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Insight from 62 digital marketing professionals that drive success for some of the world's biggest brands.

Questions to ask during all phases of the agency and client relationship. 

Advice for improving relationships agencies, consultancies, and companies big and small. 

Learn how digital marketers impact the bottom line and work happiness for their teams. 

Colorful Books


I began writing this book, "When Everybody Clicks: Sustainable Digital Marketing" to better understand what makes great, sustainable client/vendor engagements that stand the test of time. I thought I would learn more about the processes, technology, deliverables and thinking that inspired successful digital marketing engagements. I was intent in investing in the answer to this question because my relationships with clients had spanned the breadth of wonderfully engaging to downright miserable. What was I doing wrong? What did my digital marketing brothers and sisters know that I didn't? What I found was that the answer lies in creating better relationships. Of course it takes exceptional subject matter expertise, best-in-class tools and clearly defined processes, but those are table stakes. What makes for the long-term relationships that build value for brands and the agencies and consultants they hire to help them grow? It is dedicated to the consultant, the agency, the Fortune 500 company, CMO and especially to the individuals newly initiated by fire into this terrifying and thrilling journey that is digital marketing. Whether you're a seasoned veteran, big brand, CMO or new practitioner this book was written for you.


This book is an aggregation of 62 interviews with digital marketing practitioners that drive success for some of the world's biggest brands. The lessons I learned are aggregated from those interviews, as well as digital marketing methodologies from a number of sources as well as inspiration from TED Talks. It is segmented into 4 parts and broken down into 18 chapters that surfaced from the interviews and inputs from amazing people teaching us all how to more interestingly and successfully explore the phenomenon, innovation and relationships that are the emerging internet.To each I am truly struck by your kindness, consideration and sharing. The goal of this book is to point out the qualities that support sustainable digital marketing. I don't profess to know them all, but have been blessed to be associated with those who do. This book is a cumulation of their knowledge and I am grateful for all I've learned in the process.


It is dedicated to the consultant, the agency, brands big and small, organizations and especially to the newly initiated by fire into this terrifying and thrilling journey that is digital marketing. This book is less personal insight and more due diligence. It isn't a tactical list for executing digital marketing. It isn't an answer to every digital marketing problem. It is a curation of the things great people in the industry are teaching us that I wish I knew sooner. It is an aggregation of the best of the thinking that is pushing digital marketing forward. It is a cumulation of painful digital marketing lessons learned at great expense and great loss. It is a syllabus for learning about the history, future, shortcomings and strengths of digital marketing. It is a love letter to those who have contributed to the learning and those who are just embarking on their digital marketing careers. It is an impassioned plea for the industry to grow into itself. It is a call for us to integrate the best of brand and traditional marketing talent with the innovation of digital marketing talent. Both sides are proud of their history and protective of their knowledge. Whether you want to improve performance between organization and vendor or you want to create a better agency or build a stronger in-house team, this book was written for you. Only when we aspire to collaborate and learn from each other can we improve the customer journey, grow our respective brands and build better relationships. Those are goals we all share. A caveat that the learnings and interviews here focus primarily on paid, owned and earned digital marketing. It's my hope as I'm spending more time on branding, CRM and loyalty that discussions will be more inclusive of those strategies as well. Certainly this isn't meant to be exhaustive, but a framework for us to share and learn from each other. Please join the conversation on the blog.


Writing a book should have a specific time limit, like how having a baby takes 9 months. It just takes that long; which is a good thing, otherwise parents everywhere would be asking for more time. More time to be smarter, wiser, more prepared, but it doesn't work that way. It takes 9 months, give or take, and then you have a baby.


The process of writing this book was a lot like having a baby but without the imposed timeline and I dragged it on as long as possible to make it better and smarter.  "Just one more interview" I'd say, "just one more perspective", I'd beg, until those who have already birthed their own books said, "just finish it for the love of Pete". I'm grateful to those voices. To those who have been through the pain and understand (unlike non-authors who judged my feet-dragging) the fear and anxiety that comes with sharing your chapters with the world (or in my case, with a small, but mighty band of digital marketers). Thank you to Anne Kennedy, Joe Pulizzi, Lisa Buyer, Ric Dragon, Jon Wuebben, Kristjan Hauksson and Marty Weintraub for sharing your experience.


Thank you, to the friends and authors who have shared their experiences and fears and assured me that my kid would be great, not perfect, but pretty damn wonderful.  


I'd also like to thank the voices who are teaching me to be a better marketer by being a better leader and just a better person. People like Simon Sinek, the wonderful women of Hathaway Brown School (Koyen Shah and Kathleen Osborne), my friends, my coworkers at Rosetta, and my healthcare colleagues at Oregon Health & Science University and PeaceHealth. 


I want to thank my SEMpdx (Search Marketing Professionals of Portland, Oregon) crew for teaching me to trust the help and wisdom of others and to think bigger, you are all very dear to me.


Thanks to SMX, SES (ClickZ), SEMPO and other great organizations for giving me the opportunity to speak and share my love of this awesome, world-changing industry. It's your examples of collaboration that inspired my pursuit to better understand opportunities for collaboration.


Thank you to Avinash Kaushik for verbalizing so perfectly how I want to live my professional and personal lives, "Test, learn and suck less every time".


Thank you to Dallas Fridley for giving me 3 of the best things in my life; our 2 children and my career.


I want to thank my family; my parents Sandra & Wally Backman and Steve & Jeannie Williams who paved the way as trail-blazers and entrepreneurs, and to my siblings and extended family all. I mostly want to thank my children; my wonderful son Marcus and incredible daughter Taylor who have supported my desire to explore my professional life and leadership by traveling cross country. I also want to thank my best friends Claudette John and Matt Peek for helping me find that balance between two important life realities, that "Ships are safest in harbor, but that's not what ships are made for" and "There's no place like home". Finally, for the support of Byron Scott who loves me (unbelievably) just as I am, including the author of this imperfect book written with inspiration and joy. Thank you for being there for me through the craziness.  You've all supported me through losses, failures and successes and when my desire to be a better leader and professional sometimes meant being a lesser partner, mother, daughter and friend. I love you all.



Big thank you and love to our friend Dana Lookadoo who demonstrated bravery and authenticity in everything she did in her living and in her passing. She embodied all of the qualities of a leader and inspirer, professionally and personally. The world lost one of its' kindest and most generous souls. Learn more in this tribute.

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