Market Space vs. Market Place

Marketers are endlessly inventive when it comes to creating jargon and sub-specialties.

I was particularly impressed recently to find that “market space” is no longer synonymous with “market place.”  According to Wikipedia, “marketspace” is now defined as “an information and communications-based electronic exchange environment.”

Can “marketspace” consultants and “marketspace” specialists be far behind?

We are quickly reaching the point of taking attempted precision beyond its logical extreme.

Not too long ago, someone coined the phrase “engagement marketing.”  I challenge anyone to show a meaningful distinction between that and marketing’s traditional role in trying to “engage” customers and prospects in dialogues and conversations about products and services.

Recently, someone posted an ad for a social media manager.  Resumes were of no interest to the prospective employer.  The only thing that mattered was the candidate’s following on Facebook and Twitter.  Obviously, this employer has bought into the silliness that these gross numbers mean something.  I challenge anyone to point to a company whose revenues correlate to their social media following.  And, just as obviously, the smart candidate will simply buy the following, which anyone can do.

Now we have “marketspace.”

All these “disciplines” and sub-specialties are great for building corporate empires.  They are potential bonanzas for consultants preying on corporate credulity.  They are terrific for academics who can offer new courses, write tomes, and develop models.

But in this age of seemingly permanent economic lethargy, in this era of ever-increasing demands that marketing show a real-world ROI, how does this never-ending splintering of what used to be marketing’s mission provide value?

Personally, I suspect that marketing is losing sight of its own marketplace.



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