This month we asked Ted Rubin: Do good marketers need a formal marketing education? His reply is, as ever, straight-talking, insightful and to the point. As times change you need to be open to it and have the passion…

In true Rockstar CMO fashion and in the words of the Rockstar immortal Mr. Bob Dylan … The Times They Are a-Changin’. Traditional advertising certainly isn’t extinct, but there is simply too much noise out there, and people are sick of it.

They’re shutting out the blast advertising that has crept into every aspect of their lives, and has been at the heart of the traditionally trained marketers heart for WAY TO LONG… and they are focusing in on the things they truly care about – friends, family, personal interests and needs, and social connections. You need to take a step back and study this shift, with an open mind that many marketers do not have, in order to take advantage of it.

For brands, that doesn’t mean you can simply move your blast advertising campaigns into social channels. You actually have to make real conversation with real people and help them get what they want. That means knowing your prospects well enough to understand what they want. It also means creating content that’s helpful, entertaining, educational, or all of the above. Content that helps people make a decision. Content they want to share with friends.

Smart brands have noticed that we’re moving to a ‘connection economy’ and they are producing ongoing content that meets the new search relevancy standards. They’ve studied their audiences, listened to their social conversations, and have developed plans to use that content in their social profiles to emotionally connect to their audiences and encourage conversation. When it resonates, it gets shared and receives comments and likes, which makes that brand more visible.

What it all boils down to is that in the new world of content and connection marketing, the Content IS the ad… and we desperately need marketers who are open to a new way of thinking. Sharing, conversation, and emotionally connected content will be the ads of the future. Instead of thinking in terms of ‘convince and convert’ we need to start thinking in terms of ‘converse and convert’.

So to get to the point of this diatribe… today, IMHO, not only do good marketers NOT need a formal marketing education, you damn well better have some on your team without. I look first and foremost for passion, and second for passion… the rest can be taught and learned.

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