What I Want the Marketing Industry to Do

If you are amongst the small crowd of consistent readers, you may know my distaste for much of the professional organizations for the marketing industry. In this post, I aim to give my oh-so-naive vision for the marketing industry, instead of always complaining. Don’t say I never tried.

1. A National Advertising and Marketing Council.
One word: Consolidation. What I like about communications professionals is that many see the need for industry folks to rub shoulders and talk about the good and bad about the industry. But what is interesting to me, is that to reach all the communicators, one has to be a part of  7 different organizations. For some crazy reason, I feel like being a part of the AMA, IABC, PRSA, BMA, AAF, 4As, ANA, just to talk to 20 people who actually care sounds like nonsense. How can engineers, medical professionals, lawyers, and even accountants, have a single advisory board about their fields, and we ego-loving, loud, wordsmiths can’t seem to pull it together? We talk about message consistency, branding and image control. Why can’t we all get along, and do it for ourselves?

Okay, for the old people who might actually stumble on to this, don’t have a heart attack. I have a way to keep all the egos in check. The organization can be three pronged: Agency-Side, Client-Side, and Academic. If needed, each prong will have a set of officers and the ability to create committees as they see fit. I will give “Big Ups” to the AMA, because I like how it does the Special Interest Groups (research, healthcare, strategy, etc.) so that should stay. And I like how PRSA has the Young Professionals network, so that outline should be copied as well.

And yes, there will be a separate board for awards. But sorry, Association of Communications and Marketing Professionals, you will be no more.

But think of how awesome that organization would be! All communicators, under one roof. That’s a beautiful thing.

2. End of Out-dated Benchmarks
The academic arena has really done a wonderful job catching up to the industry. There are now numerous prestigious degrees for marketing, advertising and public relations. People can now receive PhDs. in communications.

So accreditation programs like the IABC and the maligned APR exam that PRSA “uses” can be permanently deleted.

3. Celebrate Advertising and Marketing Communications
Celebrations are intentional. They show an appreciation for what has been accomplished, and bring attention. New York’s Advertising Week has done a great job doing that for the Ad folks who can make it.

But let’s take it up a notch. Like Mashable’s “Social Media Day”, having a “MarCom Madness Weekend” across the nation would be cool. And unlike SMD, MarCom madness can take the outline of Advertising Week and talk about real issues, like:

-Recruiting male and minority talent
-Code of Ethics and what “transparency” really means
-Retaining quality and creative talent
-Grooming the next young leaders of the industry

And how will we know all this is done? Cities will be strongly encouraged to document, record these conversations, questions, and best practices and post them on a database created for this purpose.

3. Be an Advocate for the Industry
I am not naive enough to believe that the previous two items are going to happen. I wish I was, but the powers-that-be are so outdated, and so comfortable, that real change isn’t going to happen until those people no longer have their invisible veto authority.

But please, be an advocate for the industry. If you don’t like what you’re doing, please leave, or find something else to do. Marketing and advertising is so much fun, and in a monopolistic economy, where differentiation is the deciding factor for businesses surviving or dying, it is very important.

The lovers of communications and the modern day town criers can no longer afford to be silent.




2 thoughts on “What I Want the Marketing Industry to Do

  1. What if you’re just not crazy about your current situation. Do I still have to leave? I just got here!

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