Mitch Joel is concerned about the future of digital marketing.
The internet has been for a while now the main source of information for the majority of people in the U.S. Just this year, it has also become the main outlet businesses use to share information about their companies.
And yet, the level of knowledge about how to do this is abysmally low. People in marketing often imagine that they can just take their TV or print campaigns and stick them on a webpage, and expect to get the same kinds of results. There’s a widespread feeling that anyone with a copy of Dreamweaver is a web designer. And, I’m sorry to say, there are a staggering number of rapacious blackhat “SEOs” and probably more who aren’t rapacious but are just plain ignorant.
Businesses find that their investments in their websites don’t give them a good return, consumers get frustrated over the poor usability of the websites with the information they need, and those businesses which are actually able to do a good job online have an unreasonable advantage over those that are still poking around helplessly in the fog.
Joel says we should be recruiting at college campuses, getting the word out that online marketing is a worthy field of study.
It’s a little bit like elementary school science, though. However much we believe that it needs to be taught, most schools can’t teach it well because the shortage of people who know enough to teach about it is much more serious than the shortage of people who might want to study it.
On the other hand, if we’re facing a shortage of nurses and X-ray technicians, then a shortage of SEO professionals may not be that serious. Your thoughts?