Monday, June 06, 2005

Marketers are apparently also dodo-heads

I saw this link in Scoble's Link Blog. You can only get directly to the article by clicking on the Comments link in Scoble's post, not the numerous links to the article.

Anyway, here's the gist: Chris Sells says blogs are "not marketing copy", and if corporations include blogs as "part of their marketing budget", they are missing the point. He wraps up by saying:

"Marketing and PR folks are chiefly concerned with only saying the good things about their own products and (the good ones anyway) nothing at all about the competitor’s products. Blogs are about the whole truth, which is why are the best corp bloggers are constantly in fear of losing their jobs.

Does anyone see a disconnect here?!?

Well, I have numerous thoughts on this: not the least of which is that Sells has clearly never been in Marketing and observed in quiet frustration how all sorts of random things get pushed into Marketing's "budget" for dubious reasons. :)

And I'm also thinking he's little aware of what criteria actually makes a "good" marketing person. Or that perhaps he thinks advertisements comprise the entirety of Marketing's job?

Blindly blathering about benefits is what amateur marketers do.

Good marketers analyze the market, including the competition. And good marketers can talk about that market and those competitors, internally, but also with their customers. Good marketers know they have to give customers a reason to choose them and their products, and that product quality is often the smallest part of their decision. In fact, many buying decision are made that are based on business reasons, more than technology reasons...and even more shocking: many buying decisions are made based on relationships.

A customer has to trust that a company will not only deliver a good product on Day One, but that they will take care of them for all the ensuing days.

More than anything, marketers have to be flexible...they are the ones who stand between engineering and sales and watch those internal and external landscapes change on a daily basis.

Sells' comments assume that people in marketing are completely unable to adapt to new modes and channels communications. But we marketers have brains like anyone else...some of us will grok blogs and some won't, some will be better at it than others. But there is nothing inherent at being a marketer that makes one unable to adapt and unable to blog with passion and authority.

Having sat in many an engineering meeting where engineers are completely unwilling to admit that their approach has been less than fruitful or their committed schedule is fantasy, in meetings where operations look stunned at the idea of creating parallel processes rather than serial, in meetings where sales think lower prices are the answer to all their problems, and in meetings where executives talk out of one side of their mouth about prioritizing and doing less, but doing it well...all while pressuring each department to continue to try to accommodate every possible sales opportunity, I would hardly say marketers corner the market on either a) inflexibility or b) cluelessness :)

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