This is the question our marketing clients are asking themselves. Not only for their companies, but for themselves.
There has never been a better time in the history of the world to be a marketer. From mobile advertising to social media, this is the golden age of advertising and marketing. Marketers such as Vail Ski Resorts are building sustainable competitive advantage with multichannel programs like EpicMix.
Built into its actual marketing department at its headquarters, Gatorade’s Mission Control monitors social media, website and other digital communications in real-time between consumers and its brand.
But other marketers are falling farther and farther behind. They are still printing things like coupons, rolling out traditional plastic card rewards programs and sending direct mail in large quantities. They are confusing activity with results. And become less and less relevant to their customers and prospects each day. Consumers have embraced their smartphones, Facebook and new media. Most could care less about traditional advertising because it isn’t how they choose to engage with their friends and favorite brands.
This tectonic shift is driving the career opportunities smart marketers enjoy right now and into the future. These leaders are integrating mobile and social media and other channels into their traditional marketing and advertising. As a result, they enjoy enhanced career marketability inside and outside their companies.
Other marketers, especially the ones not comfortable with technology, are following the well-worn path of newspapers and printers. They are become less and less relevant with each passing week. They are marginalized by more innovative (and sometimes younger) colleagues inside their companies. Others don’t make it to the final round of interviews for external jobs outside their companies.
Moreover, you don’t have to have a million dollar budget like Gatorade and Vail to innovate. In fact, small marketers with little bureaucracy can out-smart and out-execute larger rivals. Mobile and social media, in particular, are game changers because the tools don’t cost a lot of money. But you do need expertise, courage and vision.
New Year’s Resolution: For 2012, I challenge each of you to spend 10% of your time, money and resources on new media. Begin by stopping or reducing by 10% the marketing activities that you know don’t work. Or don’t work like they used to. This frees you up to focus on new things that have the potential to move the needle for your brand and your career.
If you don’t tweet, for instance, you need to figure it out, including how to use the # vs. @ symbols. You can’t sit back and let someone on your staff figure it out for you. You need to learn yourself.
The best way to accomplish this is to use it in your personal life. If you aren’t an avid Facebook user and you are a business-to-consumer (B2C), you must become an expert. Period. Or you won’t get it when you’re in a marketing meeting on Facebook apps, the social graph and other key aspects of Facebook marketing.
This will ensure that not only will you have a job in 3 years, but that you will thrive, make more money and enjoy going to work each day. Isn’t that the point?