There Will Be Blood

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Why do so many companies struggle with Digital Marketing, the Internet and the mobile platform?

If this Blog has done anything over the years, it has grappled with the question above. At a macro level… at a micro level… and at every point in between. We’ve looked at specific platforms, dissected trends and even looked into the crystal ball to ponder what the Marketing world will be. It is incredibly frustrating to watch one individual talk to a room full of senior marketers and explain – in a couple of sentences – why most brands grapple with the Internet and Digital Marketing as much as they do.

I hate Avinash Kaushik.

Kaushik is the Analytics Evangelist at Google, Blogger over at Occam’s Razor and the best-selling business book author of Web Analytics – An Hour A Day and the recently released, Web Analytics 2.0 (he’s also a semi-regular guest on my Six Pixels of Separation Podcast). And, I hate him because he did just that… in magnificent form. Last week at the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) National Convention (of which I was the co-chair), Kaushik (who was the opening keynote speaker) gave a very passionate presentation to a select few senior marketers during the President’s Dinner, and he helped crystallize this brand struggle perfectly:

"The Web has been around forever and yet it is not in the blood of the executives who staff the top echelons of companies. Make no mistake, they are smart, they are successful and they want to do better. But the web is such a paradigm shift that if it is not in your blood it is very difficult to imagine its power and how to use it for good. How do you demand innovation & creativity & radical rethink if you can’t imagine it?"

I love Avinash Kaushik.

This isn’t about hiring young talent. This isn’t about outsourcing all of your Digital Marketing needs. This is about shifting attitudes, embracing the very real reality of what the Internet has done to business and holding everybody within the organization accountable for their marketing actions online.

"I must admit up front that I am as hard core as any evangelical born again Christian in my passion when it comes to the web. The raw innovation and empowerment that a connected digital world has unleashed is the reason I lovingly refer to it as ‘God’s gift to humanity’."

While those are the words that Avinash used to open up his speech (and words that I choose to live by as well), it is how every member of your team should be thinking too (from the senior most executives to the latest newbies).

For brands to be successful, they need the Internet to be in their blood. Period. End of story. Case closed.

…and there’s more where that came from. Avinash published his comments as a Blog post today titled, Online Marketing Still A Faith Based Initiative. Why? What’s The Fix? Read it now and pass it on to your entire team. It is an important read.


  1. It all makes sense now. Those that fight it the most seem to not realize the communication shift the Internet brought **20** years ago. Why ignore or outwardly fight an additional way for a company to communicate? I just honestly don’t understand it.

  2. Great article Mitch! This hits so close to home for me — I can’t even begin to tell you. It’s been a real struggle trying to explain to someone who has acheived a lot of success in business, that a lot of what they know and understand has changed. I guess all we can do is continue to educate! One dinosaur at a time!

  3. “Web analytic tools” are very interesting but in a local economy made mostly of very small companies (and having a very low trafic on there web site) what can we really do with them?

  4. Each person or company that does not understand the Internet creates opportunities for those that do. By definition, we’re surrounded by the average. Doesn’t focusing on those who “get it” create a large enough market?
    @marco: data helps in analyzing trends and measuring the effects of changes in content on traffic. What matters gets measured and what’s measured (usually) gets better.

  5. If you start a revolution, you can’t expect a crowd.
    If you wait for the boss to “get it” or for your company to “embrace it” you may be waiting a while. Be the Mitch or Avinash in your organization and refuse to go quietly.
    If no one listens, spend your 2,000 working hours a year somewhere else.

  6. People struggle to visualize what a new kitchen will look like, that is why they stage houses to show people what the empty house could be. Many people just can’t visualize what could be.
    I’ve run into countless execs who just don’t get it, they can’t see it and don’t understand it. Some let you go ahead and show them and become ardent believers once they experience what you were telling them.
    Some let you run ahead and do it and still don’t get it, they don’t understand but at least they are doing something.
    All I know is that the people that do get and take it to the next level are definitely benefiting the most.

  7. Whenever I first work with a client on social media solutions, the very first thing I say is, let me see your website. 9 times out of 10 the site is severely lacking and the first thing I need to do with the client is improve the website. No amount of social media strategy is going to do anything good for you if the website falls down. Some people are so anxious to do the latest cool thing they completely forget the fundamentals. Some even forget the fundamentals of basic marketing, like thinking through your brand image and message and translating that to the website.
    Don’t get me started on websites. Great post. I completely agree.

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