I coined the term “Marketect” years ago, which is worth revisiting.
Marketect is comprised of two words, “marketer” and “architect.” The word “architect” comes from the Greek word “architektor,” meaning “master builder.” Architects design structures AND supervise their development. Marketing is a lot like architecting. Instead of designing and managing the construction of buildings, bridges, etc., we marketers are creating and building “brands” through the development of the Brand Idea (the theme of the brand’s positioning – it’s reason for existence) and positioning strategy, followed by employing Power Positioning (reflecting the brand positioning strategy in all our marketing mix elements).
The appellation “architect” is also designated for one who plans and achieves a challenging objective. As such, we have architects of foreign policy, monetary policy, etc. Similarly, we marketers are frequently called upon to achieve challenging business and marketing objectives. The most critical yet highly difficult challenge is to occupy a unique position of prominence in this “age of abundance and sameness,” in the minds of target-customers, to create a brand preferred by these same customers. So, shouldn’t we be titled “Marketects?”
Not so fast. “Marketect” is my designation for a master (i.e., an expert) builder of brands. The Marketect accomplishes this through the development of a strategically compelling brand positioning strategy behind an emotive Brand Idea that changes customers perceptions of the marketplace to favor the Marketect’s brand. The Marketect creates a major disruption. This disruption is then accomplished through the practice of Power Positioning.
It takes vision, skill and courage to be a Marketect – characteristics not all marketing managers possess. There’s the run of the mill marketers. You know them. They use available generic category data and information (in the form of market research) as the basis for developing strategies and making decisions. In most cases, these marketers overlook entrenched competitors, their companies’ capabilities, either emerging or unsatisfied customer needs, their products’ ability to capture these needs, and what it takes to bundle a brand and compel customer preference. The result is a failure to achieve the objective of creating and building a healthy brand for the long term. The market landscape is dotted with the bleached bones of these dinosaurs.
The Marketect is someone special. S/he sees the marketplace landscape as it currently lies, a snapshot in time, and creates a vision for a new structure built upon a compelling Brand Idea and strategic brand positioning that spawns the development of an iconic brand. S/he then mobilizes the organization (i.e., all available resource groups) to deliver the positioning (i.e., through Power Positioning) in all employed marketing mix elements to create an entirely new perception of the marketplace among target-customers that favors the development and growth of her brand.
Who are the Marketects of our current society? Who do you think? While I don’t know the names of all the people behind these master brands, I’d nominate Howard Shultz (Starbucks), Phil Knight (Nike) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon). I’d also nominate Airbnb, Uber, Beyond Meat, 23andme, Tide (the Laundry Detergent Brand), among others, as being born of Marketects. Perhaps, there is no one more noteworthy of this exalted title than the late Steve Jobs (Apple Corporation), whom I consider the Marketect of our generation. He disrupted and changed the landscape of so many markets to favor his offerings and change how we live.
We should all strive to be Marketects to build a prominent and, hopefully, lasting brand legacy.