Feel small.  Feel very very small Mr. or Ms. Marketeer.  Do you feel that there are so many tools out there claiming to make it easy to do online marketing that it’s intimidating?

You should be.  It’s a mess.   Full of hype.  Did you know that your marketing wasn’t really automatic before the likes of Marketo and  Eloqua?  Did you realize that your hub wasn’t spot on before HubSpot spotted it?  So, you’re blogging like a maniac  – but which tool are you using?   Did you know that you weren’t really watching before Nielsen, Meltwater or Radian6 gave you permission to peek?

An industry is rapidly growing up around the mega-success of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin and Salesforce.  Startup innovators and hustlers alike, all trying to offer the consumer and business-to-business sales and marketing industry new ways to reach buyers — who don’t want to be ‘sold-to’ any more  — with easier and better ways to create interesting social media content.   Instant Facebook promos, online videos, music, photo and powerpoint sharing .. it goes on and on.

In my experience, professional marketeers increasingly live in one of several camps in this new world.

There are those that really are intimidated (generally over 43 years old) who harumph their way around the day saying that “these things are a fad” .. but quietly getting more and more desperate that they are becoming out of touch.   The ones that Skype you and don’t realize they left the camera turned on, then they pick their ears.  These kinds are annoying because they generally have those fingers in their ears when they are not picking them.

There are those that try anything and claim victory at the same time (generally under 28 years old) as pre-ordained world experts in social media.  These types are annoying because they self promote themselves ad-nauseum (much more than their client’s or companies)  like crazy using every available internet toy they can find.  The ones that continually send you Tweets saying “redesigned Spazzy.com last night with my best peeps!”  These are annoying as they have no grounding in business; they think that just because they can Tweet they can preach.  They have one, or even two, fingers up their nose.

Then there are the professional creatives (who can be young or old – I like the old ones that never shave the most for a grizzled look).    They are ‘lions’ on the savanna that would previously have spent $10,000 on a video shoot at the drop of a hat and who are seeing their preserve being slowly invaded by domestic cats, who don’t have the same standards of ‘production value’ when they create online content with a $100 flip phone.   These folks have their fingers on their cameras .. so you can’t touch the button.

Then there are the mathaholics.  The ones who believe that Excel really does solve world hunger and that if it doesn’t compute, then you don’t do it.  They miss the opportunity by often missing the point.  There is no wood and no trees, only bears.

Me?  I’m a contrarian. I’m a content lover.  Obviously I’m a curmudgeon too.  I believe that some skills will never go out of style for good marketing people; the ability to actually define and develop a strategy, to pick the right message, to architect information well, to tell a complex story simply in words and pictures and then stick with it, to listen to the people who have to sell this stuff and give them what they need (but not always what they want).  Above all to realize that all these tools don’t matter a Hogswart if you don’t have content .. in other words, something to say to people who care and want to listen.

Question is, in this digital cornucopia, what kind of marketeer are you?