Marketers, Stop Blowing Shit Up
You're only making enemies 🤼♂️
Lots of marketers blow shit up weeks 🧨 into a new role. You know the type.
They take a marketing job, then immediately frustrate teammates and external partners.
They usually nitpick and minimize the work of the previous marketer.
They always feel the need to establish themselves.
They think this will get them respected.
Instead, they make enemies. 🤼♂️
They lose trust right away.
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There's a weird "badge of honor" that immature, egotistical marketers want. This self-asserting group sees themselves as a savior hired to fix problems, most of which are typically far from priorities, some of which aren't even problems at all. Some things they like to touch aren’t impacting reach, awareness, revenue, or brand. But mucking around with stuff gives them something tangible to show to higher-ups. They feel pressure, which most of the time is made up, that whoever hired them has to see new stuff changing fast whether it’s needed or not. Quick to judge, these sometimes bullies go on the attack saying…
“Our logo is terrible, let's change it. This place doesn’t get marketing.”
And the dreaded words, “let’s do a website refresh!” Argh.
Given a loose leash by upper management, oftentimes lasting just a few weeks, these fragile people usually find themselves on an island, deservedly so, fast. Within weeks of joining a company, their coworkers don’t want to help them because their confidence has been crushed, or they feel — or have directly been — blamed for how marketing has operated. When the blame game starts, teams crumble. Also, these morale-destroyers usually disregard why things are the way they are because that’s seen as “being negative.” If a teammate brings up how a decision was made, they’ll fire off a quick…
“Why are we talking about the past? I don’t want to hear that.”
Dismissing what a marketing team employee or vendor has to say isn’t a wise move. Why brush aside someone who’s more familiar with a business and its processes?
Marketers don't have to go about things this way.
As a PR and communications team, our main points of contact at companies are marketing leads and a CEO. These are the leaders who build and own a B2B company’s point of view and narrative, which is why we work so closely with them. As a result, we have seen all types of marketers take the reigns of departments, carefully watching how they treat those around them. More times than we want to admit, we have played therapist to high-performing employees who have been around longer than the new toxic marketer and are looking for advice.
How Marketers Cause Self-Inflicted Wounds
Insecure marketers commit a fatal flaw: they don’t absorb what they can from vendors and teammates. There’s likely a well of knowledge the people around them possess that would greatly help this person in their new role, but since they believe they have all the answers, they miss out on all of it and shoot themselves in the foot.
Very quickly, a vendor and teammate have three options. They can bite their tongues and stick around for a check, walk away, or wait to see if the marketer sees themselves out the door.
I feel for the unlucky folks who find themselves stuck with a new marketing contact who quickly rips apart and replaces everything, causing havoc. Relationships are instantly damaged. Calls get awkward. Overall morale tanks. People start walking on thin ice. Employees who feel unappreciated start looking at the door.
In my experience, these marketers job hop a lot. They usually last months to a year tops, leaving behind a trail of unmet goals and people wondering what in the hell just happened to them. Top-level associates usually have to clean up a mess they overlooked when they were “giving the new person a chance.” More often than not, these marketers get fired because they haven’t improved revenue or done anything valuable. I’ve seen them leave on their own terms after completing a large project to go showcase their “wins” and bag a larger salary somewhere else.
What’s your story with these toxic marketers? Have you encountered them “in the wild?” What’s your advice for those working with someone who behaves like this? Your answers will be included in a future newsletter to help other subscribers going through this situation today.
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