Internet Strategy; The MMA of Online Marketing

Chuck vs. Wanderlei

Most of you already know that I am a huge Mixed Martial Arts fan. If you don’t know what MMA is, then check out There’s a ton of cool stuff there about the sport.

Now, in order for one to be a truly great MMA fighter, one must be versed in a variety of different skill sets. You not only have to be great at fighting on your feet, but on the ground and everywhere in between as well. Usually the best fighters are the ones that are the most well-rounded in every art form. Sure, there are some guys who are so incredibly talented in one art that they can always rely on their specialty to carry them along. But, if they really wish to be a challenge to their opponent, they will make the effort to master, or at least learn, another discipline.

I think as online business owners and web marketers, we must have that same mentality. Specializing in one area is still a sure fire way to succeed online, but it’s not the only way. Things are changing, and the company or individual who can take SEO, PPC, Analytics, Usability, etc… and throw it all together as part of a strategic plan, is going to be very hard to compete with.

The other day I was reading Website Magazine and in the back, there was a small article about the Internet Strategy Forum. In a nutshell, the ISF provides a venue for a certain type of professional that is emerging in today’s market; The Internet Strategist. These individuals are the ones formulating and putting into action the plans behind their company’s online presence.

In a fight, the right game plan can mean the difference between a win and a loss. The same goes for websites, so it’s no surprise that many businesses are realizing the need for these types of specialists. You can think of them much like the trainers in MMA. If the fighter is the one doing the “dirty” work, then the trainer is the one who put together the whole pre-fight strategy.

Mixed Martial Arts has seen tremendous growth in the past few years, and with that popularity we’ve seen a new breed of fighter coming into the picture. These are the guys who know how dangerous they can be if only they make the effort to learn and use multiple disciplines instead of just one. The same exact thing is happening on the web today.

As the industry matures, we’ll see more and more well-rounded fighters (marketers) graduate to trainers (internet strategists), and the cycle will repeat itself becoming much more efficient and effective.

There are some exciting times ahead both in the octagon and on the WWW.

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March 27, 2008 | |



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4 Responses to “Internet Strategy; The MMA of Online Marketing”

  1. Steve Gehlen on April 1st, 2008 3:55 pm

    Thanks for the post and the interesting comparison between MMA fighters and corporate Internet strategists!

    I’m not sure if you looked at our original research project or not (the Corporate Internet Strategist Study), but I created it in part to demonstrate to the industry exactly what you bring up, that the people who fill these roles need to have a great variety of knowledge, expertise, skills and experiences in order to do their job. That makes them valuable employees, but in generally their companies and the industry in general does not understand that value. Among other things we’re trying to help communicate that value. (see

    Our current data and report is a couple of years old, but we’re getting ready to launch the survey again soon and will have an updated report after the data comes in.

    Thanks again for the insightful post.

    Steve Gehlen
    Founder & Executive Director
    Internet Strategy Forum

    2008 Internet Strategy Forum Summit Date: July 17-18

    P: 971-223-3838
    M: 503-819-6219
    F: 971-223-3840

    10940 SW Barnes Road
    Portland, OR 97225

  2. admin on April 1st, 2008 9:38 pm

    Hi Steve. Welcome to Awaken Strategy!

    It’s a brand new blog, and definitely cool having you be the first to comment.

    I haven’t had chance to read the study you mention, but I’ll be sure to grab a copy when the updated version comes out.

    The whole MMA/Internet Strategy comparison has been brewing in my mind for a while now, but it wasn’t until I read the piece on your company in Website Magazine that I actually realized there is an organization focused on this stuff. In my mind, I always thought that companies would really benefit from having someone who could put together a road map for them, but I knew it would have to be someone with a broad range of skills.

    For those of us that love doing this stuff, we have no problems dipping our toes into every aspect of the business. It’s a beautiful thing, seeing a website succeed knowing you were at the wheel controlling the entire process. I’m just barely getting a taste of that right now, and it’s awesome!

    Keep up the great work.

  3. Paul on April 2nd, 2008 1:18 pm

    Great Post! I like how you tied MMA and Internet Strategy together. When it comes down to it, there really are a lot of similarities between the two.

  4. admin on April 26th, 2008 8:01 pm

    Paul!! Thanks bro, and sorry about this late response…sooo busy.

    They are similar huh? Then again, us MMA fans will figure out a way to tie anything to the sport, won’t we? :)

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