After reading a lot of inspirational writing recently (mostly from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketo), I’ve had a revelation. Specifically, some things Seth Godin and Joe Pulizzi said are hitting me hard. Knocking me out, in fact.

Why?

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Because they’re the truth about marketing today. And this truth is powerful. Essentially, Pulizzi, author of the new bestselling Content Inc., urges us to make hard choices, repeating Robert Rose’s (CMI chief strategy officer) injunction:

“Don’t create more content; create less content with a higher impact.”

At the same time, when asked what the most effective marketers are going to be doing 5 years from now, Seth Godin said, “Make things worth talking about,” via Marketo’s new CMO Nation site. These two responses are variations on the same theme. Namely, each of these respected, accomplished marketing leaders is issuing a challenge to all marketers: Be significant.

And the way to be significant is not simply to produce a bunch of stuff. It is, rather, to think long-term about what resonates with people you’d like to be doing business with … and provide compelling ways for them to experience that. Godin elaborates further:

“The marketer now needs to be in charge of everything the company does.”

Of course, the marketer needs to be in charge because it is the marketer’s responsibility to positively affect people’s lives in authentic ways. Only by making your company exceptionally helpful and interesting will you be memorable and do right by the buyer. This is how marketing propels a company forward in today’s buying climate.

Marketer as Change Agent

Serving these goals requires discipline and collaboration across all areas of an organization. The marketer is the bridge … the ambassador.  And the more original and focused the marketing purpose, the more likely passionate ambassadors are to attract allies in their company, and ultimately, loyal customer advocates. Instead of taking the easy way out, dare to create something that endures. Something that wields a bigger influence and holds more sway in the imagination of your best customer. Can you be the agent of change (and in charge)? we are being asked. Are you able to stand up and address the hard questions, unifying people around a standard of content excellence, resisting the formidable gravity of the ordinary?

What a motivational message from Godin and Pulizzi to all marketers who care about making a difference. Marketing departments—indeed, entire organizations—of the future are looking for their leaders. Are you one of them?

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Photo courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart via Flickr.

 

 

About Paul Richlovsky

Paul purposefully merges a creative writing and teaching background with his decade-long marketing career. He advises clients on content strategy, editorial direction and PR/distribution. He is a perpetual critical thinker who has written/edited hundreds of blog posts and multiple long-form marketing guides, including those aimed at audiences as varied as healthcare, higher education, financial services, B2C brands and manufacturing. With a BA in English from the College of Wooster, he is also the author of a collection of poetry, "Under the Lunar Neon."He gets really excited about the science of elite performance, usability, brand voice, headlines, digital governance, ballroom dancing, bachata, racquet sports, and romping with his niece and nephews.

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