marketing guru

Here at Rand Media Group, we conducted an exhaustive survey of Twitter and found that 27%* of people on Twitter are self-proclaimed marketing gurus. An even more fascinating statistic is that 98%* of people hate self-proclaimed marketing gurus. Why do we hate them so?

It isn’t that people don’t like marketing gurus. Seth Godin has a lot of fans (myself included). The problem is that people don’t trust braggarts, especially marketing braggarts. You can tell someone what you do, but you can’t tell someone how well you do it with much credibility.

In order to gain credibility you have to earn trust. A good marketer figures out how to build trust. Bragging to total strangers about your unsubstantiated awesomeness is not the way to do this. Marketers know this. Marketing gurus know this very well. A true marketing guru doesn’t have to claim the guru title because other people do it for them.

*I made that up and we did no such study.


  1. I love this post. I have been in marketing in some capacity for quite a few years, but would never go as far as to call myself an expert, let alone a “guru”. To me, the quality of your work needs to speak for itself, you shouldn’t have to tell people you’re a guru, it should be plain. The Seth Godin example is a great one. Seth is a brilliant marketer, many people recognize it, he doesn’t have to point it out.

    05/18/10 at 11:04 am
  2. Mavens aren’t far behind the gurus on the “hate list”.

    Phil at TripAdvisorWatch
    06/09/10 at 1:43 pm
  3. Agreed. Maven is another great example. I’d also add ninja, visionary and rockstar to that list.

    06/09/10 at 2:04 pm

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