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Businessweek Archives

Six Pixels--A chat with Mitch Joel

Mitch Joel, author of Six Pixels of Separation, says to start out by focusing 100% of ad budgets on search.

Now that BusinessWeek is on the block, just about everyone around here is sniffing around for other opportunities. When one of my colleagues asked me how to get up-to-date on digital strategies, I handed him two books, Groundswell, by Charleni Li and Josh Bernoff, and Mitch Joel’s new book, Six Pixels of Separation. Both books are clearly written, and both steer clear of sloganeering and provide real examples of companies carrying out transformations.

Mitch Joel

I recently talked to Mitch about his book, digital marketing, and some common misperceptions.

His first point: Emphasize slow. People in business, he says, often associate the power of digital communications with speed. But much of the magic is in the communication—people learning about each other. That takes time.

2) Look for engagement first. This means starting with 100% of the marketing budget reaching people through various forms of search—and only looking for other alternatives (like, say, business mags). “Start with 100% and see what you’re left with when you’re done maximizing,” he says.”Companies spend millions to reach people who aren’t interested, in the hopes that the right people will drive by on the freeway and see it…”

3) A quote he gave me from Gen. Eric Shinseki: “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

(Cross-posted on

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