“When I grow up I want to be a digital marketer,” said no one, ever. I think the marketing discipline overall has received some bad PR. Too much time is spent on debating and marketing titles and roles (digital, multi-channel, etc.) versus focusing on marketing skills. The best experiences, regardless of channel, are executed by marketing teams with a passion for the customers, the ideas and the business. Passion projects feel better to work on and perform better as well.
Maintaining that level of engagement and passion takes a certain attitude, outlook and personality. It requires proactive care and feeding, especially within a regulated industry, to avoid marketing burnout. There has been a lot of discussion about the marketer of the future and the corresponding marketing skills needed. I think one of the most important factors in this evolution is in feeding that passion and attitude to current marketers, reminding each other of what’s possible—all to and encourage a different outlook on marketing.
When you were asked as a child what you wanted to be when you grew up, you likely had other answers than “I want to be a marketer,” and the youthful passion for those pursuits can still be realized while developing world-class marketing experiences. For instance, did you know all these callings hold the essence of marketing within them:
Inventor: Marketing thrives on the invention of new processes, technologies and systems. The curiosity and drive to build a better experience, fuel invention.
Moviemaker: Whether you play the role of director or producer, modern healthcare marketing is highly visual and requires marketers to craft a visual experience.
Doctor: At the heart of the best marketing programs is a true customer insight and a goal to help others and improve their lives.
Teacher: Marketers are educators; they bring new technologies, insights and innovation to their organizations. They open the possibilities for each other and their extended teams.
Architect: Great customer experiences require architects to plan and design them. The best experiences seamlessly live in an existing customer landscape.
Engineer: Customer experiences must be constructed. This requires marketers to have engineering skills in order to connect the program’s moving parts into an efficient system.
Firefighter: Marketers have to be responsive to the environment and able to react to and manage events with grace under pressure.
Scientist: We live in a data-driven world, one in which marketers need to develop hypotheses and the desire to set up measurable experiments to prove their approach.
Ask marketers about their favorite project and I guarantee they will describe the actions of the roles above. Encourage teammates with passion, remind yourself of what inspires you and channel that into your next customer experience. The future of marketing will be built on these skills—not on organizational structure or title. That is the future of marketing.