Where does Marketing land in terms of professions that are perceived to be honourable by the mass public?
Something tells me, Marketing sits well below both lawyers and used-car salespeople, and maybe even slightly beneath scumbags and charlatans (but I can't be certain). I'm proud to say that I am a Marketing Professional, but even as I write those words, I can smell the oxymoron-ness of it all. It's a sad state of affairs. One of the primary reasons why I put my body through the rigors of intense travel is to be an evangelist of marketing (wow, using those words might smack me right back to the charlatans and scumbags). It's not evangelism as you think it to be, and it's not Social Media evangelism either. It's about getting people excited about how new and different Marketing is (and, it's about getting new and exciting clients to work with my agency, Twist Image).
Real interactions between real human beings.
It's one of the many reasons I decided to take on Marketing as a career. When I first started tinkering with the Internet (back in the late 80s, when it was nothing more than online bulletin board services and sporadic connectivity), I realized (like many others) that this was the game-changer. That the ways in which we were doing Marketing, Advertising and Communications was going to change (forever and drastically). Slowly, over the years, we've begun to see this come to fruition. Some like to call it "Social Media" others "Web 2.0", but the nomenclature means nothing next to the function it serves and the disruption to the traditional ways it has caused:
- Our ability to publish our thoughts out in text, images, audio and video instantly, free and for everyone to consume/take part in.
- Our ability to share and collaborate with that content (or any other form of content).
- Our ability to connect at the local level or at our points on interest.
- Our ability to build a network, community or group of people who care about our shared values.
When people say "you marketers are all the same" it really wrinkles my britches (I'm not even from Europe).
Yesterday, Bill Dumphy, posted to the comments section of the Blog post, The Fuss About Facebook, "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that a marketer would stand shoulder to shoulder with Facebook on these issues, but I refuse to believe ALL marketers are amoral. Sadly, your piece runs contrary to my optimistic outlook." Let's just kill all of the Marketers, why don't we? Sure, there are some Marketers who don't believe the hype (or the changes) that the Internet has brought forth, and then there are the "other" kinds of Marketers who are involved in the black hat side of things (spammers, unsolicited telemarketers, sketchy infomercial-types), but every industry has it's own fair share of bottom-feeders.
Maybe Marketing has more bottom-feeders than the average profession?
It's not an unfair/unjust argument, and the truth of it is that I would not know. So, as someone who spends their days trying to shift perceptions, trying to build community and trying to give abundantly to help this industry elevate itself, it can be sorely annoying to be lumped into a generalization like that (welcome to the world, sadly). For Marketing to thrive, we're all going to have to do our part. From product innovation and customer care to really getting down to the nuts and bolts of thanking our customers. We need to be spending the right amount of time building those relationships and the loyalty that comes with it. We need to be ensuring that what we're communicating and marketing lives up to what the product, brand or service can actually do. Nothing less will do.
I think Marketers are up to the challenge. What do you think?