Marketing Ain’t Marcom

I don’t know what’s happening but, increasingly, marketers have begun confusing marketing with marcom.  Marcom, for those unfamiliar with the term, is the stuff of marketing communications; a blog, an ad, a website, a brochure.  These are all examples of marcom. 

Marketing, also for those unfamiliar with the term, is an intellectual process through which a long list of strategies are considered against the accomplishment of an objective and one is selected as being qualitatively and quantitatively better than the others and more likely to deliver the desired results .  In other words, marketing is intellectual, marcom is executional.  How could these get confused?


Tactics are easier than strategies. Tactics are tangible and can quickly be measured against all sorts of metrics.  Cheaper than last year.  Bigger.  More up to date.  Things like that.  Strategic evaluation is an intellectual process where, too often, results are almost impossible to separate from their executional components.


You can frame things.  It’s easy to frame a print ad, a brochure, even a webpage.  Framing a strategic plan doesn’t have the immediate punch and visual stopping power.  And simply framing a thing and hanging it on the office wall immediately creates both bragging rights and conversation.  No one is going to read a stratplan hanging on the wall.


Even the best strategies need executions. It is almost certain that you’re going to execute against the strategy at some point, so why not skip the intellectual disputation and go for it!


Making more things requires a bigger team. Many people in marketing measure their stature by the size of their team.  Bigger team means more importance.  Strategic thinking generally mandates senior involvement, execution takes arms and legs.  Which do you have more of?  Which are easier to hire?


Strategic disputation can be mental masturbation. It’s hard to argue with stuff.


In my own career, what I did 40 years ago was executional.  I created marcom.  I think I am worth more today than I was 40 years ago.  How about you?