The Difference Between a Marketing Expert and A Marketer That Consistently Delivers Marketing Excellence

marketing successWebster defines an expert as “having or showing special skill or knowledge because of what you have been taught or what you have experienced.” There are a number of people that fit this description. People that have numerous years of marketing experience; scholars that have examined the subject of marketing for years and continue to produce thought leadership; and those that have done both.

But I have known and seen a number of so-called marketing experts that have failed to deliver empirical marketing excellence. Individuals that are Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Strategy Officers, Marketing Executives, Professors, and talking heads on conference circuits. And think of your company. Would you rather have a ”marketing expert” or a marketer that consistently delivers marketing excellence?

It is a rhetorical question. So what separates the two?

With this question in mind, consider what the great Peter Drucker said about marketing. “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.” The customer is continually evolving. And their behaviors and actions have recently taken dramatic change due mainly to technological advancements. The primary technology change has been digital – the Internet, mobile, and social media. The combination of these three digital elements allowed the consumer to:

1) have a loud voice directly affecting brand position and reputation,
2) have access to trusted data that identifies product/service strengths and weaknesses,
3) compare products and pricing during real-time shopping scenarios,
4) not worry about geographical limitations to purchase goods/services, and
5) establish their own reputation and degree of influence in a particular area or vertical, even against well-established giants.

If our focus as a marketer is on our customer (B2B or B2C) it is easy to see that living on laurels of expertise is not sufficient. The target audience is changing dramatically and in order to be the marketer that delivers consistent excellence, you must be an adaptable marketer.

So when you are looking for marketing leadership at your company, make sure you find someone that not only has expertise but also is adaptable. Make sure they have participated in new technologies your target audience uses. Knowledge of the new technologies is not enough. If you really want to “know and understand the customer” (as Drucker suggests) you have to swim in their waters.

I have seen far too many marketing executives dictate brand strategy without having been active in the technologies and platforms they recommend. This is a mistake.

Marketing success will come from leaders that are 1) experts, 2) experienced, 3) adaptable, and 4) participative. All four are required. Being an expert with substantial experience is only 50% of the requirement. A marketing leader must be adaptable and participative to ensure the delivery of marketing excellence.

Make It Happen,
Social Steve

5 Comments

Filed under brand marketing, marketing, Social Steve, SocialSteve

5 responses to “The Difference Between a Marketing Expert and A Marketer That Consistently Delivers Marketing Excellence

  1. Good blog – but I think you’ve got to push Peter Drucker’s quote even further. Too many companies think “marketing” and “sales” overlap about 90% in their responsibilities. In fact, it’s closer to a 20% overlap. The primary (80%) role of sales is delivering the numbers. The primary (80%) role of marketing is building the perceived value of the brand, thus making sales’s job a lot easier. Viewed in that light, marketing’s role in the digital, social and mobile spheres is vastly different (and far more important) than “selling the brand.” It’s about engaging and responding to the customers’ voices. A tricky balance of “one-to-one” marketing meets “big data.” If I were interviewing a potential CMO, I’d want to know what they would do to build the brand…and if I were serious about them doing it, I would give them free rein to wade into EVERY process of my company: sales. marketing. customer service. research & development…all of it.

  2. Great Article. Been struggling for years trying to get someone to “discover me” based only upon experience in sales roles with OUR CUSTOMERS. VS Sitting at desk reading a book. Without knowing your customer and definitely without utilizing social media, as it changes daily, a marketing d egree in 2013 means nothing but a piece of really outdated paper. No offense.

    • SocialCarGirl – as Steve points out above in his comment, sales is different than marketing. Marketing is much more than social media as well. You cannot wait for someone to “discover you.” You have to go out there and “make it happen.” Luck is the residue of design.

  3. Jim Matorin

    Marketing experts experiment then adapt.

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