My wife and I were recently discussing my joining MarketingProfs. She listened to me ramble on about how excited I am to be a part of this group...

...just as she has patiently listened to me ramble on and on about my new-found love for marketing.
My wife and I are both word geeks and also happen to both be Pisces (don't even ask how we manage to get out of bed and get anything done each day). As we are both writers and both Piscean communicators, we tend to talk a lot. We can spend hours rambling with each other on all kinds of topics- religion, politics, psychology, all kinds of things. That said, marketing is not something that has ever appealed to my wife. She fessed up with her very "old" ideas about marketing as a profession (or in my case... obsession).
The truth is: She sees all people who claim to be "marketers" as those extremely annoying folks who call during dinner to sell phone services or timeshare opportunities. She sees marketers as the folks who create really bad commercials that run during great TV shows, or who are responsible for those infuriating pop-ups that block the content you *really* want on the internet. She sees marketers as the people who try to pry the money out of her wallet, whether she wants them to or not.
Like a lot of people in the world, my wife sees marketers as remorseless machines who pander to us in order to separate us from our money. Like many folks, she isn't aware of the whole story. She doesn't know a lot about how marketing is shifting its role. No longer does it spring forth from a soulless corporate machine. Instead, it's morphing into a more caring and sensitive "partner." She and I have had some relatively heated conversations about the semantics of marketing. She is a Boston girl, after all. (And nothing can temper that– right, Ann?)
The point is, many people outside of marketing do not know anything about folks like Mack Collier and his heartfelt desire to create communities of passionate users and marketers working together to improve the overall experience. She knows nothing of Toby Bloomberg and her desire to get marketers/companies to have meaningful relationships built on dialog and shared experiences. She is unfamiliar with the very thoughtful dialogs that exist between many of the contributors and readers of this site.
As marketers, we could do a better job of marketing the good we do and how we do it.
I'm learning to embrace my new role in the world as a "marketing guy." I'm pretty proud of the efforts I have made as a marketer in the past two years.
Don't get me wrong, there's still some ground to cover. I'm not advocating a big virtual group hug here, where we all pat each other on the back and proclaim, "I love you man!" All I'm saying is marketing has changed a lot over the past few years and for the good, too: There's a lot we can be proud of these days.

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Is Marketing a Four-Letter Word?

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Tim Jackson rarely writes about himself in the third person, so he is going to take the opportunity to do that now. Tim is a bike geek, first and foremost. This geekdom has taken Tim to the helm of a small, but respected bicycle brand- Masi Bicycles. This has proven to be Tim's dream job and has given him the chance to experiment with previously unconventional methods of marketing, such as blogging and other social networking, to try and reestablish the name and reputation of his beloved Masi brand. In the past year, Tim has been very lucky to meet and learn from many different marketing professionals who have been kind enough to validate some of his marketing ideas and embolden him to keep pushing ahead. Tim is a battle hardened marketer, educated by the school of hard knocks, as opposed to any professionally accredited institution... which is a bummer because that would probably get him a better paying gig somewhere. Tim will likely be a somewhat infrequent contributor here because he keeps his hands pretty busy fighting in the trenches each day, but he'll stick his head out in the air long enough to fire off some half-baked theories from time to time. He apologizes in advance, just for the record.