Marketing is a force for good in the world – my marketing manifesto

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I believe marketing is a force for good in the world.

Marketing as a discipline has a pretty bad PR problem, though. People love to hate marketers.

And it’s completely understandable. Years and years of bad marketing have convinced people that marketers are just out to raid their pockets.

That’s not necessarily the case.

Marketing connects you to things that make your life better.

Essentially, marketers help you solve problems and meet needs.

Marketers dream up products and services and determine what price the market will support. Marketers get solutions in front of you when you are trying to solve problems or find joy. And the branding side of marketing ties products to companies so they can be held liable for damages if anything goes wrong.

But there is a lot of very bad marketing out there.

Poorly targeted, interruptive ads remain exquisitely painful, especially on the internet. On the flip side of that, hyper-targeted ads based on deep data make some people even more uncomfortable.

So naturally people judge all of marketing by the worst of its practitioners, even though they may not perceive the positive influence marketing has on their lives, on companies and on the market.

But here is the thing.

If we commit to doing good marketing, we have a chance to repair marketing’s reputation.

With that in mind, I’d like to share with you my vision for developing truly good marketing programs that achieve results.

This is my marketing manifesto.

  • Marketing is a force for good in the world.
  • Good marketing puts the customer and audiences first.
  • Good marketing honors the public’s trust.
  • Silos equal death for good marketing. Integration is life.
  • Too many cooks in the kitchen kill good marketing.
  • Too many chefs but not enough cooks in the kitchen kill good marketing.
  • Good marketing links every single tactic to a specific goal and strategy.
  • Good marketing is highly targeted.
  • Good marketing communications are based in action.
  • Good marketing takes advantage of primary research at all levels.
  • There is no boring in B2B.

If marketers adapt these concepts, we have a chance to build a better relationship with the general public that will result in increased trust in our messages, and more success for the companies we represent.

Audacious and authentic — a case study of Kesha’s strategic launch communications

When strategic marketing communications get great results, whether the results are in changes in perceptions, increases in sales, or both, my heart sings.

And we witnessed a great example of that this summer as Kesha launched her new album.

Read my case study of her team’s work here.

And here is a huge thank you to Gini Dietrich and Laura Petrolino at Spin Sucks for accepting my guest post.

Three reasons marketing and PR students need to read Spin Sucks (if they want jobs)

Three reasons marketing and PR students need to read Spin Sucks (if they want a job)

Sunday morning Spin Sucks


Finding a job can still be tough out there for marketing and PR professionals, especially for students who are just finishing their degrees. Even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, where unemployment is relatively low and there are lots of jobs available in both disciplines, there is still fierce competition for each available role.

But here’s the good news — there’s a new book out that will give marketing and PR students a leg up when they start looking for internships and jobs. Enter Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age by Gini Dietrich.

Here are three reasons why reading Spin Sucks is one of the best things you can do for Read the rest of this entry »

Why those Look Back movies took over your Facebook feed — and what communicators can learn from them

My Facebook Movie

a capture from my Facebook Movie

By now I’m sure you’ve seen your friends’ Facebook “Look Back” videos — even if you haven’t seen your own. A lot of my friends have been posting them, hitting critical mass sometime yesterday. As with most things in Facebookland, some users are enthralled while others seem enraged at the perceived imposition upon their feed experience. But overall, sentiment toward the movies seems to be very positive. I’ve even seen people asking, “where’s yours!”

So what?

Well, let’s take a closer look at why these Facebook “Look Back” movies are taking over your news feed, why people are loving and sharing them, and Read the rest of this entry »

Commitment to customer experience: true leaders make us all part of the team

Servant Leaders in Space!

Servant Leaders in Space!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how customer experience is the driving force behind many decisions that I admire … decisions that drive success for companies.

Some obvious examples are the obsession with design that Steve Jobs leveraged in crafting every interaction customers experience with Apple, and Tony Hsieh’s  innovative hiring practices that ensure every Zappos employee lives to deliver memorable customer service.

But it’s not just these big, glamorous examples — you can find Read the rest of this entry »

Growth hacker nerds are cool: what startups and traditional marketing people can learn from each other

on the way to learn about growth hacking

getting directions on the way to learn about growth hacking


Read the rest of this entry »

6 steps to publishing a blog post about your internship experience

A post about my internship on the Concur corporate blog.

A post about my internship on the Concur corporate blog.

You took the time to apply for that internship you really wanted. You got the interview, you knocked it out of the park, and you got the job!

Now you’re giving it your all and getting good feedback from your managers. What can you do to kick it up a notch?

Blog about it!

In an earlier post I outlined the reasons why you should blog about your internship, and now Read the rest of this entry »

3 reasons you should blog about your internship

Hanging out in the courtyard of the SF office. Photo by Amy Higgins for the Concur blog.

Hanging out in the courtyard of the SF Concur office. Photo by Amy Higgins for the Concur blog.

Summer is in full swing in San Francisco!  And that means fog, fog, and then a little fog on the side … plus some more fog.

And for many of us college students, it also means internship season!

Are you interning this summer? Here’s some advice for you — definitely consider blogging about your experience. Taking the initiative to write about your internship is a smart thing to do in the long run, even if it means Read the rest of this entry »

Marketing Must-Read — “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind”

a classic book -- the title says it all

a classic book — the title says it all

As a student, it can be tough to get time to read above and beyond your course materials. I mean, it can be a challenge just to read everything that your professors prescribe for you, much less anything for pleasure or your own self-directed education.

But sometimes, you just have to explore a tangent that invites you, and you’re very glad you did.

One tangent for me this semester was to dabble a bit into the concept and history of positioning. I wish I could remember Read the rest of this entry »

“One thing” to remember about your brand — it’s not just for your customers

The Power of Now ... for brands.

The Power of Now … works for brands, too!

One of the things I love about getting a business education is that your classes progressively build on each other and the lines between them begin to blur. You start out with prerequisites like accounting, economics and statistics, and by the end you’re specializing in the function you want to practice — in my case, marketing. You finish with a capstone case-study seminar, which is basically an integration and application of all the disciplines you have studied since your first day of school. I love that it’s like one long project.

So the other night, my marketing and management courses collided in yet another “Aha! So that’s how they work together!” moment. Who knew that brand strategy and HR are destined to get married and have beautiful babies? Let me explain. Read the rest of this entry »