Technology may be creating exponential opportunity for businesses, but it is sure creating a headache for marketers. According to Clark Kokich, chairman of digital agency Razorfish, today’s marketing “…is less about advertising and more about creating an experience that transforms what it means to be a customer of a brand.” In this brave new marketing world, says Kokich, there are no experts: “If your self-worth and your confidence is based on you being an expert, you’re in deep trouble, because there aren’t any experts.”¹ Or, as Internet marketing prognosticator Jay Baer notes, we are entering an “age of marketing generalists.”
Though I agree with both Kokich and Baer, I’d say that the demands of today’s zany marketing environment require more than just a generalist- they require an uber-marketer. Or, to put it in a slightly more nostalgic framework, they require the services of the Six Million Dollar Marketer.
- Consumers expect personalization and seamless online user experiences. They are looking for content that informs, entertains, or otherwise adds value to their daily lives.
- Moreover, consumers are on their own timetable: they want this content to be contextually relevant, and to be delivered in the most appropos media formats (written, visual, audio). Consumers are sick and tired of being talked down to by advertisers and marketers; they have the power, and they want to be wooed.
- Search engines favor more recent, or fresher, content that is also unique and authoritative. A lot of content is better than a little, as search engines like Google encourage brands to act like publishers. More content=higher visibility on search and social.
THE NEW BOTTOM LINE
Brands need to produce large quantities of really solid, unique content that is brilliant, personalized, recent, and relevant. All of this content then needs to be optimized for any platform or device on which it could potentially be viewed or consumed via social sharing (websites, differing social channels, mobile devices, etc). Throughout it all, brands need to be engaging with their audience in real time over multiple channels, constantly tweaking content offerings to fit the ever-changing wants and needs of each segment of their target audience.
Sounds impossible - at least for a normal human.
But the Six Million Dollar Marketer is no normal human- far from it. Recognizing that a little knowledge can go a long way, the Six Million Dollar Marketer is an uber-generalist.
ATTRIBUTES OF THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MARKETER
- Writing Chops -Versed in Shakespeare and Steel, Baudelaire and Bukowski, people try to copy his copy
- Analytical Skills - He knows big data, and is not afraid to use it
- Design Know-How - A BS versed in HTML5, CSS, PHP, C++, SQL, ASP, GRUs, SEO- WYSIWYG
- SEO Savvy - Paid, organic, it’s all good in the hood
- Coding Capabilities - He writes code at work, and reads code at play
- Mobile Moxie - His personal motto: “anywhere, anytime”
- Social Sure-handedness - Plenty of Klout and Kred here
- Branding Bent - He writes taglines in his bylines
More than mere skills, today’s Six Million Dollar Marketer must have a sort of marketing je ne sais quoi. As Clark Kokich points out: “What you need more than expertise is curiosity, someone who’s interested in what’s happening, loves change, and wants to develop ideas and drive change.”¹ Think Richard Branson.
When I first wrote this, one thought came to mind: Lee Majors as the Six Million Dollar Man (could be Lindsay Wagner as the Six Million Dollar Woman). I bet Colonel Steve Austin could’ve taken on the daunting challenges of the modern day marketer with a glint in his bionic eye.
Hopefully you can too.
Image courtsey of BadHaven