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“As a Director of Marketing, what’s the #1 thing you need to figure out about the web?”

This is a question that was recently posted at the Marketing Executives Group at LinkedIn, and the participants’ responses to that question were very revealing.

Most of the answers were of tactical nature, such as “use web analytics”, “get your site in Google”, “have a great UI and excellent SEO & SEM”, “leverage the unique capabilities of the channel” (i.e. “the-web-as-a-channel”), and so on.

But was it the right question to ask in the first place?

Framing a question correctly is 80% of the solution and sometimes even more

When we frame the question about “hot to figure out the web”, we are implying that “the web” is another thing that marketers need to “figure out” as if this “web” is a one-dimensional “thing” that lends itself to be “figured out”.

But the reality is that “the web” has changed the game in such profound manner that only these companies that embrace the disruption and the massive societal change it represents, will succeed. In fact, “the web” demands that an entire organization re-invents itself, not only its marketing.

Maybe what is needed is a finer distinction, and much, much better questions:

What is “the web”, in your opinion? Your website? A channel for communication about our company’s products or services? A channel for talking to your customers or a channel for talking with your customers? A platform for engaging with your customers in rich conversations? A platform for engaging your customers in the definition and fine-tunning of your products or services? A place to do market research or the place where a market is being defined?

Who controls the message in “the web”. You or your customers?

What is scarce in “the web” and what is abundant?

This may be obvious, but often disregarded: It is only by asking the right questions that we will get useful answers.

Consider also this: when we ask questions, how conscious are we of the possibility that we are applying confirmation bias?

From Wikipedia:

In studies of hypothesis-testing, people reject tests that are guaranteed to give a positive answer, in favor of more informative tests. However, many experiments have found that people tend to test in a one-sided way, by searching for evidence consistent with their currently held hypothesis. Rather than searching through all the relevant evidence, they frame questions in such a way that a “yes” answer supports their hypothesis and stop as soon as they find supporting information.[…] Even a small change in the wording of a question can affect how someone searches through the available information, and hence, the conclusion they come to.


“Whether you choose to dive in or not, know that there’s someone who cares, more than anything, about empowering your vision.”

“I’ve written this book fully intending to change your mind about the way we create. And to start a revolution in the context of your work.” Tessa Zeng

I first met Tessa in 2004, when she was sharing her art at DevianArt as a 14 year old amazing poet. Continue reading


New book by Kevin Kelly, on the intersection of culture and technology. A must read.

Continue reading


An excellent Survey from Alterian “offers insight into the methods and investments that marketers are currently exploring and implementing to engage with their customers”, namely a study related to the application of social media to marketing. Continue reading


Now, more than ever, we need to shake things up. From Seth Godin’s Blog. Continue reading

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMMA) Guidebook

The WOMMA has published a very insightful guidebook (60 pages, free download) on the different metrics related to word of mouth marketing campaigns and initiatives.

The guidebook can be downloaded from the WOMMA site. Continue reading


Deconstructing authority in social context of a wired world

Clay Shirky continues to provide insightful comments about the changes permeating our society in the context of the fundamental changes brought forward by social media.

Algorithmic authority is the decision to regard as authoritative an unmanaged process of extracting value from diverse, untrustworthy sources, without any human standing beside the result saying “Trust this because you trust me.” This model of authority differs from personal or institutional authority, and has, I think, three critical characteristics. Continue reading

Social media isn’t a fad. It’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.

Erik Qualman’s new book “Socialnomics” from Wiley Publishing will be in stores and available online August 26.

  • By 2010, Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers — 96 percent of them have joined a social network.
  • Continue reading

Barb Dybwad provides a very useful list of 26 locations from which content released under the Creative Commons and free licenses (such as GDFL) can be downloaded to enhance blog posts, social media sites, and the like.

Read more @ Mashable