You Ask, I Answer: Why Be a Marketer in 2018?

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

You Ask, I Answer_ Why Be a Marketer in 2018_

Patrick asks, “Why should people pursue a career as a marketer in 2018?”

Interesting question. I’m not sure people SHOULD pursue marketing careers. Pursue a marketing career only if that’s what you enjoy doing. The soul of marketing is connection – using communications as a way to create awareness, consideration, and evaluation prior to purchase, and reinforcing loyalty after purchase. We connect audiences with products and services that solve their problems.

The greater challenge before a marketer is finding a company worth working at. One of the reasons so much marketing is terrible is that at their core, a fair number of companies’ products and services are terrible, and most are mediocre. Marketing amplifies what’s already there. A truly amazing product requires very little marketing. A truly terrible product can have billion-dollar budgets and huge teams and will still never conquer the market.

Pushing a mediocre, commodity product with marketing requires substantial resources and amazing talent and at the end of the day, you still won’t feel like you’ve done amazing work. At best, you’ll feel like you did good work to support an imperfect product or service, which will feel somewhat satisfying. At worst, you’ll feel a gnawing discontent that you could be doing something better with your career and life.

That’s the great challenge for marketers: not the discipline of marketing, but the passion for the company we work for.

You Ask, I Answer: Why Be a Marketer in 2018?

Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.

Listen to the audio here:

Download the MP3 audio here.

Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s you ask I answer Patrick asks, Why should people pursue a career as a marketer in 2018

today? Interesting question

I’m not sure people should

pursue marketing careers

you you get into marketing really if

you enjoy the discipline of marketing if you enjoy what marketing’s functional purpose is the soul of marketing. The heart and soul of marketing is connection. It’s using communications tools and tactics and methods and strategies as a way to create awareness, consideration and evaluation of a company’s products or services prior to purchase at marketing isn’t sales marketing isn’t advertising either. It’s sort of that bridge between the broadest awareness

and the transaction and, and helping

make them connection between those those two entities. And then after purchase, reinforcing loyalty and evangelism after purchase, which is an important part of marketing people often forget, we connect as marketers, we connect audiences with products and services that solve their problems. So if you enjoy doing that, if you enjoy the art and science of connection, if you enjoy blending stories, and data analytics and interactions with people, if you enjoy talking to people, and talking with people, and listening to people with problems, problems they have, and figuring out how you can solve those problems with the company’s products and services, then, yes, that’s a good reason to become a marketer that is a, you’re well suited for that if you can think with both sides of your brain analytical and creative, then you should pursue a career in marketing. Now, here’s the greater challenge for marketers. And this applies to both marketers who are already in the profession as well as those like students who are who are contemplating entering marketing this profession, the greater challenge is not marketing itself, you kind of know whether you enjoy connecting people to things, it’s finding a company that’s worth working at, in a marketing capacity.

If you look at the state of marketing right now. And over the last 10 years, it’s generally terrible it is generally there’s so much marketing, that is just garbage marketing.

And the reason for it

is that company’s products and services are there like a bell curve, right? There’s very, very few outstanding companies that have an amazing once in a generation products and services that

you would love to tell those stories, you would love to

connect people to those things,

there’s very, very few,

like completely disastrous, this, this product, sole purpose is to make the world a worse place.

And then there’s a whole bunch of the middle of just mediocre products and services, commodities, things that are

literally a dime a dozen. And, and,

and no one is excited about that product. Like, hey, here is yet another nonstick frying pan. Whoo.

