The Marketer is Dead. Long Live the Marketers.

By Asher Fredricks, MBA, Marketing Manager for FLS Transportation Services. Article 1 of a 3-part series.

I loved talking to my father as a child – in fact, I attribute much of my love for learning to the conversations we had back then. And, as I grew so did the depth of our conversations - which ranged from ethics and morality, to spirituality, religion, science, philosophy, politics, and current affairs. Through it all, one thing always remained the same; my father would always say, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

My father, of course, was quoting Aristotle.

I am sharing this story with you today because some of you might disagree with what I am about to say; others may find it insane, controversial, and may be even outrageous. But that’s okay; it’s perfectly fine to disagree with me… so far as you open your mind to what I am putting forward.

Yes, the marketer is dead… And so is the sales man.

While marketing and sales have been busy fighting each other and author after author, and guru after guru, has milked the proverbial cow with “how to align marketing and sales for success” books, both the fields of marketing and sales have been quietly disrupted.

In his book, “Youtility,” Jay Baer makes an interesting observation on the evolution of job tasks. Here’s what he has to say:

“In business, every important new function starts as a job and eventually becomes a skill.

Once we determine that a particular business process is critical, it is decentralized and baked into the day-to-day responsibilities of most employees. This has happened over and over again. Typing used to be a job and companies had entire rooms of people who did nothing but type… It seemed like a terrific notion at the time, but then we decided that typing was sufficiently useful that most everyone should learn how to do it, and so we have.”

I think we as a society have reached a point where we are realizing that marketing (digital) is a sufficiently (incredibly) useful skill that we should all learn and master.

Day after day, I see examples of this on my LinkedIn and other social media platforms. I see veteran sales people writing blog posts. I see them make videos. I see them market themselves as they fight to position themselves as thought leaders.

But, it’s not just sales people. It’s everyone. Social Media is making everyone a marketer.

Recently, my girlfriend, a Masters student in Microbiology (with very little interest in Marketing), took over her university’s grad society’s social media accounts. She makes posts, runs polls on Instagram, makes stories, shares pictures, and is monitoring the number of followers the accounts gain.

She’s learning how to market – and with every post she gets better. The other day, as we chatted over supper, she told me about the monthly bagel breakfast the society organizes and how this month it was so well attended that they ran out of food for the first time.

“It had to be all the posts I made”, she said, while showing me what she posted. “Nothing else changed except our activity on social media.”

I smiled; she was excited about marketing… who would have thought? We talked about causation and correlation. We talked about patterns and trends. We talked about eliminating variables and tracking results. She seemed genuinely interested. And then she dropped this bomb on me, “Hey, this marketing thing is easy, I could do your job.”

The marketer is dead.

The age of technology and social media is making marketing a skill – look at all the successful influencers out there making six figure salaries without ever attending a single marketing class or reading a single marketing book.

Marketing is a skill.

In a few years, we’re no longer going to be arguing over sales and marketing or attending seminars on aligning sales and marketing. In the future, your sales person is going to be a marketer whether you like it or not.

The marketer is dead. Long live the marketers.

(now, for those of you who disagree, stay tuned for my next post on how to align marketing and sales in a laggard B2B industry).

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Comments on "The Marketer is Dead. Long Live the Marketers."

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Stacy Kirincic - Thursday, October 11, 2018

I have entertained your thought and I don't accept it. Saying "Social Media is making everyone a marketer." is as inaccurate as saying "WebMD is making everyone a doctor." Just because one knows how to deploy a tool doesn't make one a sound practitioner or an expert. There is MUCH more to being a marketer than knowing how to use Facebook or Twitter.

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