When Everybody Clicks: Sustainable Digital Marketing 

Copyright 2020

  • Lisa Williams

"When Everybody Clicks" - Like "Jerry Maguire" for Technology Industry


In the movie Jerry Maguire, the protagonist and sports agent writes a manifesto titled, "The Things We Think and Do Not Say" that outlines the problems in his industry of sports marketing and a solution that includes fewer clients, better service and better relationships. His problem started with the realization that focus for his industry was only about money, not about the fans or the love of the game. Our problem has some similarities including a need to focus on the relationships and people that drive digital marketing success.

Marketing & advertising agencies have an annual employee turnover rate of nearly 30%. To put this in perspective, only the hospitality industry has a higher rate at 37%.

Seven out of eight of the 130 million people in the US workforce are unhappy in their jobs.

In the past 20 years marketing innovations from the ability to personalize marketing messaging to the depth of insights available with big data have changed the marketing landscape. Yet we aren't investing in the marketers and relationships that drive this innovation.

As in Jerry Maguire's manifesto, "When Everybody Clicks: Sustainable Digital Marketing", aims to share a path to a better industry.

The digital marketing revolution requires a change of priorities, a change of thinking and a focus on investing in the relationship at least as much as we invest in technology. What we're doing isn't working. "The traditional rules we have for institutions don't work anymore," says Joi Ito, Director of MIT Media Labs. Marketing is no exception. Turnover in the industry is high, dissatisfaction with the relationship between agency and client is high and there is a great deal of untapped revenue and human potential.

In the movie, the distribution of the book prompts Jerry getting fired and he is forced to fully embrace and live his supposition that fewer clients and better service and relationships will lead to a better industry.

"When Everybody Clicks: Sustainable Digital Marketing" is an aggregation of knowledge from 62 digital marketing practitioners that drive success for some of the world's biggest brands. These interviews have been curated into 18 chapters to outline steps to improving digital marketing processes and performance that impacts not just brands, but individuals.

Rod Tidwell, Jerry's client, shares his philosophy of Kwan, "It means love, respect, community...and the dollars too. The entire package...the Kwan." It's what's missing for many in the innovative ever-changing industry of digital marketing. Digital marketing needs ambassadors of Kwan.

Of course strong expertise in Paid, Owned and Earned Media, expertise in CRM, expertise in analysis is imperative to digital marketing performance, but these are table stakes. After expertise and between good digital marketing and great is the importance of the relationships.

Relationships between leaders and their teams, between brands and their agencies, between individuals that make up the marketing ecosystem. Ecosystems which are often fragmented, siloed and constantly changing.

"Kwan, it's not just the money. It means love,

respect, community and the dollars too.

The entire package...the Kwan."

This book defines how to align our great potential with the huge brand and business need by including the quality of our digital marketing relationships as key performance indicators. We can do better than, "Show me the money!"

We have the potential to decrease turnover, improve brand and agency relationships, improve the quality of digital marketers job satisfaction.

As a 19-year digital marketing veteran it has been thrilling to watch the evolution of online marketing; from Alta Vista to Google to Facebook to Twitter, the internet has changed how we market and how we live. This evolution has created more powerful ways than we ever could have imagined for brands to reach their audiences; from the channels available to the processes needed to the stories we tell. In the wake of this innovation marketing has been truly inspired. It has also been ravaged by fragmentation, turnover, talent and leadership crisises which threaten progress for brands in a highly complex digital marketing landscape.

How can marketers build better, long-term digital relationships that create revenue and value for brands and the agencies they hire to help them grow? This book explores the benchmarks of great digital marketing relationships as shared by proven digital marketing practitioners to help agencies, consultants and CMO's in Fortune 500 companies.

The lessons shared in the book are aggregated from those interviews, as well as digital marketing methodologies from a number of sources to help us solve the relationship issues facing a technology industry. It is segmented into four parts which apply to the funnel of discovery, consideration, engagement and loyalty required for successful digital marketing relationships.

In the end of the movie the hard work, suffering and uncertainy faced by our protagonists pays off. It's my hope that the stories and conversations prompted by this book will pay off for brands, for agencies, for those entrenched in the industry as well as those just starting their careers.

"I love everyone! I love my wife, my family, my teammates and Jerry Maguire, my agent. You are my ambassador of Kwan."

This project has been a labor of love and learning. The learnings were gathered collaboratively from some of the smartest people I know. Moving forward, it's my hope that we'll continue to collaborate to solve the industry's relationship and longevity problems the way we've groundbreakingly solved technology problems.

If you'd like to share your own stories or ask questions or request an interview, please Join the Conversation.