Phil held fort as long as humanly possible and well past the “sell by” date to land at CapStrat, one of if not the best communication companies / agencies around. Phil’s “Director of Interactive” role is testimony to good guys can finish something other than last.
Phil combines quicksilver intelligence and Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours necessary to get really good at something (Outliers) to understand search engine optimization better than almost anyone I know (and I know some serious quants). Generally I agree with Gladwell, but 10,000 Internet marketing hours guarantees nothing. The web constantly tears itself down, creates something new and tears that down faster and faster.
Ten thousand hours in a classroom, as Atlantic BT noted in their Experience vs Internet Marketing Degree – Which is better? post, doesn't work for an "Internet marketing degree". I’ve been working on web sites and Internet marketing since 1999, have started and painfully closed four companies, and worked with thousands of talented marketers. Phil is easily on Martin’s Top 10 Internet Marketer list. Phil earned his way on to the All Martin Web Development team (that and $4.00 = coffee at Starbucks) not for what he knows, though Phil’s knowledge is considerable. Phil is on my version of the “All Madden” team for what he understands.
If you don’t work in Internet marketing it can be hard to appreciate why someone who understands is more valuable than someone who knows forming the most important litmus test for anyone trying to sell your company web development. Phil's is the SEO test paper you WANT to cheat off of insuring you pass life’s biggest test – ecommerce online. Anything online is ultimately and always about commerce and commerce is always a battle waged between those who think they know and people like Phil (and hopefully moi) who understand.
There is no “KNOWING” in Internet marketing. One day, not long after I hired Phil several years ago, I explained how Phil and I modeled our fast changing, highly competitive web world to my boss (the company’s President):
I know about 25% of what I need, have learned to model 25%, can make an informed guess about 5% and presume nothing about the remaining 45% because the rest always happens NOW and in RESPONSE to the 55% confidence we cobble together on stuff we just convinced you to do, the risks we take, the life we live.I wasn't nearly as eloquent or alliterative as “risks we take, the life we live,” but writing grants memory and personality leeway, courage and character (poetic license). Phil’s poetryslam is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) meets Search Engine Marketing (SEM). His skill, much like his beloved Red Sox (thus the @1918 tag), is finding ways to win, ways to win with the talent at hand.
CapStrat is chock full of talent much of it naturally complimentary to Atlantic BT (where I'm Director of Marketing). If it takes a village to raise an intelligent child it takes smart, smart people across several disciplines to win online especially as the online marketing noise goes UP. Phil, unlike his beloved Red Sox this year, is and will always be a winner.
Join the best Meetup in Raleigh, Phil’s SEO Everything You Need To Know (and I say that knowing I have a long way to go before my Meetup Raleigh’s Internet Marketing Relativity is as good), take Phil to lunch and enjoy the benefits of his Mayorship at the best BBQ joint in town (Raleigh’s The Pit), follow @1918 on Twitter and read his 1918 blog.
I’m immensely proud of many of the special people I’ve had the honor, privilege and joy to work with (am working with). Fighting the Big C teaches many, many lessons. One important life lesson is appreciate and SAY don’t just take for granted and think. Watching Phil discuss Integrating Social Media Into Your Search and Mobile Marketing Plan (on Slideshare) at Raleigh’s Internet Summit was cool, fun and informative like every interaction I’ve ever had with Phil. Find a way to talk to Phil Buckley and you will understand Internet marketing better, be able to take more risks and love the life we lucky few Internet marketers live.