What is Marketing Now?

Seth Godin beats up on Verizon — The myth of the CMO. Let’s put Verizon aside for now because Seth’s larger point applies to absolutely every organization. Check out my underlined parts in Seth’s quote below:

The myth of the CMO is the C part. They don’t get to be the chief of the stuff that is really what marketing is all about today. CAO, maybe (Chief Advertising Officer) but not CMO.

If I were the CMO of Verizon, I’d fix the call centers. I’d fire people with a lousy attitude who aren’t afraid to share it with a customer. I’d reward the great ones (like the installer who came to my new office last week) and figure out how to get every one of their thousands of people to understand that THEY are the marketing department.

Yes. Exactly.

To extend Seth’s thought a bit … marketing has changed. It’s a many-to-many conversation now (as it was before modern marketing), not a one-to-many message monologue. So, we are all in marketing now, and that works pretty well as the OpenSolaris community demonstrated this week. Oh, don’t get me wrong. The OpenSolaris community didn’t all of a sudden become marketeers to deliver carefully crafted messages. Had they done that they would have lost credibility. Instead, with a touch of humility, they simply told the world about their code, started an open engineering conversation, and invited anyone who was interested to participate. Simple. As a result, they gained credibility because they were not trying to promote themselves. Imagine that, credibility increases as self promotion decreases.

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