Email Marketing Manager Title Has To Go

The title of email marketing manager is obsolete in my book. To me the word marketing is a word which reeks with the act of engaging in a monologue with the customer. Wikipedia defines marketing from the AMA as "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large" The definition goes on to say that Marketing practice tends to be seen as a creative industry, which includes advertisingdistribution and selling.

Email marketing is not just about advertising or selling. Its about creating a dialogue  or engagement of the customer with your brand through the use of email. Its not about advertising to them via a monologue of you just shouting (err…blasting as some may say) at the customer with the latest deal. Email marketing does not stop at the promotional email. Its only the beginning of a journey across an entire customer lifecycle of getting them engaged and creating what would easily be a dialogue with your company.

Therefore I would like to suggest that anyone that is currently employed as an email marketing manager, that you petition your current employer for a title change to either an Email Dialogue Manager or an Email Engagement Manager. I think once you are called what you should be doing, some of you will start to act and execute more on what we SHOULD be doing.

Andrew Kordek

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Chief Strategist and Co-Founder at Trendline Interactive.

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26 Responses to “Email Marketing Manager Title Has To Go”

  1. Mark
    August 12, 2009 at 11:45 am #

    Call it whatever you want, it's still marketing. Determining job title by what a person 'should' be doing is a valid point, but unrealistic. Should CEO's change their title to "Profit Boosting Executive?" Since email falls somewhere under their responsibility, should CMO's change their titles as well?

    The whole engagement argument is fine and dandy, but it's been the point of marketing from the beginning. New mediums such as email or social media don't require a revolution in thought or philosophy.

  2. J.D.
    August 12, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    Still not nearly as bad as "Deliverability Manager" or "ISP Relations."

  3. Dave Thackeray
    August 13, 2009 at 7:03 am #

    Having worked in an eCommerce capacity for some years it always amazes me how many email marketing managers rest on their laurels waiting for others to instruct them on how to dialog with customers with finesse.

    If you're competent enough to be appointed a marketing manager in any capacity you should not only be talking to your consumers, but making their hearts beat with segmented offers that shout 'I know you well!' and engage in a friendly context.

    At my last-but-one company we spent far too long figuring out how to implement a member profile application that was intended to do what our call centre agents had been doing for years. The backward nature of eMarketing in the majority of commercial environments is a paradox but one that will take years to turn around.

    What we need is an effective, inexpensive pan-industry training program to show folks the light. Put me on the advisory panel and we'll introduce personalisation and engagement at every touchpoint of the customer's e-xperience!

  4. Andrew Kordek
    August 13, 2009 at 10:30 am #

    @Mark. Great feedback, but I look at the evolution of email over the last several years and wonder if things are shifting, why not shift with the times. Too often, email in the corporate culture is looked at as a profit/marketing center and not a place where they can engage in a dialogue with their customers. Email at its core is marketing yes, but there is a shift happening with people and they want to feel like companies are engaged with them.

    They were once called stewardesses now they are flight attendants. They were mailmen..now postal worker. 10 years ago there wasn't a title called internet marketing specialist and who would have thought there would be titles out there called Director of Community.

    All I am saying is that once organizations get that email is much more powerful than just selling things, then the title has to change.

    Love the feedback…keep it coming.

  5. Alex Williams
    August 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    Let's be honest Andrew, there's not a lot of "Dialogue" that happens in Email Marketing. We try out best to give you content that is relevant so you will buy things and click. That is about as close to the word Marketing as it gets. The "do_not_reply" legacy keeps people even considering the chance to talk back.

    If we could just get every company to have someone who actually has the word "Email Marketing" in their title, now we're getting somewhere! :)

  6. DJ Waldow
    August 13, 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    While it pains me to say this about a Buckeye, I actually agree with Alex on this one.

    At least I'm "disagreeing" with a Notre Dame dude.

    Go Blue!

    Seriously though, I think Alex nails it here, "We try out best to give you content that is relevant so you will buy things and click."

    dj

  7. Andrew Kordek
    August 13, 2009 at 9:59 pm #

    @alex and @Dj Whoa..for an OSU and Michigan guy to agree there will be riots in the streets in Columbus and Ann Arbor this evening. Bo and Woody are rolling over in their graves.

    First off I am shocked that the both of you don't think that there is a lot of dialogue that happens in email. I think that there is more dialogue happening than you believe.

    What about the use of preference data? Customer gives info..company responds

    What about the use of behavioral data such as browse based email? Customer takes and action. (initiates a conversation or action) and company responds.

    What about company's who actively promote their twitter feed for customers to engage in and use it for customer service? Certainly email is the catalyst for this dialogue to happen right?

    What about the use of progressive profiling via a CRM system? Customer gives info either thru sales or some other means and company engages.

    What about the use or transactional data? Customer buys and then company engages in a dialogue via email and provides a relevant base of communication?

    What about B2B? You guys mention that you do your best to give me content so I will click and buy things..but B2B often does not work that way. Often, B2B email is about staying in front of the customer..keeping them warm on the bench about your organization. Customer responds by attending something, downloading something or engaging with the company some way. To me, that is a dialogue.

    What about Google Wave that is coming? Certainly, there is a tremendous amount of collaboration centered in that tool and email is front and center in it. It is apparent to me that email, IM and social networking will collide.

    All of the above may be crude or primitive forms of a dialogue..but they are a dialogue.

    You guys are in the here and now..and while that is ok..you need to think about the future. Yes..inherently email has been known to be a part of marketing..but fellas times are changing and they are changing quickly. Email will always be the catalyst for companies to engage in a two way communication and the dialogue begins now…heck it began a few years ago and we don't even realize it. Email is not always about buying things and clicking..and the sooner you understand that and begin to preach it the better off people will be.

    You need to believe that email HAS to be a dialogue and that is it no longer acceptable to think its all about buying things and clicking. B2b is living proof of that. B2C has a way to go..but every study I read shows that click rates, open rates and general engagement rates in email are declining..and why? To me, its people wanting to engage with the brands..the companies and their people.

    12 months ago twitter or any social networking incorporation into email was virtually non-existent. Today its everywhere. I believe that there is a lot of dialogue in email…it may not be present in most programs yet..but its there. The sooner people realize that..and the sooner the thought leaders begin to talk about it, the more people will want to do it.

    I consider you both to be tremendous thought leaders in this industry and I respect you immensely. People listen to you. Now think about the future of email and think how you guys as thought leaders will go out and preach that email NEEDS to be a dialogue in order for email programs to thrive. Believe in that email is not just about marketing. Believe that email is more than just about clicks and buying. Believe that email is more than just about sending relevant content. Believe that email can be a catalyst to a conversation for organizations.

    Believe. Then try to convince one customer at a time. Do so and you will be rock stars.

  8. DJ Waldow
    August 14, 2009 at 7:00 am #

    Wow. You said a lot. I skimmed, then browsed, then read, and finally re-read. What I think stands out to me most (and what Alex was pointing out & I agreed with) is this statement:

    "All of the above may be crude or primitive forms of a dialogue..but they are a dialogue."

    I actually agree with you too (uh oh. Mich guy now agrees with "typical" ND guy). There is a move to more dialogue and we NEED to have more dialogue. I agree that individuals want to engage with brands and sometimes the people behind the brands (i.e., Tony Hse of Zappos). However, as I often do, I use my wife as my litmus test. She's a huge Sierra Trading Post BUYER. She gets their emails (sent by Wendy Croissant aka @email_queen) and often buys. I think it's a bit of a stretch to say that STP (company not the band, Alex) is engaging in a dialogue with my wife, but I like where you are going with this.

    Time for more coffee to think.

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    @djwaldow

    P.S. Y'all thinking of adding hard returns to this comments section (easier on the eyes). Also, how about the ability for some light HTML and a link to get notified via email by follow up comments? Just saying, just asking).

  9. Michael
    August 14, 2009 at 10:58 am #

    Wow I got the end of the comments and forgot the main point of the post all together. In fact, I started to think of the upcoming college football season. Rough times for the Wolverines.

    To me a title is only a title. we know what we do and that is all that matters.

  10. Alex Williams
    August 14, 2009 at 11:14 pm #

    I love the passion Andrew. I accept the challenge!

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