I disagree with Paul's post. Circa 2008, marketers need more command and more control of their brands - not less. Web 2.0 technologies and social media strategies and tactics have enabled an entirely new set of threats and opportunities for contemporary marketers. And by most indications the threats outnumber the opportunities.
Marketers need a very disciplined command and control infrastructure in order to take advantage of the opportunities and guard against the threats. The words command and control are emotionally charged for some
marketers. Especially those struggling with the necessities
of business - like accountability and effectiveness. I've noticed
recently a slew of marketers attaching a pejorative meaning to the
concept of command and control as they try and defend many of their
"new" marketing concepts. I have commented in the past about Seth Godin and Steve Rubel's misunderstanding of command and control:
This from Steve: "The enterprise is afraid of letting go of the command and control structure."
There are different expressions of command and control. Command and control can be top down, centralized and autocratic, and, it can be bottom up, decentralized and democratic. There are degrees and flavors of command and control that are determined by the operating environment, type of activity and objective of the enterprise. By nature and definition command and control is not "oppressive", "autocratic", "top down" or "centralized". It's what you make it.
Barack Obama is finding out he needs more command and control of his brand - otherwise Michelle Obama, Jeremiah Wright and Susan Rice will end up defining it for him.