The most dangerous people in marketing. They steal time and waste budgets, they frustrate CEOs and CFOs.
They aren't the people who usually get a bad rap – new-age strategists, or digital gurus, social media zealots, content spewers or dilettante creatives.
They are the marketing drones.
They most likely did a marketing course at a college somewhere, have only ever worked in marketing, probably in a massive department in a global company. It's unlikely that they've ever been involved in the development of truly great work. They aren't senior marketers, but they're dangerous because they have some control, and the ability to waste precious budgets.
They are the most likely to latch on to the latest fad, and pay attention to lame industry conferences, the most likely chase spurious proxy goals like Facebook likes, Youtube hits, Twitter followers and shares. They have just enough power and little enough responsibility to spend much and achieve very little. And they tend to have very little real understanding of how advertising and marketing can really help businesses.
Without them, the rantings and ravings of the new-age strategists, or digital gurus, social media zealots, content spewers wouldn't really matter. A crazy only causes problems if you actually listen to them. Agencies spend inordinate amounts of time trying to keep these people happy. A truly dangerous bunch.
Over the last sixteen years I've noticed one consistent theme – the companies that get the best out of their advertising are the ones that don't involve the drones – where the most senior marketer and even better, the CEO are most closely involved with their agencies and the development of advertising.