PROFILES: Pete Jakob of IBM

"Apply plenty of mulch," says Pete Jakob, addressing a rapt audience of business-to-business marketers. He gives a bemused grin. This is his final tip, following such advice as 'apply the right feed at the right time' and 'follow the instructions on the seed packet'. What he's talking about is lead nurturing, rather than gardening - although it's possible he's talking about both. Broadly considered a thought leader in demand generation, IBM's marketing transformation leader is using his favourite hobby to analogise his professional passion at a B2B Marketing half-day conference held last September, in a talk titled 'An organic gardener's guide to lead nurturing'.

Jakob is hesitant - or perhaps too humble - to describe himself as a thought leader, although the thinking part at least is right, he says after some consideration. Laid-back and knowledgeable, he is only too happy to share his expertise on lead nurturing and his passion for implementing change.

"Where I tend to thrive - and certainly get the biggest kick - is going into areas where change is at the core of it and we're not quite sure what we should be doing. I think we're at that point in the marketing industry right now," he says.