I Know You, I Know You

At last week’s PRSA T3PR conference, one of the audience questions to me was whether or not today’s “marketing celebs” overshadow their clients. The question was asked with the comment, “I know a lot of the marketing ‘Twilebrities,’ for example, but I don’t know any of their clients.”

My reply was that I didn’t think it was an issue – that maybe you are not the client’s core audience and therefore the marketer hasn’t promoted any of his or her client news to you. You may know the marketer because he or she talks about marketing, business, PR, social media – all things you would want to be paying attention to as a fellow marketer. But, if their client sells widgets and you don’t buy widgets, it makes sense that you wouldn’t know the client. In fact, dare I say the marketer might be doing a bad job – over-promoting his or her own work to the wrong audience – if you did know all of his or her clients. Wouldn’t it get annoying if they talked so much about their own work – instead of promoting to you what you find valuable, such as shared insights, experiences and – when the time or circumstance is right – client news, products or services?

Here’s an example. A year ago I had a conversation with Jason Keath, founder of SoFresh, a social media conference for marketers. At the time, he was consulting for several companies on marketing and social media. I paid attention to Jason because he’s a fellow marketer and I was interested in his posts about marketing. I learned about some of his client work as well – but to this day the only client of his I remember is one that I was personally interested in (because it involved shoes). Likewise, I follow other industry colleagues and competitors because I’m interested in their marketing and PR insights, not necessarily because I’m interested in their clients’ products and services. I remember the ones that do apply to me – something I would buy or use – but I pay attention to the marketers because I think they have smart things to say about marketing, PR and social media opportunities and challenges.

Some, like Kelly Cutrone of People’s Revolution, I learned about and began listening to because she’s a PR veteran and I am interested in learning from her. Now, as a lover of fashion, I also happen to pay attention to her client work. But even if I weren’t a fashion fiend, I’d follow what Kelly does because I value her stories and experiences in PR.

What do you think? Are today’s influential marketers overshadowing their clients?

PS – Just for fun, my headline’s a nod to an SNL skit. Who knows which one?

Photo Credit: Michael Halsband

Persuasive Picks for the week of 04/12/10

lifestream-icons Social Media Marketing Overload? Some Tips for Startups
This post by Audrey Watters in ReadWriteWeb’s “ReadWriteStart Channel” provides 4 solid tips to help businesses avoid being overwhelmed when first engaging in social media.

4 Reasons Why PR Agencies Are Taking Over Social Media
Jason Keath provides great food for thought in this post that provides four concrete reasons why PR will eventually rule the social media space for big brands and of course, we have to agree!

How web analytics can help you avoid a PR disaster
Eran Savir, co-founder and VP business development at Kampyle, explains the importance of pursuing and maintaining a high level of customer service and interaction in the online space.

The Engaged User: Bridging Your Web Site And Social Networks
JanRain CEO, Brian Kissel expands on the importance of ensuring there’s a strong bridge between your online social presence and your corporate website that can enable users to become strong proponents of your products, services and content.

Hubspot’s Foursquare Cops
Hubspot’s new video spoof of the TV show “Cops” made its debut this week and is definitely worth a watch.