February 9th 2018

Digital Paradigms, Websites, and Marketing

Digital audiences can be broken into two distinct paradigms: those who knew life before we had pervasive internet and those who grew up with pervasive internet.

For example, more traditional thinkers tend to think of a website as a layer between a business and themselves. Therefore, they don't hold the business accountable for that layer, like they would a bad experience with customer support.

Newer thinkers see a website as part of a business and equally as important as customer support.

They do hold the business accountable, even for small details of a website experience.

The same idea carries over to other areas of digital marketing, too, like email, social media, and online ads.

This critical difference in thinking is behind a lot of friction:

  • agencies / clients
  • marketing teams / business owners
  • children / parents of family-owned businesses
  • sales people / potential customers
  • cusomter support / customers

One key to eliminating this friction is acknowledging the gap in how these two groups understand the world and knowing where you, yourself, fall on the spectrum.

In another word, empathy.

Digital marketing targets both groups, so strategies from each- even opposing strategies- can work equally well, and neither view is correct or incorrect.


A super practical implementation of this is to never say no to a marketing idea- whether you think it will work or not- until there's proof it doesn't.