Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Less illusion - more reality

With the 10th anniversary of The Cluetrain, is it time to stop talking about marketing?

I mean, is it time to stop talking about marketing as a separate function or discipline?

I worry because thinking of it in this way makes 'it' difficult to be embedded in the processes that count.

You know, the processes that squeeze out turds long suffering marketers have to polish. (image courtesy)

I often tell orgs that every single person inside the org is responsible for customer service. It's not the job of the often lowly-paid to read out scripts by the often highly-paid. It's the responsibility of everyone who cares.

Of course that requires something to care about in the first place. And if you have that belief, your actions will attract people who care to join you in the first place.

Oh - and those outside the company too. (Gary Vaynerchuck, Mark Earls, Hugh McLeod can fill in the gaps for you on this)

Anyone who 'does' customer service (read: has conversations with customers) is in marketing as far as I'm concerned.

What is marketing for exactly? At its guts it is to connect people with what they need.

There are a heap of processes, sub disciplines, new and digitized, that we have come to believe have a part to play in that.

But by sticking a label on them and putting them in a box, have we started thinking of marketing as somehow distinct from design and production? Even, and way too often, as distinct from R and D/new product development?

So let's imagine a world in which no one has coined the term 'marketing'.

And into this world we parachute every marketer with their skills intact (but unlabelled)

Given their knowledge of the power of the network (grant me this):
What will they do? Who will they help? What will they aim to achieve?

How will they define and describe the part they play in changing the world?

Less illusion: more reality.

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The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?