Seth Godin is a well-known figure in technology marketing. And it’s no surprise that he thinks marketing is a pretty important function. Last month, he wrote a blog post with the same title as the one you’re reading right now. In it, he argues that marketing is more than advertising and the innate customer focus of marketers means they’re a good fit to lead IT teams.
Maybe Seth is being a little self-important here. I’m sure many IT teams would not be pleased to learn someone from marketing is being put in charge. But there’s something to Seth’s case.
I worked in marketing for two years. I don’t think I’d want to make a career of it, but I consider it valuable experience. Working in marketing gave me a lot of practice communicating concisely and effectively to audiences who might not want to listen to what I have to say. And it made me consider the optics of how actions and decisions may be received.
I’ve long believed that the best sysadmins and technical support people don’t come fro a strictly technical background. Knowledge of other business areas or even other academic domains gives a broad background for connecting with the customer as a fellow human. And successful IT leadership means being able to work with other parts of the organization and meet their needs.
So maybe IT teams don’t need a marketing person in charge. But it doesn’t hurt to think like a marketer sometimes.