Effective mindsets and behaviors that will drive your marketing team away

Typically, managers, executives, and business owners strive to bridge any seeming divide between them and their marketing teams and/or agencies. Understanding the paramount importance and pivotal role marketing professionals play in today’s digital world, they try to ensure that every team member feels motivated and has the necessary resources to perform at the highest possible level.

Nevertheless, there are always some managers and business owners that seem to do exactly the opposite: They drive their marketing team members away. They alienate them.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that anyone — purposefully — seeks to harm the brands and companies they own or work for. So, I reckon that they are usually either unaware of their actions or they just can’t control themselves. The former reveal a lack of knowledge, understanding, or just inadequate information, while the latter let their fear and anxiety take over.

Recently, while grabbing coffee with a business colleague, he shared with me how difficult it has been for him to have effective communication with the marketing team reporting to him, as well as with the agency they hired. That night I jotted down my thoughts on that conversation, and I ended up with a list of mindsets and behaviors that will effectively distance any management from a marketing department or a hired agency. Think of it as a sort of quick reference guide for disaster.

This is by no means a complete list. But if you really want to push your marketing teams away, thinking and acting this way will surely get it done:

  1. Skipping the planning stage: Planning is for people who have time to spare. Additionally, it’s usually combined and associated with the word «process», and that always sounds like «long waiting times». In your mind, planning is equivalent to more expenses.
  2. Not researching: Research is for students and universities. Time and resources invested in any form of data gathering and processing, to find patterns and extract insights from it, is a waste. You think, «researching is nerdy stuff».
  3. Not testing or experimenting: Experimentation is what happens in labs, not in marketing. You always expect to get it right the first time. Communicating, connecting, and transacting with human beings — in the ever-growing plethora of channels and platforms — does not require testing and iteration. You believe your gut always knows what is best.
  4. Demanding virality: You expect extraordinary results only. Each and every piece of content has to be seen by millions, and millions should interact with it and convert to clients as well. If this doesn’t happen, the content is not of the appropriate quality. You think that videos with cats in them is a benchmark.
  5. Not measuring or performing analytics: The only variable worth measuring is revenue increase. Measuring other variables might entail acquiring more tools and hiring more people. That is another unnecessary cost center. You think that measuring other variables makes those infamous processes even longer.
  6. Not providing a budget: Budgeting is a luxury that only big companies can enjoy. You have fewer resources. Therefore, you ask your marketing team to work on ideas, campaigns, and different endeavors that you will approve or reject as they are presented to you. The team has to invest time and other resources to come up with all those alternatives you want to see. But that is a minor issue for you because in your mind, their investment is not equal to yours.
  7. Mixing good intentions with good knowledge: Including your spouse, children, and other family members when evaluating creative work. They love you— and want the best for you — so you think their opinion on topics like brand messaging, brand logo, colors, fonts, copy, etc., is very important. You believe that people with good intentions provide the same value as people with good knowledge, namely, the experts.

I know, I know. Marketing has become a daunting task. I hear you. The need to mix data and creativity — these days — feels like you are back in that insurmountable math class in high school, and compounded now with the notion that the art teacher is also walking in the room to test us simultaneously. Arts + Science = piece of cake. Sure.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel, though. Many companies, big and small, are doing this right. It can be done. Modern digital marketing can help you achieve your business goals and you can have amazingly rewarding communication with everyone involved in the process. But you need to have a different mindset if you want to reduce the «distance» between you and the marketing team that will help you.

You also have to tackle your fears and anxieties. That can be achieved by listening closely to the experts, asking meaningful questions to get interesting answers, being open-minded, and being present. Involve yourself in the process, and not just invest the money needed to «get the job done».


Now, if you already believe that research, planning, budgeting, investing, testing, and analytics are actually key success factors in today’s marketing landscape, click here. We will listen to you and work together to help you achieve your business goals.

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