What does it mean for something to be a craft? I guess it means that it’s something that done with care and attention, and that’s done at least in part for the sake of the activity itself, rather than to achieve external results. It also suggests manual work, and small batches.

Some of these things definitely apply to what I think is important about marketing.

Care and attention, for sure. Thoughtful marketing doesn’t just work, it’s also respectful of your potential and actual customers. There’s a big difference between, for example, throwing an interesting, relevant piece of content in front of someone who’s interested in your service, and throwing whatever you can think of. It’s the difference between seeing an obnoxious YouTube ad for the tenth time, and a friend calling you to recommend a product that’s made a difference in their life. (The latter, believe or not, is marketing!)

Doing it for the sake of the activity itself? I’m not sure if that’s possible. Marketing is interesting partly because, unlike building a product, much of it literally cannot be done without involving other people. Its whole purpose is to bring together people who need something, with people who can satisfy that need, either directly or through a product. But maybe “craft marketing” could mean caring about marketing as a way of making the world better, regardless of what it happens to be applied to.

And small batches? Who wants to do small-batch marketing? You really want to reach as many people as you possibly can, provided that your offer is relevant to them. But maybe small-batch marketing means using your power as a marketer to help small, good ideas reach many, many people? Or maybe it’s just really great segmentation? Or maybe it’s focusing on a smaller number of very high-quality marketing activities, rather than a lot of mediocre ones. (But what does high-quality mean, in this case?)

Maybe a better term for “marketing as craft”, is “thoughtful marketing”, but with a capital T. Or “intent-driven marketing”. But maybe “marketing as craft” is right after all.