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.