Do Marketers Have Souls?

Bells & WhistlesI love working at the intersection of technology, marketing and media.

This arena makes business interesting, fun, challenging and disruptive — all at once.

This intersection is more like a steadily rising sea that is changing how we produce, consume, buy, and interact and identify with ourselves. It’s also transforming our standards of privacy, trust and gratification. It’s powerful and real.

The challenge of this technology-driven intersection, especially in marketing, is that it becomes incredibly easy to get caught up with shiny bells, louder whistles and cheap thrills — most of them perishable and undifferentiated. Venture capital fuels important innovation, though it also sustains incredible noise.

If you were to listen to the industry herd, you’d think the key to marketing success lies in a mastery of buzzwords and tactics like social CRM, automation, inbound marketing, content marketing and native advertising, among others (and I could go on forever listing them).

Emerging tactics are important and many are real, but we shouldn’t get overly distracted by excessive hype. Audience demographics, behaviors, channels, speed and technologies are changing — but marketing fundamentals haven’t.

It is noisy times like this that make it especially important to tune into the fundamentals that really matter. And perhaps nothing is more important than your soul.

Are you in touch with your company and brands’ immaterial essence: the attributes that arouse emotion and passion in your employees, customers and even yourself? Can you describe — simply and with conviction — your company’s reason to exist?

The excitement over bells and whistles often erodes marketers’ connection to their soul.

Sure, paying attention to what’s new is a prerequisite to adapting to innovative tactics and tools within the forceful intersection of technology, marketing and media. But it’s your soul that ultimately will determine your relevance.

This article also ran in MediaPost. Photo: leslie161.




Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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