Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Where is the Marketing Leadership?

We sit here in Silicon Valley in the hotbed of innovation and technology. The same fertile environment that in previous years spawned Fairchild semiconductors, Sun workstations and the Netscape browser has in its most recent incarnation given us iPods, Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Second Life, among others.

New markets and technologies create new marketing possibilities: viral and word of mouth marketing, banner ads and adwords, online communities and mass collaboration.

In terms of new marketing vehicles and innovative ways to apply marketing, compared to many parts of the US and the world, we in Silicon Valley are in no small measure leaders. But when it comes to looking at marketing as a science, a discipline, and a profession, where are we? When it comes time to train and develop marketing professionals at all stages of their careers, where are we? When the questions of corporate and social responsibility or ethics arise, where are we?

Many of us as individuals or in specific organizations are addressing some of these points on a day-to-day basis. What is not yet happening is the consolidation of our individual efforts into a collective, unified force that can drive positive change in the marketing and business community on a macro level. We are still driven by technology and reactive rather than proactive. New technologies appear first, marketing comes along as an afterthought and adapts to the new world.

We are not yet driving the process of setting goals and standards for marketing as a profession. We are not yet demonstrating to the world what it takes to be marketing leaders in the 21st century—the skills, the acumen, the responsibility.

I believe we have not only a vested interest in this effort, but a natural responsibility to be the drivers and the leaders. In Silicon Valley, we understand the power of the network, the promise of social networking, the potential of mass collaboration. We reinvent the world almost on a daily basis. We are at the bleeding edge of new marketing innovation. Now we need to take our rightful place as leaders of the marketing profession as well.


Gene Hall said...

Hi Linda, Your article strikes a chord with all of us. Thank you for articulating it so well.

Cynthia Holladay said...

I agree Linda - great points. I've often wondered if what we need is a marketing "constitution" that, like our U.S. Constitution, describes the "in order to..." with corresponding Articles designed to make things more specific than the AMA Code of Ethics. Interesting to consider...?