I began writing this book to better understand what makes great, sustainable client/vendor marketing 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. What I found was that the answer lies in creating better relationships. This book is an aggregation of 62 interviews with digital marketing practitioners that drive success for some of the world's biggest brands.
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?
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?
The lessons I learned and share are aggregated from those interviews, as well as digital marketing methodologies, curated learning throughout my career as well as inspiration from TEDTalks. 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.
So there it is. Once the interviews were done and I began segmenting discussions into topics I realized I was writing a relationship book for a technology industry. A fact that nearly moved me to abandon this exercise. I knew that EQ (emotional intelligence) research revealed that 15% of success is technical knowledge and up to 85% is people skills. I knew from experience that in our fast-paced industry where we are prized for moving quickly and breaking things, we aren't nearly enough invested in our soft skills. We weren't spending much time honing our ability to create and sustain relationships and the organizational systems that nurture them.
After 3 years I still wasn't certain my book would resonate with my very technically-driven audience until I heard a TEDTalk that changed everything. Rebecca Onie created a system for doctors to address not just the physical ailment of patients but the external factors such as lack of food or heat that exacerbate and even cause the health issue. Her program, Health Lead, has been enormously successful. Yet after her talk an attendee commented, "No offense, but this seems really obvious", to which Onie replied, "No offense, but then why isn't everyone doing it?".
These chapters reveal the creative thinking, planning and ongoing investment smart marketers are making to nurture better digital marketing relationships. This book 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.
To everyone who contributed along the way, I am truly struck by your kindness, consideration and sharing. The goal of this book is to point out the qualities and processes 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.