Did you know that 75% of marketers reported experiencing burnout before the pandemic hit? This number only increased throughout the pandemic, along with a whopping 81% of marketers looking to leave their current role within the next three years. While multiple factors undoubtedly contribute to these statistics, one of the biggest is the ever-growing disconnect between marketers and their leaders.
When I first posted about this issue, it hit home with so many of my fellow marketers. In this article, I want to clear up a few misconceptions about marketing, which will help set well-intended CEOs up for success in hiring and supporting the marketers in your organization.
“Anyone can do marketing”
What would be your reaction if I said that anyone could do the job of CEO?
I bet you got frustrated just reading that question because you know the difficulties and the sacrifices and how hard you have worked to get where you are in your career.
Like the role of CEO, it is also essential to recognize the importance of the role of marketing leaders in driving business success. Marketing is a critical function that helps organizations connect with customers, build brands, and drive revenue growth. To be effective, marketing leaders must bring a diverse set of skills, including communication, business strategy, analytics, culture, leadership, psychology, and more.
Effective marketing is not just about creating catchy ads and social media posts; it’s about understanding the needs and wants of customers, staying ahead of industry trends, and using insights to inform decision-making. Marketing leaders must also have the ability to inspire and motivate their teams, build strong partnerships across the organization, and adapt to the ever evolving landscape of digital marketing.
“Marketing’s job is to take orders from other departments.”
Marketing is not primarily a support job. A great marketer understands the ins and outs of their business, as well as their target market, so it is important that marketing does not become a help desk for other departments.
Marketing’s strategic role within the organization is vital. Consider the role of marketing in positioning and category development. As Andy Cunningham, positioning expert who helped Steve Jobs launch the Macintosh says, “Great positioning is the epicenter of great marketing, and great marketing is the epicenter of great business.”
Marketers don’t just deserve a seat at the strategy table, we should be helping to lead it! Keep in mind that marketing is the only function within your organization that understands how to lead a movement and build brand equity, and a critical part of your company’s go-to-market strategy.
“All we need is the latest tool to get results”
Let’s call this the “shiny object syndrome.” There are approximately 10,000 products in the martech landscape, and it’s constantly growing. Don’t get me wrong – tools are necessary to help organizations scale, but the tools are only as good as the strategy they serve and how those tools are applied.
“For a team without proven processes and content, automating so-so or even bad workflows doesn’t magically make their content effective or compelling. It just means the team can now send out crappy, irrelevant content faster and to more people,” explained Pardot’s Elisa Silverman.
Before you get distracted by the next big release, talk to your marketing leaders about how to best leverage your current tech stack and whether new tools are necessary to carry out your company’s strategy and improve its effectiveness.
“Marketing is synonymous with [insert specialty]”
This is one of the biggest misconceptions around marketing. So, we must go back to basics.
What is marketing? According to Hubspot, “Marketing is the process of getting people interested in your company’s product or service. This happens through market research, analysis, and understanding your ideal customer’s interests. Marketing pertains to all aspects of a business, including product development, distribution methods, sales, and advertising.”
So, marketing is not strictly advertising, social media, blogging, SEO, email, public relations, branding, or product marketing. Instead, marketing is the sum of all its parts, with many different disciplines working together to drive your company’s go-to-market (GTM) strategy.
Setting yourself up for success
Ultimately, the success of any organization depends on the collective efforts of its teams. So, CEOs, let’s recognize the strategic role marketing plays and the potential impact it could have on the business if better understood and supported.
The good news is that your marketing team wants to succeed as much as you do. So, let’s move beyond the misconceptions and work to understand and empower marketing as they aspire to grow market share and expand the value and perception of the brand.
About Aaron Hassen
Aaron Hassen spent the last 20 years leading marketing for high-growth B2B tech companies selling to enterprise, Fortune 500 brands. He is a well-respected marketing leader, strategist, and hands-on practitioner with a track record of helping companies grow 2X and 3X annually. Aaron currently leads AH Marketing, an agency that supports growing B2B brands with marketing strategy, planning and execution. Learn more at: www.aaronhassen.com