What Makes ‘Digital Sense’?

Have you ever looked at an online marketing success story, and come away with no idea how they did that? What’s the difference? Then it’s time to think seriously about what really makes digital sense. Here’s a good place to start.

Have you ever looked at an online marketing success story, and come away with no idea how they did that? Then it’s time to think seriously about what really makes digital sense.

Maybe it’s a company doing all of its marketing on social media. (And you can’t figure out how to make a single sale on social.)

Maybe it’s a company that’s whipped their fan base into a free marketing army, “evangelists,” zealots! (And you have to bribe your best customers to talk you up on Yelp.)

Maybe it’s a company that’s released one product that redfined its industry and made the Uber of its own niche. (And you can’t even get people to read the improvement specs on your latest upgrade.)

A Tale of Two Marketings

Covering marketing sometimes feels like covering two worlds. I see very successful, established companies where it’s all they can do to avoid a social media scandal each month. Then there are companies that seem to effortlessly move masses to both buy and evangelize them — their tactics look so easy, you’d be a fool not to be doing them.

But when the former try the latter’s tactics, it doesn’t work the same way at all. It’s doesn’t just look clumsy, it looks unfair, like the Internet decided it doesn’t like your face.

It’s like watching a sumo figure skate.


What’s the difference? Layers of fat? Probably, in a metaphorical way, yes. But there’s more to it than that.

Travis Wright and Chris J. Snook have set out to give you an answer in their new book “Digital Sense.”

The heart of a great customer experience is that it feels human and reminds us that there are still other humans on the other side of our transactions, regardless of the interface by which we executed the transaction or query.

I wouldn’t call this a marketing book, although everything it deals with is essential to marketing today.

It’s more a way of looking at your company, your product, and your customers that aligns your organization around what they call “The Experience Marketing Framework” and makes digital marketing figure skating possible.

How big of a change is that? At times it sounds like the aphorisms of an AA meeting:

As we introduce the EMF (Experience Marketing Framework), please repeat the following three agreements to yourself daily for context and consider posting this prominently in full view in your workspace.

3 Agreements to Customer-Centric Accountability Cultures
1. I admit that I am powerless over the demands of always-on marketing.
2. The power (our customer) that is greater than our organization gives me the singular focus necessary to restore my sanity and find focus.
3. I will take a fearless inventory of our insights, vision, and execution annually and score them with brutal honesty against the customer needs, competitors’ strength, and external forces that threaten our existence.

But if transformation is what you need, then that’s where you need to begin.

In fact, Digital Sense cuts even deeper, aiming at personnel within your organization and how to treat “Influencers,” “Amplifiers,” “Motivators” and “Zombies.” (Spoiler alert: You shoot the zombies.)

The Experience Marketing Framework

The Experience Marketing Framework laid our by Travis Wright and Chris J. Snook in "Digital Sense."
The Experience Marketing Framework laid our by Travis Wright and Chris J. Snook in “Digital Sense.”

The core idea of the experience marketing framework is to focus the company on optimizing and smoothing the customer experience.

By doing that, internally you create a culture that understands and is responsive to the customer. When everyone understands your customers and products well enough that they instinctively do the right things for them, that enables innovation from product development all the way to social media.

This impacts everything, and is the core of what allows socially savvy companies skate rings around non-savvy competitors like we discussed in the opening.

Externally, this alignment delivers reliably excellent customer experiences. That doesn’t just mean they got their stuff from you, but that the stuff they got was exactly what they needed, and the process of getting it and interacting with you afterward was a pleasure.

This is what Denny hatch would have called Customer Relationship Magic, reimagined and applied at a scale and speed never possible before.

Does ‘Digital Sense’ Make Sense for You?

This book is a plan for change, from the C-suite on down. If you’re looking for a few new tools to add to your marketing toolbox, look elsewhere.

On the other hand, if you see the world changing around you and wonder why these other companies are landing triple lutzes while your team is doing the Flying Dutchman in a diaper — slowly — “Digital Sense” is definitely worth checking out.

Author: Thorin McGee

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.

2 thoughts on “What Makes ‘Digital Sense’?”

  1. I hate to tell you this, but you’re about two years late to the dinner table. People- and experience-focused marketing finally went into favor a couple of years ago. In fact, it’s a principle that goes back decades, but only took around 1998 among a small group of people who are now the authorities on how to perform the new and complex digital marketing priority: experience marketing. That successful marketing initiative you mentioned was probably done by one of them. As important as it is, there are other ingredients to creating successful initiatives in today’s market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *