Some top guys in this market (preaching Web 2.0 to established organisations) are independently realising the need for a new position in the company; titles vary from Geek Marketer, Community Evangelist and Community Manager.
Job description: able to interpret new Web trends and translate them into the Enterprise. Must be able to publish to the internet and monitor the internet for feedback. Developing digital strategies around formal and informal communities (also known as stakeholders) imperative. Must be able to interpret the needs of the Business to IT implementors, as well as to the community, and back.
Enter Geek Marketers. These cross-trained specialists are fluent in both worlds and bridge them. They are marketers by trade, yet they also have a hard-core interest in technology and social anthropology. As curious individuals, they are constantly studying how digital advances are changing our culture and media. Armed with these insights, they regularly apply them in a marketing context by working closely with brand teams to codify new best practices.
Want to know the progression of the ‘Net Web ‘sphere? Consider the titles of the day:
- Webmaster (very IT, D&D reminiscent: pre-1999)
- Web Producer (Hey, this things like TV! 1999-2000)
- Internet Manager (Just run the damn thing, 2001-2005)
- Digital Strategist (We’re nervous. Find out what it is and tell us)
Explaining Web 2 often goes like this. IT ran the corporate websites, and had to give that up in 2001 after management thought propellerheads and Venture Capitalists need to be separated. Marcoms got the job, and were slow on the uptake, but with most Web 2 tools being communication tools they are finally getting it.
I find many people in this field who were around in the early Naughties (1999-2001) and usually qualify for the above titles have the following in common:
- appreciation for new tools (RSS, bookmarking)
- acumen of a business unit manager
- mindset of a citizen journalist
- technical skills of a developer
- built-in crap detector when it comes to sentence ending in “…ship it and we’ll all be rich!!!”
Know them by their signs.