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Why the Word ‘Guru’ Doesn’t Belong in Marketing

The need to call ones self a Guru is a misguided attempt at creating a degree of self importance and an effort to get people to see that social media is an important part of any marketing strategy now.” ~Anise Smith

Raise your hand if you’ve heard the terms social media guru, internet marketing guru,  or digital marketing guru. For a profession that has been around for barely 5 years (Facebook introduced Pages back in 2009), how can one use this ‘guru’ term as a descriptor?

Besides it being such a young field, digital marketing and social media marketing  is an ever-changing field. With new social media platforms being developed, new algorithms, new fads, and new ways to market, how can anyone in the marketing field ever say they are a ‘guru’ in anything? Even traditional marketing, like ads in a newspaper and radio ads, are changing with the development of online advertising space and satellite radio.

The word ‘guru’ will make me avoid following someone on Twitter, not read a blog, and not really believe that person’s qualifications.  Maybe it’s just a personal bias against the word as I’ve never really liked the way it sounded coming out of my mouth or into my ears. Maybe I’m just a skeptic. Maybe the word just outright annoys me.

That being said, the word is over used, under explained, and doesn’t belong in the marketing field.  Many people understand the importance of digital marketing and your experience is known and appreciated. There are just better ways to say it! Explain what makes you better than others by using things like number of networks you are comfortable using, number of years you’ve been managing digital media, and (my favorite) success stories.

People want to see results-if you claim you are a guru, they can be lead to unrealistic standards which can lead to great disappointment. Simply explain what you are good at and how you plan on proving it to them. This will give your client a definition of your own personal version of a ‘guru’.

Until next time!

~Melissa

The women I quoted above wrote two wonderful blogs about this too-check them out here and here!

Marketing Guru

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