I’m what they call a geek marketer. Steve Rubel wrote a post about this late last year in his Ad Age Digital column saying:
“Enter Geek Marketers. These cross-trained specialists are fluent in both worlds and bridge them. They are marketers by trade, yet they also have a hard-core interest in technology and social anthropology. As curious individuals, they are constantly studying how digital advances are changing our culture and media. Armed with these insights, they regularly apply them in a marketing context by working closely with brand teams to codify new best practices.”
Now I’m not saying that I’m a specialist necessarily, nor that I’m fluent in either of them 2 worlds, but as Steve stated before in the article “For those who are deeply interested in both technology and marketing, this is your time. A new kind of career is emerging: Enter the Geek Marketer.” than I recognize myself in there very much, I’ll get fluent later ;)
I was reminded of this when I participated in an internal meeting at Microsoft in Munich where Steve came to present his Open Files presentation (which he would present at the Next 08 Conference in Hamburg the day after as well – video here). In this presentation Steve talks about trends in digital and divides them in 3 categories: Faint Signals (here and now and with real business models), Watch List (new and emerging trends not ready for primetime) and the Hallucinations (trends that aren’t really even there yet … sort of). It’s during that meeting that Steve called me a Geek Marketer and I decided to change my blog tag line the same day. Thanks for reminding me Steve :)
Here’s the presentation:
We’re all geeks now ;-) Seriously, I think this distinction between geek marketers and traditional marketers is quite unhelpful as it creates two camps in the industry, who instead of working together, end up competing with each other.
Hey James, I’ll be the first to recognize we don’t have to split things up again (or even more). I always have been against the split we already made between online media and traditional media, as within online we created our own agencies, our own sales houses… our own everything and as said, not something we should repeat.
I see the geek marketer within the marketing unit similar like companies might have a CRM specialst, or an SEO person etc… and hence very useful. Never ever as the next silo we should set up in our organisation.
IMO this distinction between geek marketers and traditional marketers will die out with a generation of digital immigrants