No Seth, you're wrong. Great marketers are not architects. Great marketers are great salesmen who also "get" things like strategy, communications, ROI, etc. For some reason Seth Godin has turned really pissy. His recent posts attacking door-to-door salesmen, commissioned salesmen, direct marketers and telemarketers have a decidedly elitist, ivory tower vibe about them that seems to have exposed Seth's bias towards the unwashed masses.
Further evidence of his bias is this post attempting to make a comparison between great marketers and architects. Seth's comparison was made in response to a friend looking to hire a new CMO who could maximize revenue. Seth almost goes postal on the guy because he wanted his new CMO to increase sales. Seth tells the guy that rather than maximizing revenue (which according to Seth is the job of a direct marketer) his CMO needs to be an architect:
What does an architect do? She reinvents the very nature of what's delivered and how it is delivered. She reimagines the inputs and outputs of the organization, as well as its story, to create an engine of revenue that grows while benefitting all sides.
So instead of hiring a CMO to maximize revenue you need to hire a CMO to reinvent everything? What if everything doesn't need reinventing? What if you're running a nice enterprise, short on cash, short on time and long on opportunity? You're telling me to go through the china shop and break all the china? Gimme a break. What you need is a killer marketer. Somebody to kick ass and exploit the opportunity. To Seth's friend - send me an email - I know of a terrific headhunter who can help you find the right person.
UPDATE: Just as I posted the above, BtoB came across with the latest study on marketing execs and their lack of boardroom clout from the CMO Council: Study: Marketing execs still lack boardroom clout Nov 30, 2005
Palo Alto, Calif.—Top marketing executives admit that their group’s performance is not up to snuff, leading to a lack of influence within the corporate hierarchy, according to a study released Wednesday by the CMO Council. Only 10% of respondents to the CMO Council survey said their marketing groups are “highly influential and strategic” within the company. What’s more, less than half said their teams are “well regarded and respected,” even though two-thirds of CEOs polled in a separate survey by Chief Executive magazine said their marketing groups are “mission critical” for creating top-line growth.
KEYWORD IS TOP-LINE GROWTH. NOT RE-INVENTING. NOT RE-IMAGINING. THE KEYWORD FOR MARKETERS IS SALES.
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