As I may have mentioned before, we (Corante) are in the planning stages for a Marketing Symposium which will be held early next year. To help us create a real compelling event, one where the debate around the future of marketing goes a few steps beyond what you would find iin most other venues, we assembled an advisory board of thought leaders and practicioners. They include:
- Elizabeth Albrycht – a public relations professional, consultant, blogger, and permanent student of the industry
- Tom Asacker – writer, teacher, consultant and frequent speaker – Tom Peters calls him a “Marketing Guru”
- John Hagel – writer, consultant, business strategist, and frequent speaker
- Renee Hopkins Callahan – Director of Innovation Services at Decision Analyst, and blogger
- Lois Kelly – strategic communications professional, consultant, speaker, blogger
- Grant McCracken – cultural anthropologist affiliated with the MIT Brand Culture Lab, author, and consultant
- Johnnie Moore – marketing consultant, speaker, writer and fascilitator
During our last advisory meeting we debated what might interest CMO’s, the circumstances under which they might be highly participatory, whether traditional marketing is dead – or merely going through a major transformation, whether companies have the right skillsets in their marketing departments, old models vs. new models, and many other topics that might help shape the event. If you have any thoughts on the topic – feel free to contact me!
But then we came to a topic that really struck a chord with me – how many marketers out there are focusing on small “m” marketing (the tactical stuff), when they should really be focusing on big “M” marketing (the fundamentals, the strategic stuff)?
I bet you it’s way too many of them…
Marketers are often primarily focused on optimising tactics – how to get a better ROI on lead gen or other programs (or how to get to an ROI – period), how to drive more traffic to online seminars, how to get customers to upgrade faster, or how to better manage the PR and advertising budgets. In reality, and if marketers were brave enough to reevaluate their big “M” marketing – do you have the right value proposition, do you have the right customers, do you have the right people – many of the small “m” stuff would take care of itself!
I suppose that a lot of that is driven by job-preservation motives – but as counter-intuitive as it might sound, I think that having the guts to challenge the fundamentals, no matter how deeply ingrained they are in the corporate culture – will result in more successful careers than if you’re just a good “operational” marketer. And regardless of that, such an attitude would definitely benefit your shareholders and customers.