Hey, what are your favorite websites and you know, in a class, right, and they'll say, oh, BuzzFeed, or, or some news site, or, you know, this blog or whatever, right? And lo and behold, they're all content rich websites that lead with content, they're not naming like a company's website that doesn't have any content or anything. They're, they're naming sites that have content, right. And, you know, the, I think the best thing you can do, because when you think of nurturing, right, you're ultimately the very basic goal there is to get eyeballs back onto your website, right? Obviously, you want to do that through educating people through telling a story, having a good message, all that kind of stuff. But, you know, like, for me, it's just like if you're if your content can be compelling enough and legitimately useful and actually helpful, hopefully You don't need email to get them back in their email? No, no, I was just gonna say for me what I'm thinking about with email. So with with email for me, it's more so pushing people along that decision making path in the buyers journey, right? So keeping an eye on what content people consume, trying to have some sort of automation set up in the background that helps you understand kind of where they are along that path in the buyers journey, and then serving up the next piece of content that makes the most sense.

Doug Davidoff 36:32
You just, you just you just turn you just turn nurturing back into a sales vehicle instead of a software customer vehicle that that's what you did. But here's my question. Why do you care if I'm paying attention to you going to your website, or my paying attention to you because you're welcome to my email box? I would make the argument that if I welcome you to my email box, that's, that's the most competitive real estate on the planet. If I earn if I earn a place, there's a couple newsletters, I read them every day. They come out every day and I read them and let me tell you and they they did announcing new one they can I subscribe to because like, hey. So I don't understand why you care. If it's if I'm paying attention to you in my email box, if I'm going to your website,

Max Cohen 37:08
oh, no, I would I would want people paying attention in the email box. Absolutely. But you got to make sure that that content is compelling enough to be able to do that, without a doubt, most distracting environment in the world. Like so secure your email inbox, you have all these devices flying at you all day. So if you're going to send email content, it has to be educational, compelling, get people to want to read it. The only reason that I say get them out of your email and onto your website is because that's a very distracting environment. And it's very easy.

Doug Davidoff 37:41
The web, the web one, I don't think the websites any less distracting but, but but again, like so so I'll hit a different point, which again, I think puts a lot of people in FOMO. Right. You said what are your favorite websites and you talked about they're all content rich and the examples you gave on ESPN. Reddit BuzzFeed Okay, here's what I'd like I'd like to know show me a b2b site that that's their game that because I know that they're that they're implementing a content strategy that it looks and feels and acts like that content rich strategy that looks and feels and act like ESPN, BuzzFeed or Reddit. But what

Max Cohen 38:21
what do you mean because like, if you look at that it's it's its content feeds right so like you could say HubSpot to b2b business we have a gigantic blog presence right and yeah

Doug Davidoff 38:31
and where to most people and and and you know where I read you know where I read HubSpot blogs were in my email because I don't go to HubSpot. You know when I want to break from something I go to ESPN hey what's going on what's new here I go to you know, I go to I go to different media sites. How to spot for me to have to go go to the blog final you know which blog have I read this? So how does font comes in I look at it is this something I want to read don't want to read? Well, but but that's the thing you're reading To me, that is not at all like,

George Thomas 39:02
but you're not reading it in your inbox. Doug, you're getting teased in your inbox by HubSpot. Because HubSpot only shows you like the first paragraph or two paragraphs, then you have to click into the page. So you're being drugged into an into an inbound experience. Now, what I will tell you as I agree with both of you, and here's why. One, I think the inbox is one of the most intimate places that you can have the ability to be in where somebody wants you to be there. Like for instance, jopa litsy. I love getting his newsletter. I'll read his newsletter from hit to get right. And I don't care if it comes in my inbox. Mitch Joel, he can send me six pixels of whatever and I'm gonna read it because I want him to be in my inbox. But I also understand why in those articles, they're getting me and HubSpot as well, getting me to come back to the site because what I can't do real well is I can't measure engagement of what you're doing in your inbox. I don't know if you read half my newsletter, three quarters of my newsletter, I don't I don't know how you know if I can get you to the site now I can see how far you scrolled, I can see what you clicked. And so for me, this comes down to. And by the way, we're completely off of a nurturing conversation here. I just want everybody know that. But this comes down to me to communication, communication. So it comes down to communication, and then measurement of the effectiveness of what and here's a hang on last point of where this all comes down to. And we send this at the beginning of the episode, as long as the content is useful and clear. And it doesn't matter if it's on a website page, if it's in an inbox, if it's frickin Morse code, so I don't whatever, if it's useful and clear if the Morse code is seeing danger and stuff is about to blow up.

