Google Digital Marketing Evangelist Avinash Kaushik On “See. Think. Do.”

(and How Selling Wheelchairs is Different from iPads)


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By Mike Grehan

290-x-175_SEe_think_doAvinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist at Google, rolled his eyes, looked up to the heavens and then thumped the desk in front of him. No, this was not a moment of anger. It was the typical mixture of passion and sheer frustration he demonstrates when discussing his favorite topic.

Avinash and I go back a long way in the search industry. And as a colleague and a friend, I always look forward to our catch-up conversations. Not long ago, I dropped by Google global headquarters in Mountain View, California, to get some of his state-of-the-art views and opinions.

Virtually dismissing the conventional wisdom of the consumer buying cycle based on awareness, familiarity, consideration, purchase, and loyalty, he summed up his new framework in three words: See. Think. Do.Avinash Kaushik
On this occasion, knowing it would be a fairly lengthy chat, I decided to casually record it with my video camera. And I’m so glad I did. In a moment, I’ll invite you to be a “fly on the wall” and have a listen in to part of the conversation.

After some casual chat about how much the search business has changed over the past two decades and where it is headed, I put a question to him that I frequently get asked myself: “Where do I best spend my digital marketing dollar?”

And Avinash being Avinash, before he answered the question he veered off into a description of a new framework he recently developed for digital marketers. This actually made perfect sense in advance of tackling the immediate question.

Virtually dismissing the conventional wisdom of the consumer buying cycle based on awareness, familiarity, consideration, purchase, and loyalty, he summed up his new framework in three words: See. Think. Do.

He described this three-stage process by beginning with the largest addressable audience (qualified audience, that is) as being in the “see” stage (kind of a discovery stage). Those in the “think” stage are that part of the addressable audience who are in the decision-making process (this could take minutes or months). And the “do” segment of the addressable audience are those at the conversion stage and ready to purchase.

Using L’Oreal as an example of a brand with a more expansive approach than just attempting to hit up the “do” segment of the audience, he described how they have a “three-button” approach on their website offering an experience well beyond the “jump into bed with me now” experience, as he called the “buy” button.

His frustration at how much harder we have to try in the world of digital marketing to convince the C-suite and major advertising and marketing agencies about the distinct benefits of digital was quite apparent. In his familiar manner, he suggested that the digital marketing community “still sucks” when it comes to demonstrating to the entire marketing universe the beauty of being able to target consumers by intent based on their behavior. Citing marketers who are still using psychographics and demographics as a targeting method, he described how little that can tell you about intent. “Imagine that using these methods for broadcasting to a 98-year-old lady,” he said. “Of course you know she’s in the demographic group. But you have no idea whether she wants to purchase an iPad or a wheelchair!”

Given the demographics, he said you’d likely target her with the wheelchair. But imagine if you could capture her online behavior, he continued. If you could see she had been surfing around looking at consumer electronics content, you wouldn’t even consider the wheelchair option.

I literally propped my camera up at the end of a table in the meeting room at Google so that I could refer back to it and write it up. But I think you’ll get a lot more out of listening to Avinash explain in his own words than me just writing them down here.

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mikeGheadshotMike is CMO & Managing Director at Acronym where he is responsible for directing thought leadership programs and cross platform marketing initiatives, as well as developing new, innovative content marketing campaigns. Prior to joining Acronym Mike was Group Publishing Director at Incisive Media, publisher of Search Engine Watch and ClickZ, and producer of the SES international conference series.

Previously, he worked as a search marketing consultant with a number of international agencies handling global clients such as SAP and Motorola. Recognized as a leading search marketing expert, Mike came online in 1995 and is the author of numerous books and white papers and is currently in the process of writing his new book “From Search To Social: Marketing To The Connected Consumer” to be published by Wiley. He is current Chairman of SEMPO, the industry’s professional association for search marketers. @mikegrehan

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