Marketing 2.0 … or not.

The next time the Marketing department, or anyone in the know, at your company says that ‘nobody has time to blog’ i.e. communicate with the consumer, ask them ‘whatever happened to the Typing Pool?’ Typing Pool 1.0 -> ….? Because everyone from CEO’s down were “too busy” to type their own letters. And sure, many…

The next time the Marketing department, or anyone in the know, at your company says that ‘nobody has time to blog’ i.e. communicate with the consumer, ask them ‘whatever happened to the Typing Pool?’

Typing Pool 1.0 -> ….?

Because everyone from CEO’s down were “too busy” to type their own letters. And sure, many senior people still have a personal assistant. But nowhere near everyone. And I haven’t seen a typing pool in years. Not since the Technology Revolution.

Not everything survives. Marketing – besides snake oil salesmen – has been around for, what, 40? 50? years and came to the fore with the advent of websites and cheaper channels but that doesn’t mean marketing will look anything like it does today, in another 10 years. Post Communication Revolution. Will there be a Marketing 2.0 or will those departments be converted to rooms for any staff who want to moderate forums and comment on blogs? An open wiki for staff and vendors and customers? A few spin stories that are shown up for exactly that in social networks, annihilating those companies, and the CEO might just say, ‘no more marketing: truth and transparency only’. Just kidding, like that would ever happen… right?

When I did my marketing course in the mid ’80’s, it wasn’t a Uni course but an Institute course (Colleges and Institutes have gone now). It was a diploma combined with H.R. and really a girly thing to do. Yep back in those days courses were still very ‘male’ or ‘female’ oriented – my Institute also taught women to do nursing. Things change. But, will Marketing plans ever be shoved in a storage room with a bunch of old typewriters? Nah of course not – Marketing will pretty well stay the same, absolutely it will survive, we need marketing to manage the discussion between company and client … right???

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  1. Hmmm… I’m not sure I understand what “marketing” is, at least the way that you are referring to it. You seem to be talking about one style of Marketing Communications.

    Marketing is also what steers a company and drives a business’ competitive positioning.

    Maybe have a look at for a wider perspective.

    Also, the way I remember things, it was PC word processor software and other “personal productivity” tools which killed off the typing pools. It was faster – and gave you much more control – if you did it yourself.

    I think a better comparison (if you are looking at what blogs will kill off) might have its starting point in the “complaints department” and “product advice columns” of 40 years ago.

    There are some similarities, however: At business school I was taught by a guy – in his late 30s – who used to be “Sister Mary”. Or at least that’s what he was called by all the people who wrote in for advice to the feminine hygene products company he used to work for.

    On the internet, no-one knows you’re a dog.

  2. Yeah I’m talking specifically about brand positioning and brand management. Marketing is not what steers the company – that should be the CEO’s vision. Marketing is the communication tool to communicate that vision. Though I know that marketing won’t agree with that. 🙂 A weak CEO “runs the marketing numbers” to “steer the company”. This is not the sort of vision that consumers or staff want from their company leaders.

    It’s much faster and you get much better control (well, feedback) if you deal with the consumer yourself, instead of trying to manipulate how your brand is perceived through marketing campaigns and spin. The anti-marketing brigade will fight back, we are only just seeing the beginning of this kind of role with the consumer.

    ‘Sister Mary’ wouldn’t last 5 minutes in a marketing position today – you yourself just outed him yourself – imagine what the social network would do with that information! 🙂

  3. There is still a confusion, even from trained marketers (although not me *wink*) that marketing is only conducted by the marketing department. It is about shaping the message, even better if your CEO has a strong vision, as Laurel says.
    I believe every employee has an effect on the company brand experience, just depends if you’re willing to listen.

    a small link of interest.

  4. I would have to agree with Cat – people learn about organisations lots of different ways, and speaking from personal perspective, I would much rather get information from an unbiased source with respect to a companies products etc. To that extent I can only see the role of the social network and ‘mob’ in general growing stronger. The challenge for companies/ organisations as I see is effective engagement in this new sphere of influence, it will be essential to establish reputation in these communities, so that a community will accept input from company employees. It would be nice to think, that in time marketing hype will be cut down like so much chaff by a well organised user community.

  5. If marketing is just a communications tool – and a lot of it is about spin – then maybe this is why many marketing departments are marginalised these days, and some c-levels are wondering wondering what value it adds.

    Marketing has always been about listening to and understanding customers, their needs, and spotting emerging business opportunities. But this has to followed-up by orchestrating the business to do something about it. No marketing department should limit their work to “telling” the market.

    Maybe I should have said marketing strategy is what steers a company – and this is absolutely one of the things that a CEO should concern themselves with. If they are not getting their “vision” from a marketing-lead approach they are just guessing.

    I totally agree that marketing departments should not be the only place marketing happens.

  6. Traditionally, how good has marketing been at helping others “do” aspects of marketing?

    The “personal productivity tools” metaphor is interesting. Just because you give someone powerpoint, you do not turn them into a a presenter or a designer. There is a much smaller role now for presentation designers to design presentations by themselves – but a much bigger (and largely unrecognised & unfunded) role for them to help others do the same.

    I am sure Marketing wants to be strategic (i.e. hang out with the CEO) – and sometimes is. They can join the queue because everyone wants to be strategic now. But is this focus on strategy blinding other groups to the operational opportunities working with regular employees, customers, suppliers, etc?

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