In my Advertising Age column this week I wrote about a new career path I see emerging. It exists both in PR/advertising agencies and on the client side as well - The Geek Marketer.(Micro Persuasion: The Geek Marketer, September 4, 2007)
My thesis is this: it's very difficult for anyone in marketing to keep up with all the twists the digital space because technology changes so darn fast. It's like chasing a cheetah. Most marketers - be they clients or agency side - are heads-down running their business. Therefore, companies are creating a new role. They're hiring people who act as translators between the ultra geeks and the marketers, if you will, and shepherd the development of pilot programs...
...These cross-trained specialists are fluent in both worlds and bridge them. They are marketers by trade, yet they also have a hard-core interest in technology and social anthropology. As curious individuals, they are constantly studying how digital advances are changing our culture and media. Armed with these insights, they regularly apply them in a marketing context by working closely with brand teams to codify new best practices.
I think blogger Steve Rubel is on to something here, and not solely because he's just neatly summarized important aspects of my job description. :-)
There has always been money in being the resident geek-to-suit translator, especially in the IT business. I concur that it's the *pace* of change that is now driving this to the fore.