And because the products and services are mediocre, or terrible

marketing struggles, right? marketing is because you’re connecting

and communicating, which are the foundations of marketing, you’re connecting and communicating, you’re amplifying,

if you’re amplifying what’s already there, then

a truly amazing product, you’re going to be able to amplify that super easy, right? Think of it as literal multiplication, right? If you have a million multiplying at times two is, it’s easy to turn that into 2 million, if you have zero, it’s always going to be zero. And in the middle of Yeah, like to multiply, you know, that apply, it’s a multiplier, you know, you only get four, right. So it’s much, much harder to have an amplification effect as a marketer on a mediocre or even a terrible product than it is on a great product. And for so many people who are trapped in this space of I work at a company that has a commodity it, you’re

going to require massive resources, big

marketing budgets, big marketing teams, in order to, to move the needle even a little bit, to get people to even consider you much less make a purchase from you. And some will, because they were looking for a better price on a commodity or better service on a commodity or a better customer experience. But for the most part, it’s, it’s a lot heavier, it’s a much heavier lift to push that boulder uphill than it is to take the truly amazing company or product or service and amplify that

as a marketer. When you work at a commodity company, or a media do company

at a personal level, it’s going to be a struggle, right? You’re gonna have at the end of the day, you’ll at best, you’re going to feel like okay, I did good work to support

an okay product or service and no feel somewhat satisfying. At worst, you’d be like this is sort of knowing discontented your soul that’s like, I really should be doing something better my life, I know that I can do more than this, whatever this is, you know, marketing

emails, email services, or some server appliance and things.


it taxes your skills as a storyteller when you feel like the story you’re telling isn’t a great story. And when there isn’t anything there, I used to work in public relations used to see companies all the time saying, We want you to tell our story. We want you to tell our story

and look and listen. And well, your story socks, your

private equity fund company that makes hotel key cards, that’s not a real exciting story, right? That is your story is you make little things that that people routinely screw up and,

and it’s no different than anyone elses on the product on the market. So

there isn’t a story to tell. And you have to get super creative to try and tell that story. And even then, you’re still telling a story, a story about little plastic cards, right? Though I think the most exciting hotel card I saw in 10 years was a

one that made of wood,

because it was it was more sustainable that way. So that’s the great challenge for marketers for people who are considering entering the profession or people who are in the profession, not the discipline itself, but the passion for the work that you do the passion for the company’s products or services. One of the reasons that I went out on my own as an co founded the company co founder Trust Insights was that

I wanted to 100% believe in the company, the products

and services


I was donating, you know, 810, 1214

hours a day to

and at all of the previous companies I worked for,

it was some level of, Okay, this is

pretty good. But after a certain point in your career

in your life, like pretty good, and not good enough,

I’m gonna be spending, you know,

nights and weekends away from from family and on the road and doing these things, it had better be something that is better

than pretty good, it had better be

cool a man Oh, yeah, I want to do that.

And so as a marketer,

look for that, oh, yeah, moment. Like, this

is the company this is a company they can believe in. This is a product that I believe in. This is a product that solves a real problem that a that an audience has, and hopefully makes the world a better place in some way. Now, you don’t have to be like life saving change, although that’s certainly a good motivator. But something that makes the world a better place rather than a worse place, something that makes the world a little bit better. And so as a marketer,

when you pursue a career in marketing, be very

cautious about what companies you work with, do you do diligence and ask yourself at the end of the day, will I feel good about working for this company? Well, I feel like my work has contributed in a meaningful way and do I get something out of it? And if the answer is no,

probably time to brush up on your LinkedIn profile. And

there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s also nothing wrong with exiting the marketing profession and saying, you know what, not my thing. I’m not ready to tell the stories of media companies, I want to do something else with my time maybe go into Product Marketing and product management or something like that, where you actually get to build the thing that you then tell the stories about so great question Patrick. complicated question with a lot of nuance to it, because it’s all comes down to who we are as human beings and and very challenging to find the right that right fit between your skills and what you want to bring into the world. So tough, tough question. As always, please subscribe to the YouTube channel and to the newsletter. We’ll talk to you soon. Take care

if you want help with your company’s data and analytics visit Trust Insights calm today and let us know how we can help you.

You might also enjoy:

Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:

subscribe to my newsletter here

AI for Marketers Book
Take my Generative AI for Marketers course!

Analytics for Marketers Discussion Group
Join my Analytics for Marketers Slack Group!


One response to “You Ask, I Answer: Why Be a Marketer in 2018?”

  1. I liked your approach to this topic Christopher. The answer isn’t easy I guess.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This