Romi Mahajan (who recently celebrated the debut of his book Cool Is for Fools) has released a new title called To Thine Own Self: Honesty in Marketing (available for download on Kindle). Much like Cool, To Thine Own Self has Mahajan acting as a standard bearer for a new form of marketing – one in which sincerity, transparency, and ethics are a guiding force.
One of my favorite ideas was presented within the first few pages; Mahajan predicts that firms will begin employing what he calls “Marketing Ethicists” within the next few years. That’s right – someone responsible for monitoring all messages to protect consumers from lies, to liaise with departments and organizations that align to their organization’s values, and to advocate the needs of the user.
What’s interesting is that I think this position is already there, but its definition has yet to emerge. In this era of transparent communication, where every idea, criticism, and compliment is available online, it’s important to have someone who is responding to those thoughts, acting on them, helping to steer the company in the direction of real value and honesty. We are beginning to embrace these values out of necessity – but I think it is a sea change that we are acknowledging with relief. After all, IdeaScale has long been an advocate of transparency, honesty, and innovation on behalf of the customer. These roles today are labeled as our social media managers, our customer voice specialists – but they might be even more than that tomorrow. They may be our company’s ethical compass. The book continues in this vein, offering more insight and support for these initial thoughts.
Download To Thine Own Self to see a little farther down the road in the marketing industry – it’s not at all uncomplicated or easy, but what I was pleased to find is that the view was surprisingly optimistic.
What have you learned from To Thine Own Self?