Then let's use it. Let's use it and you're not taking my toys away. And by the way, you should really be watching the show. You shouldn't be listening on the podcast although we're glad you're listening on the podcast.

Doug Davidoff 41:13
I just want you know, I'm gonna get my toys program to and we're gonna toy battles here pretty soon.

George Thomas 41:21
Oh, shoot. So guys,

Doug Davidoff 41:23
I I stand corrected. I stand corrected and maybe I misheard what what was being said, but I don't go to HubSpot blog if I don't see an email that says okay here and then you're right, it does. And by the way, a good lead nurture entices me to come in so that I can so that I can dig in deeper on and actually what a pure lead nurture does is if I just read the email, I benefit from it. And there's something enticing for where and when if I want to dig in further, that there's a natural call to action, the thing that I want to warn people on Well, I love and I appreciate the value Being able to measure that, I think that you've got to, I think you've got to throw that aside. Because I do think that part of the problem is everyone is trying to drive you to your, to their website, because then they can measure you. And that's where, and so we start feeling like we're, you know, a piece of data for somebody. And that's what the experience is increasing, which is one of the reasons why I like robots, where I say, you know, the data, like, I don't want my marketers, I don't want my content creators to know everything about the content, I want them to get the important cues, because their job is to create the experience going back to content experience, but so I do stand corrected on on that component. But I'm just saying I love email.

Max Cohen 42:43
Yeah, the only the only reason I say get them onto your site for me, that for me, I truly believe that you're gonna have a much easier experience consuming the content on a page versus in an email inbox. It's easy to get out of or an email It's easy to get, like, swipe left to your next one, whatever it is, right? So for me, it's just ensuring that they're less distracted to consume that piece of content. But the other big reason why like I so fervently, like defend that that idea is that I've had way too many people that I've worked with that come to the table saying, we have this list of people and all we want to do is email the shit out of them for the next couple. Like cool I understand what a nurture those leads. But that's not going to do jack diddly squat for you to grow as a business, you need to find new people, like wow, a lot of people may read their content through the email or not go directly to the blog, all the people that have never heard of you before that are googling shit. That's how they're gonna find you. Right? And so like To me, the content has to be there and not just for the people who are already consuming it. what's called all those other people that have never heard of you before and would never Google your business name in the first place. They have a goal or their challenge you're trying to solve for Right, and that's what your content really should exist for

Doug Davidoff 44:03
previewing the debate coming up on inbound 2020 with dgd and GBT there are more ways than Google to get people who don't know about you to your site. I'm just previewing a debate here. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I think I think the key word is I think the key word is nurture. And if which which comes from the idea and everyone that shows a graphic on nurturing shows some little plant graphic where you're, you know, watering your plants if you will. And I would say if I were to take a bucket of water and too many people look at look at email nurturing as taking a bucket of water and pointed on the plant, right, your plants not going to do well there. Right? And and, and that's the whole you know, the word email blast. Um, so the term email blast and lead nurturing those two things don't go together. Mm

George Thomas 44:44
hmm. Interesting. And with that, that's a great place. So David

Doug Davidoff 44:48
said that by the customer said, we want to send email fliers to these people like great, I'm sure they're super excited to get your flyers in the oh my god I had Yeah. Someone wanted my opinion. You know, they sent me their flyer It was a trifold flyer and I literally it was a client By the way, and I said, Hey guys, I think 1992 once their sales collateral,

George Thomas 45:10
and that is a great place to end up with

Max Cohen 45:12
snail mail, please write single snail mail that I get. It goes right in my recycling, you're wasting money. Stop doing that. That's fun. You know what actually

Doug Davidoff 45:22
we might have to be a topic in the future cuz it's direct mail actually can have some some. If you do it right.

George Thomas 45:29
Again, again, a topic for inbound versus outbound. But that's a great place to end the show. Hey, let us know what you think. What is your favorite parts of the show? What do you want us to talk about in the future, make sure you leave us a rating or review something in your favorite podcast app. If you're not watching, make sure you go over to sprocket and watch these because it's just fun. The facial expressions are amazing and watching Doug's head explode or almost explode when he's trying to say something It's worth the price of entry I'm just gonna throw that out there. We do Miss Julie this week of course you can connect with her at real Julie D. Doug on the Twitter's is at David off Max's max Jake Cohen Of course George B. Thomas Make sure you use the hashtag hashtag sprocket talk or hashtag the spot podcast if you're trying to commute communicate with us and make sure you're focused on always learning always growing max CO and real quick. What should anybody listening watching this episode do between now and the next episode to help grow their business better.

Max Cohen 46:34
think critically about what the goals and challenges are of your ideal customer

George Thomas 46:39
and we'll see you in the next episode.