Marketing's last stand (Landor Perspectives 2011)

Uri Baruchin

They say time flies when you're having fun. Perhaps it flies even faster when you're confused. Even though the first commercial website, O'Reilly Media's GNN, launched nearly two decades ago, in August 1993, the marketing community's attitude toward the Internet is still split between two mutually exclusive attitudes, which eye each other suspiciously.

On one side we have the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed evangelical digital radicals, declaring digital to be the end of marketing as we know it, if not the end of marketing, period. On the other side, glaring at them with contempt are the traditional conservatives who declare "people are people," gripe that it's all hype, and say: "Okay, okay—maybe we'll give the ad agency a tiny sliver of the budget to experiment with this 'online.'"

In their heart of hearts (as it is no longer acceptable to admit this out loud) the conservatives simply do not understand the excitement. The radicals say that the conservatives have not seen the—no doubt, electric blue—digital light.