Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Chief Marketing Officer - Toughest Job Around . . .

Posted by Tom Foremski - July 8, 2008

Chief Marketing Officer or VP of Marketing/Communications has to be one of the toughest jobs around these days. Why? Because of the massive fragmentation going on in media and communications.

We see the fragmentation in media in terms of the larger number of smaller media channels. It used to be relatively easy to run advertising in the publications that mattered. And easy to target those same publications for public relations.

These days large media companies are downsizing and the number of smaller media companies, most consisting of blogger journalists with uncertain reach and influence, are still being formed.

In the communications arena there are many new channels. Companies are trying to market through Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, MySpace, Digg, and several dozen more "social media" sites. Also, there is blogging by company representatives, video on YouTube, etc. And it is all still going on, continuing to get even more fragmented.

Then there are the many new conferences plus all the existing conferences and trade shows to deal with.

Marketing through strategic alliances with the right partners was also much easier. Now there are many choices, and a lot more potential competitors, which complicates things.

Good news . . .

The good news about the new media and communications channels is that it is all measurable. You can measure things in incredible detail. You slice and dice the measurement data in ways that were never possible before.

The bad news about the new media and communications channels is that it is all measurable. There is a mountain of data that can sliced and diced in so many ways. What is worth measuring? How much should you measure? What do the measurements mean? How can you relate the measurement data to revenues?

We are still figuring out these and many other questions. And that's why marketing and communications today is so challenging and it isn't going to get any easier.

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