See, Think, Don’t: A response to Avinash’s Marketing Framework

Avinash Kaushik, whom I have an enormous amount of respect for as a marketer, a speaker and an educator, has posted a summary of a new framework for digital marketing strategy and measurement. It’s great. Superb. Perfect, and unequivocally right. A conjunction of all of the content marketing, RCS and inbound philosophies into an elegant model.

However, it’s just unachievable. Real companies are almost invariably too incapable, dull, culturally stagnant or simply inept to even aspire to this kind of thinking, and in lieu of this are exclusively interested in short-cuts, marketing hacks and quick wins – and of course, the career amplification of the individuals who ride the short-lived waves of success that these tactics deliver.

This is a vision of a type of thinking which will always, and only ever, be limited to the tiny minority of agile, entrepreneurial organisations who bake ‘inbound’ thinking right into the core of their business model. You can’t adapt an existing organisation to think or act like this, and those who don’t ‘get it’ simply *cannot* be educated beyond their last-click-only, channel-centric, organisationally- and departmentally-segmented thinking; no matter how much you try. Companies with a distributed call centre, marketing team, management level and product experts who aren’t already culturally intertwined and focused on a customer centric model invariably find it impossible to integrate to the level required to demonstrate a cohesive understanding of customer needs, and to act on it as part of this model.

It’s a sad thing that, with the formula for perfect, effective, commercially lucrative marketing sat *right here*, that human beings and the structures they create are so ludicrously rigid and fearful of the unknown that this will only ever be realised by the people who already get – and do it – already.

Digital Marketing, then, is as good as it’s going to get, and all that will happen in the coming decades is that the difference between good and bad will widen. The age of the entrepreneur which we’re so desperately trying to live in depends on a much higher level of thinking and behaviour than our short-sightedness generally allows for.

3 Comments

Avinash Kaushik

about 1 year ago

I appreciate the feedback Jono, and I also invite you to post a synopsis on the blog. Reality checks are important. : ) Your post reminded me of something I've heard Larry Page say many times. Roughly paraphrased it is.... If you attempt a "crazy thing," you are not going to have a lot of competition because people don't like attempting crazy things. And even if you fail at it, you would have made more progress than if you were aiming for a 1% improvement (rather than 10x with your crazy effort). The cool part is that if you succeed, you'll have the space to yourself for a while. For that reason I call the tiny minority, you refer to in your post, winners. The rest will make do with scraps because they are looking for shortcuts, quick wins etc etc. Thank you again. Avinash.

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Jono Alderson

about 1 year ago

Thanks for your comment, Avinash; and absolutely agreed. It continually astounds me that there's so little competition 'at the top', and that even a small dose of bravery/risk/crazy can utterly shake the foundations and disrupt even the staunchest outfits; I guess I need to learn to sleep well at night knowing that a small group of people will plough on into the prevailing wind, and make even a little bit of headway which might drag others forward.

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Dan Pratt

about 1 year ago

If you break into the realm of being able to do something with large organisations the secret to success is to never tell them the full story unless you're convinced they'll jump on the roller coaster with you. Quietly get on with changing their world and if they like what they see they can hold on and enjoy more success otherwise they lose your expertise to someone more worthy.

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