Sometimes you wonder if we over complicate marketing.
And sometimes you wonder if it starts with how we describe the work.
Unfortunately, I have a number of friends and former colleagues who are between jobs at the moment. Some were agency professionals in their most recent employment. Some were corporate marketers and communicators. When possible, I pass along job openings they might find of interest.
Tonight I found myself reading a position description for a Segment Marketing Manager. The company seeking to fill the position is no slouch — Fortune 500. Here’s what my old-school journalism professors might call the description’s “nut paragraph”:
As a part of the Segment Marketing Team identify, validate and implement Enterprise customer segmentation models, including project management activities to effectively roll out segmented customer views. Recommend programs that will seek profitable market share gains and sales of key customer segments through the design and development of programs to increase customer loyalty, arrest attrition and acquire new customers. Develop and sustain effective relationship marketing technologies and targeting mediums. Become the enterprise expert on customer segments and collaborate with internal stakeholders on execution of enterprise-wide segment marketing strategy.
How’s that for a call to arms? Kind of raises goose bumps, doesn’t it?
Let’s see now: Am I selling our products to the customer segment or actually selling off our customers? As I’m rolling out these customer views, should I be arresting attrition or merely detaining it over lunch hour for questioning? And while we’re executing the enterprise-wide marketing strategy, do you mind if I wear the blindfold?
David Meerman Scott, social media savant and a thought-leading speaker and author on marketing, has been crusading against corporate gobbledygook for years now. Much of his criticism has been directed at the rampant use of jargon and puffery in corporate news releases. It appears the same critique and advice could be leveled at a certain percentage of HR departments and marketing hiring managers.
How likely is that a marketer who gets hired for the position above will report to work that first Monday absolutely fired up and laser-focused on the stuff that truly matters:
- Thoroughly understand the needs, wants and lifestyles — the personas — of the company’s sweetspot customer and potential customers.
- Imagine, and then work with colleagues, to develop a category-best combination of products, services and customer experience.
- Make sure key suppliers and channel partners are fully engaged and feeling as though they’re in a win-win partnership.
- Establish an ongoing stream of value-adding information, interactions and experiences that makes all of these key audiences feel not sold, not marketed to, but in community with our brand. So much so that they’re inspired to give us most if not all of their business, and they feel great about recommending us to others.
What does your job description say? Are you “arresting attrition” or pioneering fresh, relevant ways to add value? Are you “developing and sustaining effective relationship marketing technologies,” or are you talking to customers and potential customers on a regular basis, and then providing them with content that enriches their lives or empowers their businesses.
Effective marketing is a challenge. And merely describing the work in more human, customer-centric terms doesn’t make things any easier.
But it might make the task at hand sound a whole lot more clear, worthwhile, and fun.