Reinventing the Marketer of 2010

When I posted an item on my Twitter and Facebook accounts about how newspaper subscriptions are among the “10 Things Not to Buy in 2010,” I got a fair amount of feedback—mainly from folks like myself who started our careers in the newspaper business. “I felt the knife stab on that one,” wrote a former colleague.

No matter how we feel about these trends, it’s clear that the morning newspaper is being replaced by a growing online media presence. These dramatic changes aren’t unique to journalism. In his brilliant column “What every mass marketer needs to learn from Groucho Marx,” Seth Godin notes that, “Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean the market cares any longer.” Seth argues that instead of trying to repair the market, it’s a lot easier to find a market that will respect and pay for the work you can do.

Those of us who learned our craft in the pre-Internet days must adapt to this new environment. If you’re looking to hire a marketing specialist, this has significant ramifications for you.

What to look for in a marketing specialist
I believe the successful writers and marketers of 2010 and beyond will reinvent themselves and serve clients more effectively by:

• Increasing their entrepreneurial savvy. From thinking creatively to seizing opportunities that others overlook, the most successful marketers will become problem-solvers who have a passion for business and can see the big picture.

• Becoming a multimedia storyteller. Today, telling a great story often involves text, video, graphics, audio and photos. Unlike years past, when I was hired simply to write an article, now my clients are asking me to pick a up video camera and audio recorder to create a multimedia experience for their audience, and I’m glad to help. Here’s an example, which I shot at a barn in Woodbury County, Iowa, to go with an article I wrote for a client.

• Utilizing social media. This means building, communicating, and engaging with communities online, from Twitter to Facebook to blogs. As a marketer, I can become a curator of content on the Web, gathering, synthesizing and making sense of online information that benefits my clients—and their clients.

• Renewing a focus on the basics. Skills like good writing, fact checking, and providing content that interests readers have always been critical. However, I believe these fundamental skills are more important than ever as my clients and their audiences search for credibility on the Web and in print.

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