If Marketers could take one hour to re-think who they are and what they mean to consumers, this is the type of conversation they should have...
In the past little while, it's becoming abundantly clear that the sphere of Marketing as a professional discipline continues to evolve. One of the most important (and dramatic) aspects of the evolution comes from everything we're doing in these online channels. Breaking it down to a much more simplistic thought, Marketers must now be publishers as well. Not just publishers of advertising (as we have known advertising since the late 19th century), but publishers of legitimate, authentic and valuable content (for more on this, please read: No More Websites. Only Publishers.).
The problem arises when you start thinking about the differences between publishing and marketing...
Marketing is about:
- Figuring out what to produce, how to price it, distribute it, and how to tell people about it.
- Selling something.
- Getting people to believe in what you're selling.
- Building a brand.
- Building loyalty.
- Creating word of mouth.
- Positioning your brand in people's mind.
Publishing is about:
- The production and dissemination of information.
- Creating a unique perspective and sharing it with a broader audience.
- Distributing ideas.
- Offering a new/different perspective.
- Making something available for the public to view.
They are both dramatically different. They both require very different skill sets and very different philosophies.
The actual organization and structure of the Marketing department is going to have to morph (once again). This is also going to affect both Human Resources and the folks in the Communication department (yes, we're talking about PR too) and beyond.We're going to have to do a much better job of understanding the ramifications of the paid vs. earned media models, and we're going to have to think differently about how we connect with consumers (and treat them). A lot of that original thinking came through in the early days of Blogging. We realized that this new, free, decentralized and democratized publishing platform was going to equalize the "playing field." But now that publishing in text, images, audio and video is so much more pervasive with such a lower barrier to entry, the time is ripe to re-evaluate how much Marketing your company should be doing versus how much publishing your company should be doing.
What do you think about a Marketing versus Publishing conversation?