A Continuum Or A Thermocline? Both!

Somebody shared this on Marketing Weekly. I was intrigued and watched the whole video. Yes, all 55 minutes of it. Twice. Mark Ritson does make a lot of sense. With our Hellenistic mindset, we have again divided digital marketing from “traditional” marketing and so on. “TV and radio are dead” and similar catchphrases are trumpeted as though they were Gospel truth. Just last year, I saw many posts proclaiming the death of Facebook. As far as I can see, Facebook isn’t dead yet. And people are still watching TV and listening to radio, but perhaps using different devices, meaning they watch TV and radio, but not on TV and radio sets. Is that true? Watch the video and find out! I scrolled through the comments and was struck by the fact that dissenters weren’t half as impolite, vulgar, bloviated, arrogant, equivocative or crass as those on other discussions. Perhaps because they were mostly Canadians and Australians? Anyway, those who disagreed were actually quite nice. Do take the time to watch and think through what he says. As I was watching the video, the words “continuum” and “thermocline” kept popping up in my mind. I’ll describe why below the embedded video.

Note: The original video clip was taken from the 2015 Media Forum, and apparently does not now exist. This one is similar.


Many things exist in a continuum. Time and space are described as a continuum. Strategy and Tactics exist in a continuum. So do Marketing and Sales. All of life is played out in a continuum. We tend to forget that there is an interconnectedness to everything because of our penchant for analyzing bite-size chunks. Also, since we have been conditioned all our lives to think in terms of silos, we have a tendency to forget that, like synapses, there are links to almost everything we experience in life. Even the air in our nostrils was in someone else’s nostrils not too long ago, and the more crowded the space we happen to be in, that time interval could be measured in just seconds. We really do need to expand our mental box to realize that we don’t operate in a vacuum. Marketing, Branding, Corporate Communications, Public Relations, Sales, etc all exist and interact in a continuum. Get used to it, stop fighting it, and start creating more ways to integrate these functions! Remember, systems can and ought to adapt in order to compensate for each other’s strengths and weaknesses.


ThermoclineA thermocline is a thin but distinct layer between warmer mixed water at the ocean’s surface and cooler deep water below. That does not mean that we cannot go from one layer to the other. We can obviously dive into the deep ocean using various deep water vehicles. There are also places on this planet where the waters of two oceans meet but do not mix. Now, I haven’t tried personally, but I do think that it would be possible to swim from one ocean to the other across that quite visible dividing line! There are boundaries in life. There are boundaries in our own bodies, between each cell and so forth up the ladder of complexity. That does not imply that signals, nutrients, wastes, etc cannot cross those membranes, those boundaries. Boundaries are meant for control and organization in order to ensure proper functioning. Boundaries are not meant exclusively as barriers. Yes, toxins are prevented from entering our cells by our cell walls, or membranes. Not everything. In the same manner, we will continue to have functional groupings in organizations. Think of your organizations in terms of organisms and you will see yourself growing very quickly, I dare say! Operations, Logistics, Procurement, Personnel, etc, are different functional groups, and they all need to interact with each other!

I hope you enjoyed watching Mark Ritson’s video as much as I did. Tune out the occasional expletives. Have a great week ahead!

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