April 2016. In This Issue:
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editor's CUT

Editor's Cut: I feel betrayed by my own people.

While out and about in my car with the radio on, I was greeted with this statement: “Shelly isn’t just a dog groomer. Shelly is a marketer.” Why is Shelly a marketer, you ask? It’s because Shelly uses an email automation platform. “All you need is and you can be a marketer, too!


I get it—it is a campaign aimed at the small business owner who, with this platform, can achieve marketing greatness at scale and without costly intervention. But…”anyone” can be a marketer? Just like that? Really? I can make a structure out of my utensils and some peppershakers, but I don’t run around saying that just anyone can be an architect.  

Can anyone just be a marketer with the right software?

The fault lies in our heritage—one of wild creativity, clever moments in time and smartly crafted individual acts of promotion. At the CMO Council, we call them random acts of marketing: points of experience and engagement that are held together by a brand standard but often ride through the engagement journey all alone, only loosely connected back to the business by a holistic strategy. And yes, we can blame Mad Men for revealing our “painful because it’s true” reflection of leadership by gut instinct, but when I look around at marketers today, I don’t see many one-trick ponies or executives that can be summed up by gross over-simplification.

So what does Shelly really need to do to become a marketer? I’ll get the list started:

1. She needs to translate brand into bottom line: Marketers don’t just draft a creative brief or jazz up a logo. We actually take all of the attributes of the products, services and offerings that our companies have and translate those aspects of the business into value for our customers. This translation—making the case that it is our product that adds the most value to the lives of a given buyer—is what takes marketing from being intangibly creative to a critical revenue generator.

2. She needs to set the company tone based on the voice of the customer, which isn’t always identical to the voice of the CEO: There has been a lot of noise in the market, warning of the perils of data or analytics not being the silver bullet that will solve our engagement problems…that we need smart people asking smart questions, identifying smart solutions and developing smart strategies. Here’s a hint: Marketers are those smart people!

3. She needs to think about the experience, not just email; content, not just campaign: The best solution in the world can’t make horrible content and misguided strategy somehow reap profitable rewards. Today’s marketers are establishing strategy, direction and content and optimizing those points of execution. Marketers cannot afford to build careers on a basket full of tactics. Today’s marketers need to look at experience and how that experience is guiding and shaping the customer’s journey toward long-term profitability and advocacy.

Those are just three from the top of my head. The list goes on and on, so be sure to send me your additions. Because in reality, it isn’t as easy as just getting an email platform. Being a marketer takes guts, smarts and a whole lot of skill. So come on over to the dark side, Shelly. As a newly minted marketer, you have a lot of work to get to…and emails are only the tip of the iceberg.

Until next month!


P.S. What would you add to the list? Email me at lmiller@cmocouncil.org or tell me on Twitter.