I recently attended a UCLA Anderson School Event at Google to see an expert panel discussion called, “Marketing: Then, Now, Next.” The distinguished panel included all Anderson alums:
- Guy Kawasaki, Class of ’79 and Author of “Enchantment”
- Susan Wojcicki, Class of ’98 and VP, Product Management at Google (and also Google Marketer #1)
- David Burk, Class of ’87 and Partner at Fleishman-Hillard
There was a cordial discussion about how social media is fundamentally changing marketing, and I was happy to hear that the panel also agrees that it’s changing marketing for the better. The reason for this is simple: social media gives customers a voice.
If marketing is too spammy, “dumb” (Susan’s words not mine), or invasive, customers now have a public outlet to express their opinions and others can chime in. Smart companies track sentiment and watch individual comments about their brands and products.
I’ve always hated the stereotype that exists in Silicon Valley that anyone can do marketing and I won’t stick up for all my colleagues. But more than ever, we are living in a world where smart, creative and innovative marketing will get noticed and rewarded — not by their bosses, but by their real bosses — their customers.