Confessions of a digital marketer

The marketing industry is like a black hole, and it will suck you in and compress you into a tiny ball covered with bs. After a decade of working in marketing, I decided it was time to get out of the black hole. Hear me out.

Staring into the abyss

I got into computers in the ‘90s because of music trackers and made my first tunes with FastTracker 2. Because of music, I wanted to learn how to code. So I learned HTML, CSS, and Flash ❤️ and built a website for my music project twenty years ago. It was pure fun without any business motives.

I wasn't originally on a path to becoming a marketer. I studied musicology and worked towards a PhD. But, one thing led to another, and I found myself at a digital marketing academy sponsored by Google.

So, ten years ago, I became a digital marketing specialist and started working for a marketing agency. Things got real and businessy.

Back then, YouTube had no ads, Google+ was convinced they could challenge Facebook, and it was chic to say things like “Content is king” and “Data is the new oil.“

Marketing technology was starting to explode, and digital marketing was still an unknown paradigm for many people. It was easy to impress your colleagues and clients with weird three-letter acronyms like SEM, PPC, SEO, ROI, CTR, MQL, CPA, and KPI.

I was at the start of my career, and using fancy terms made me feel important.

After I learned to use Google Analytics, I felt like a superhuman because I could navigate my way effortlessly within the tool and knew how to use some more advanced features.

It was easy to make yourself look good when clients wanted to see performance reports. You just had to pick the right metrics to support your argument an amplify your agenda.

If things went south and numbers looked terrible, you could always jump the hype train and rave about a new tool that would solve everything.

A client in the cosmetics industry once bought marketing automation PoC, and we just sent a regular newsletter to their mailing lists. No automation involved, none.

Sometimes PoC's and fancy terms were not enough, though. Once I was asked to do a presentation on search engine optimization to an executive officer. After a few PowerPoint slides, he rose up from his chair and shouted: I did not come here for a f*cking lecture. He left the room and never came back.

Misunderstandings are bound to happen when a common language is missing.

The marketing language is based on hype, and it sounds cool and important but often lacks content and meaning.

I got a proper brainwash when I studied digital marketing, and I sucked in all the pseudo-truths and catchphrases. The thing is, it's hard to argue against anything with zero experience when you're just starting your career.

Over a decade, I've been involved in many marketing discussions with loads of keywords and mantras but zero substance. I've also witnessed countless times how people silently die inside when they open their marketing analytics reports and dashboards and let information overload take over.

The point of my ramble is there's so much bs around marketing. People say the weirdest things to sell you anything. For example, you meet people who claim to be Google certified SEO specialists. There is no such thing.

At some point, I got tired of the crap and went back to basics. Marketing is all about storytelling. You find your audience and tell them about the cool stuff you did. Or, like Carl Lange wrote:

Do things, tell people.

I joined Volument because we need a better, less creepy way to collect marketing and website data and respect people's privacy without any compromises. With Volument, I want to solve the issues I've struggled with as a marketer my whole career. I want to be honest in what I do and tell the story as it is.

At the moment, there's an enormous marketing hype with Metaverse and Web 3.0. But, I think we still need to fix Web 2.0 before moving on.

Peace out ✌️

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