Working in marketing is great – I genuinely love it as a career choice and have worked as a marketer in some shape or form for nearly 20 years. You get to be creative, work with different people, learn about a huge range of products and services, it can even be reasonably lucrative (well, it pays the bills!)
For every pro of working in marketing, though, just like any other role, there are definite cons. Speaking to other marketers, I know I'm not alone in this. There are days when marketing is super stressful. If you're a solo marketer or working as part of a small team in a business, I'm sure you'll have felt some, if not all, of the below. For every pain point and stress, there's also a solution to try!
Not enough hours in the day
There is so much to do and so little time. You've got your strategy and workflow in place, but invariably a curveball comes along and derails your plans. The director with their ‘could you just do this' or a potential customer issue which needs smoothing over with marketing comms.
Solution: You can rarely plan for the unplanned, but there are some solutions to help alleviate the ‘not enough hours' in the day feeling. One, don't fill up your calendar – keep some time free or blocked out as desk time. And two, use time-saving apps like a social media scheduling tool (we like Hootsuite or eClincher).
A brain fizzing with ideas
As a marketer, you are likely to have a creative head. You'll often be fizzing with ideas about content, how you can make your content work harder, which events you need to be researching or attending, and so on. Usually, these ideas will pop into your head at inconvenient times too – like when you're just nodding off to sleep.
Solution: An old (but gold) solution and one that never fails to appeal to marketers, is to get a big, blank piece of paper, get your sharpies out and get those ideas mapped out. Getting them out of your head and in front of you will help you see what ideas are worth pursuing and what's worth parking for the time being.
A more modern solution is to use an online system, ideally one that has an app so you can add ideas easily as they pop into your head. Try Wunderlist, Todoist or, one of our favourites for blog ideas is Trello.
Too many opinions
Everyone is a marketer. You'll probably be familiar that, regardless of their role in your business, everyone will have an opinion on the company website, the new brochure, your exhibition stand, and so on. If your company is not marketing-led this can be even more stressful; it might be product-led or financially driven, which means your MD, CEO or board don't have an appreciation for marketing techniques – this doesn't stop them trying to steer your work though.
Solution: It's a challenge to be polite here, but there are techniques you can use. One, know when to ask for comments and feedback and when to just deliver. You are the marketing expert, and your role is not a democracy, have faith in your knowledge and ability and JFDI (just flippin' do it!) Two, if you are sharing details – back it up with data, talk to the numbers. It's ok to say to your colleagues, “that's an interesting opinion, but the research and data don't back it up”, you wouldn't be doing your job if you didn't go with the facts.
Lack of resource
We know there is a pile of work for the average marketer to get through. You can fill your day easily with an hour or so on social media, writing content, scheduling emails, working on new images, formatting web pages, and so on. There may come a point when you need more resource. You have more work than one person can healthily cope with. So, do you recruit a new team member, if so, who or what are you looking for?
Solution: First, decide what would have the biggest impact. What would make your life easier? Is it someone to write blogs and content for you, is it someone to manage your social media? