Brand manager or brand advocate?

AdAge reported today on a study due out soon from Forrester Research that recommends companies change the title and orientation of what today is called a brand manager. Based on the coverage so far there are aspects of the report that I’ll probably agree with and other parts that I will contest.

Much of the findings as reported can be summed up in one term: agility. The problem with many companies today is they are stuck in planning and execution systems built around yesterday’s mass marketing model. Today’s brand managers must be more agile on many fronts:

  • Adjusting annual plans to seize opportunities or address issues not envisioned six to nine months previously
  • Optimizing programs by testing and refining digital marketing options with daily or weekly fine-tuning versus quarterly reviews
  • Embracing customers in a real-time manner through social media
  • Refining the product offering based on the continuous gathering of customer insights using new digital and social options

Many marketing managers spend way too much time focused on internal issues and reporting and too little time connecting with customers. Is brand advocate the right term for the evolved marketer? I’m not sure, but anything that helps improve individual and organization agility is sorely needed.