This is so me…

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Marketing Geeks In Demand

My buddy (and fellow Marketing Geek) Jim Kukral wrote an excellent add-on piece to Steve Rubel’s insight into the newly realized position of “Geek Marketer” in a recent AdAge column.  Geek Marketer is as good a title as any (although I tend to prefer my long-running “Idea Guy” moniker.) 

Jim agrees that the Marketing Geek role is in demand, but that most
companies view rewarding this newly-minted marketing position with old
ideas of remuneration.  Jim says: “They [agencies] are expecting to pay this person an average salary. Guess what?  We’re way more valuable than that.”

Jim makes a great point about most traditional businesses, agencies,
marketing firms, etc. expecting to pay an ‘average salary’ for this
above-average (and extremely valuable) new role.  In some cases, this
single individual can make a significant difference in the success or
failure (distinction or extinction) of a company stuck in the rut of
old-advertising mentality.  BUT, it is my view that the true Geek
Marketer isn’t actually looking for a salary (average or otherwise) but
is in constant search of the opportunity to work with cool people on
cool projects.  Never before has the cliche of “do what you love and
the money will follow” been more true.

By combining the artist’s innate love of “The Cool Project
with the savvy of a marketing guru, you end up with a Marketing Geek
who understands the value of the expertise they bring to the table. 
They don’t necessarily need to be paid a salary so much as rewarded in
accordance to the value of the ideas and concepts they bring to the
table — as well as their ability to execute and implement those
concepts in a successful (and profitable) manner.

The Marketing Geek isn’t going to look upon a ‘salary’ as the thing
that binds them to a company. It’s more like the minimum retainer
required for first access to their ideas.  The real reward needs to be
connected to the profit and challenge in making those ideas a reality. 
By all means, provide a salary (average or otherwise) when attempting
to entice a Marketing Geek to work within the walls of your company
(we’ve all got rent and car payments to make in between those
world-changing ideas), but keep in mind money is not the true motivator
that will ultimately keep them working for you (with you.)  There needs
to be a connection to the profit in the end value of their concepts,
and the freedom to explore undefined and dark alleyways to find the
light (and the profit) on the other side.

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