“We do not live in a “post-marketing” world. We live in a “post-bad-marketing world.” It’s still your job to do your job. Go get ’em.”

I run into the sentiment that we’re living in a “post-marketing world” a lot, mostly on social media sites. Which probably explains it, right there. Social media in general has given rise to a lot of things, some of them good and some not. It has leveled playing fields, given voice to the voiceless, and provided a backdrop for all brand communications where customers can talk to other customers and indeed become “brands” themselves.

What it hasn’t done is create a “post-marketing world,” no matter how hard the pundits waive their arms in the air.

We do not live in a “post-marketing” world. We live in a “post-bad-marketing world.” It’s still your job to do your job. Go get ’em.

Hopefully, repeating this mantra will save more than a few careers.

We live in a world where your customers can tell complete strangers with whom they share little more than a hashtag that you’re awful, wonderful or free today at this website (click here now!), regardless of their dubious affiliation or knowledge of who you are or what you do.

They are not in charge. You are.

Maybe it’s because we’re all much better art critics than we are artists. Perhaps we’re just busy. We just don’t care enough to be “in charge” of brands that only matter to us for seconds of the day. The fact is that customers don’t care much about your brand, even if they love you to death.

Ironically, the most powerful brands in the world couldn’t give a tinker’s damn about what you think, and this should make the pundits pause. Do you honestly think Apple cares what you think? Scream about them on Twitter. Go ahead. They won’t answer you.

What about other truly outstanding brands? What about Under Armour, Nike, or The North Face, three of the most powerful names in athletic apparel? What about Monster Cable, makers of the top selling headphones in the US today? Beyond research and insights, are they going to somehow cede ownership of their brands to you? No. They’ll listen when they’re listening, but they are pretty firm that their brand is their business. They own it, they manage it daily and they know it’s important work.

There’s a disconnect here between real life – the real life of powerful brands that have a vision and execute against it – and those who think the world revolves around Motrin Moms.

Take my advice. Side with the brands on this. It’s your job to do your job. If you’re doing your job well, your customers will love you – and they’ll tell their other #hashtag-mates that they love you, too.

But the moment you think your job is just to react to what the “community” is saying in real time, you’ll sink like a stone.