7 thoughts on “What Do You Do?

  1. Stefan Eyram

    That’s a really good question and made me think for a bit. The truthful answer is “it depends”.
    As a marketing consultant that focuses on effectively integrating online marketing with traditional marketing I find I use different ways to communciate what I do, typically based on who the recipient of the message is and what they do.
    Most often I talk about “integrated marketing” and bringing the true power and benefits of “online marketing” to the established marketing mix used by a company. Very few companies are exclusively online. Most of the people I deal with are not just marketing online (I have worked with companies in consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, services, B2B, telecom, technology, retail, etc.) and are using other means of marketing ranging from advertising, packaging and point-of-purchase to direct mail, telemarketing and more.
    My message is clear…everyone has to be online and integrate all of their marketing to enable consistency, efficiency, results and overall return on investment.
    When forced to choose (like you are doing with your question) I beleive I speak about “integrated marketing” and how “online marketing”, the “Internet” and other “digital marketing” tools allow for an “interactive marketing” relationship and optimized return on marketing investment.
    How’s that for covering all the bases?

  2. Ken Schafer

    To answer my own question, I generally say “online marketing”, but I’m trying to wean myself off that term in favour of “Internet marketing”.
    Why?
    People don’t search for “online marketing”. They search for “Internet marketing”. And one of my best practices is to write using the language of your audience.
    I think that “online” is kind of an old school term. 11 years ago when I started doing this stuff there was no commercial Internet and BBSs and walled-garden online services like Compuserve and AOL still called for entirely different approaches. So we tended to say “online” instead of “Internet” because there were more “onlines” than just the Internet.

  3. Bill Sweetman

    Great question! If I’m talking to mid-to-senior level business people, I use the term e-marketing because I figure by now they know that means “Internet marketing.” If I think they may not know what “e-marketing” is I use the term “Internet marketing,” and if I still get a blank stare from them I add “I help companies market their products and services on the Internet.” This usually (and deliberately) is vague enough to prompt them to ask how I do that, and now we’re into a good conversation. I’m not fond of “online marketing” (too cryptic) or “digital marketing” (ditto) and I hate “Web marketing” because what we do covers much more than just Web. I used to use “interactive marketing” but found that most people had no idea what that meant. Of course, one of my colleagues once suggested that the best answer to the question, “What do you do?” is to reply, “What do you need?” Then, of course, there are my parents, who still have no clue what I do, and probably never will. “You do something on computers, right?” Sigh…

  4. June Macdonald

    Like my colleagues, I tend to change the term depending on who I am talking to, mostly I answer that I do direct marketing and specialize in email and online marketing increase customer sales and loyalty. There are still enough people who don’t know what direct marketing means that it requires an explanation.
    I lately have been getting more fond of the term e-marketing, as that seems to be a term that is general enough yet those who are less familiar with Internet marketing understand that’s what it’s about.
    Hmm… it may be time to review that elevator pitch…

  5. Mitch Joel

    Marketing. I think the more we define and “breakdown” online from offline the further we get away from creating a true holistic marketing and branding experience.
    Look at Apple – everything comes together and is of equal power and affection.
    All too often I find interactive people are more tech than brand and vice-versa. I would hope we are moving towards a world where a marketing and communications program is agnostic to how it is delivered but rather done with what will work best in terms of their customer’s task.

  6. Ken Schafer

    Mitch, I get the “everything is integrated” and “let’s be channel agnostic” approach, but it seems to me that there is a point where expertise is needed that is beyond the scope of a generalist.
    I certainly want cross-channel thinking to pull in online, PR, print, DM, in-store, branding, etc. when I’m setting the strategy for a campaign, but I’m not sure I’d leave the Internet component of the campaign to anyone that didn’t have a very deep knowledge of Internet Marketing. Or whatever we call this thing we do. 🙂
    (Oh, and I probably don’t want the Internet specialist figuring out my DM piece either.)

  7. Mitch Joel

    I agree Ken. I don’t want them “figuring it out” either (especially on my dime). I want them to know interactive as well as branding so that they can deliver the best results. My fear, as the industry is now, is that most marketers fear technology. Most technology people are not marketers. There is some overlap… I would just love to see more 🙂 I’m tired of IT departments driving website strategies and I’m equally tired of marketing people buying websites without truly understanding the needs.

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