I nearly always relate my client’s challenges back to the music industry. That’s because there’s nothing I have encountered in the corporate world that I didn’t first experience in a band or in working with local and international recording artists, labels or managers.
For as complicated as it felt to work in a band with egos, some weak links along the way, it’s easily amplified in the corporate world. Egos, people that are not team players, people that are in it for themselves, and those that give it their all but go unnoticed (you bass players out there know what I mean).
A phrase I don’t like to hear because it’s intellectually dishonest is that “Titles don’t matter”. This is only true when you’re running your own business because you are everyone in the company even when you have employees.
The way that bands are actually simple compared to organizations is that band members have titles. There’s no touchy feely stuff about who you are and why you’re here. If you’re the lead singer, Mike, back on keyboards isn’t fighting for that job (unless he has the chops to compete). If you’re the lead guitarist, Clint on bass doesn’t get to do the solo. Everyone knows their place and it’s their expertise doing those jobs that make or break the sound of a band.
In business, there are definitely some clear roles for people to play. It’s not all grey, but the minute it becomes grey, it is expensive and wasteful.
Marketing teams tend to be in the grey area the most. The reason is pretty simple actually. The hiring managers, the CEO’s or sales leaders don’t clearly understand what marketing is and isn’t.
It’s kind of like handing someone a flute and asking them to rip out Van Halen’s “Eruption” guitar solo. Now, with a lot of tricks, someone could probably pull off a copycat, but it’s not the real deal.
For marketers being hired in an organization, the expectations are that they will perform like a symphony and the leads and sales will just start pouring in. The problem is that marketing has many specialized fields. Some marketers can write, some can design, some can analyze data, some can manage media buys, some can plan events..and so on.
However, you’re 1-3 person marketing team, unless you hired prodigies, can’t do all of those things excellent. They can muddle their way through them, but can’t do all of them at a top performing level. But guess what, you hired them to do “Marketing”…so go market. Sales needs leads, your website needs be look better, you need to organize the next conference. You probably should throw in some PPC, but not too much…just enough to say you’re doing it but not enough to be effective at it.
If you’re a marketer on a team reading this, you’re saying AMEN brother!
If you’re a leader in an organization reading this, you’re one of two types:
A) That’s just a bunch of excuses for people not being as smart as me.
B) That’s our problem and it sucks. I want to help my team feel more empowered.
If you’re A, I will pray for you and hope that you someday realize that other people know things too and that everyone has their limits. If all things are awesome all the time, then nothing is ever awesome.
If you’re the B example, kudos to you and thank you for caring about the health and growth of your employees. The question for you is, what are you going to do about it?
Instead of amplifying their stress to the point of burnout, why don’t you invest in amplifying their efficiency by letting them excel at what they do?
If you’re struggling with this a marketer or your team struggles with this, comment below with what some of those challenges are.