Saturday, February 24, 2007
Off Topic: Cheesed About "Demand Generation Certification"
I don't post too many op-ed pieces, preferring instead to keep with themes and metrics of real business importance, but I have to make an exception to say I'm a bit cheesed by an (unsolicited) email I received recently from a company-which-shall-remain nameless that sponsored a webinar I listened to a few months ago. It starts off:
"I would like to invite you to get certified in Demand Generation Marketing. Please join me...for the Marketing Effectiveness Summit, a boot camp for marketing professionals. This intensive two and one-half days workshop covers 12 key areas of marketing to optimize demand generation."
Certified in Demand Generation? In two and a half days? Are they kidding? I think its a bit silly and even misleading to pitch a seminar in this way. Call me crazy, but I happen to believe it's ridiculous to expect one seminar is going to make you a demand generation/creation expert. I'm not saying I or someone else might not pick up some good ideas from such a seminar (I often do), but seriously would a client be more likely to hire me if I showed them piece of paper saying I was certified to help them generate leads? They'd be laughing as security escorted me to the padded wagon! The real proof will always be in what kind of metrics, case studies and real success results I have to show them to PROVE I can grow their business. That's worth more than any piece of paper (in this case, a $US 1,500.00 piece of paper!)
But wait there's more!
"Our Professional Certification Program is a way to recognize marketing professionals who have met and surpassed high standards of education, experience, and knowledge in demand generation marketing."
Who appointed the seminar company the stewards of these high standards of education, experience and knowledge? Well, no one of course. It's just an unfortunate bit of copywriting that promises too much and, if anyone is silly enough to wave one of those pieces of paper in front of a potential client, ultimately damages the credibility of every professional who does an amazing job growing their clients' business every day without need of a gold-leafed, stamped and embossed paper.