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.

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Avinash Kaushik

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… Read more »

Dan Pratt
Dan Pratt

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.