What Marketing Is Not

The below is a manifesto. It’s a micro-blog about life inside marketing and the mis-understandings that it (still) experiences as a profession, trade and business function. If you too experience this in your work environment please like, comment and share your story.

What Marketing is NOT:

  • Pretty fliers
  • Expensive booth set-ups
  • Booth babes (had to throw that one in)
  • Incessant email marketing (e.g. you-will-not-stop emailing me!)
  • Creepy follow-me-everywhere-on-the-web banner ads
  • Flashing or dancing banner ads
  • You_Won_An_iPad2 sweepstakes
  • “Please RT” – come on, are you desperate?
  • Weekly, maybe even daily, flash sales events (um, if your product isn’t that cool to be sold full price…what’s up?)
  • Clip art from 1985 (please, look outside of MS ClipArt for your graphic design needs)
  • Obnoxious Twitter posts or Instagram pics about the bagels your team’s having with the awesome raisins in it . (Unless the profile is your own. In that case, share-all at your own risk.)
  • Total and utter lack of interaction with the rest of an organization (e.g. sales over here, marketing over here, BD over here….and les bring everyone together  maybe 1x/quarter to discuss bigger strategy. Um, where’s “team” in that?)
  • “Please give me results, but don’t worry about conversion. We have a sales team to do that.” Excuse me, if marketing (social, email, events, etc) isn’t about driving revenue what’s the purpose?
  • Massive lead volume, perhaps from gimmicky campaigns, but minimal to zero long-term engagement/conversion.
I say we have a crisis still in the industry. A lack of recognition for what quality, revenue-oriented marketing translates to via business strategy/planning, smart tactics and fearless execution.

Why else is marketing the last thing brought to the table in start-ups?
 

Why is marketing still the first program get cut, like a fine arts program, when budgets get tight? 

Why else do CEOs and CFOs still have minimal expectations that an investment in marketing, big or small, will improve bottom-line?

We, the marketers, need to drive more accountability in our work. We need to ask more, do more and be vigilant about making our expertise known as an essential ingredient to the success or failure of a business. For what’a a great business idea if we’re only relying on a “feet-on-the-street”… or an amazing product, but no one to share that story across the larger industry via awesome content?

Get scrappy. Get real. And [love] marketing for all it really can do. 

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About Michelle Fitzgerald

A product evangelist with over twelve years of traditional and emerging marketing experience. Provides FT and PT consultative services to the startup community to help brands develop a better understanding of what drives results (analytics), what drives connections (branding/PR/social media) and what drives revenue (performance marketing/media). Past and current work experience includes Tout, StyleStalk, iCharts, MyBuys, Zinio, Yahoo!, the LA Times and CareerBuilder. Michelle also publishes ebooks, regularly contributes to Upmarket Magazine, speaks at industry events and guest blogs.

2 responses to “What Marketing Is Not”

  1. Michelle Fitzgerald says :

    Very, very true. But stick to the don’t do list (easiest place to start.) And be very aware of what DOES work and keep repeating and iterating on it to personalize to your business need. Good luck!

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