Google+ The Marketing Survivalist: Are You an Insecure Marketer?

Are You an Insecure Marketer?

Insecurity can be one of the biggest threats to a marketing career. Insecure marketers can also create real headaches for their managers and hamper the achievements of the entire team.

It’s easy to recognize the insecure marketer by a couple of tell-tale traits. Unfortunately, the individual with the insecurity is usually the last to know. See if any of these fit your profile or that of someone you know.

Never asks questions
This marketer will accept any assignment and assure you that he or she understands it completely. They are afraid to ask questions because they are afraid if they do they will show what they don’t know and that you and others will assume they are incompetent.

Never asks for assistance
Not only do they not ask for assistance from their boss, they don’t ask for assistance from their co-workers either. I have seen many examples where insecure, and somewhat overworked, marketers refused to ask for assistance from other marketers who were between major projects. I know the assistance would gladly have been given, but the insecure marketer was afraid of having to share the glory as well.

Doesn’t work well with vendors
If the insecure marketer is a manager, chances are they will have very few vendors. As one marketing manager once told me, “If we hire outside, they will think that we can’t do the work.” He was basically a staff on one for a $100M organization so his statement bordered on the absurd. It also showed some real insecurity.

Not open to ideas from others outside of marketing
The insecure marketer will immediately dismiss ideas from others – especially sales. They will roll their eyes and say things like, “They just don’t understand marketing.”

Skips the debrief stage of most campaigns
Lastly, the insecure marketer will usually skip the debrief stage of their campaigns. If the campaign didn’t work as well as expected, they won’t take the time to dissect what went well and what could be done better next time. If they are required to complete a debrief, they will do it in a vacuum without any inut from others involved in the campaign or with insights to share.

Managing a new, inexperienced marketer is easy compared to managing an insecure marketer. Even the seasoned ones can be a nightmare as they relive the same year of their careers over and over. Their professional skills never get any better and, their people skills seem to get worse as they get more and more insecure over the years as their careers fail to meet their expectations.

So what do you think? Can a manager help an insecure marketer overcome their issues? Or, is their a point of no return when you just have to say, “We have a job to do” and replace the individual with someone who is more eager to learn and participate as part of the team?

Melissa Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo


  1. Anonymous09:30

    Marketing often gets blamed when things go wrong, but seldom gets the credit when things go right.
    Melissa I wish I could disagree with you, I read your post and what I have seen too frequently is that the top management is either from an accounting background or sales background or a combination of the two. Marketers are often charged with the task of "growing the business" with a paucity of resources, and 2 serious handicaps 1) top management that is unaware of the methods and commitments involved and 2)Sales typically wants cutting edge product, unlimited marketing support, top-notch packaging but still be able to offer the lowest prices in the industry. It's the "cake and eat it too scenario".
    Top management is often out of touch with both it's customers and it's own employees to really be much help.
    If a marketing executive is offered the resources and support you mention then they are indeed ineffective workers, just double check they are not caught between clueless bosses and completely inexperienced assistants.

  2. Anonymous11:22

    I'm a marketing consultant so I see a lot of this 'insecurity'. Insecure marketers are very scared of hiring outside consultants just as you've stated. Confident marketers know that hiring out can get more done, offer collaboration, bring in a particular expertise etc... Where I see this insecurity the most is in large companies such as banks and CPG. But it can occur anywhere. When I meet this people, I have to say that I don't have much patience for it. Come clean! Open up and learn, collaborate, speak up and make mistakes. That's how you grow. The managers of these people are the ones at fault. They need to be better mentors.

    Anonymous makes a comment about top mgt being out of touch. Aren't we finding out just how out of touch top mgt is on *many* things, not just marketing?!


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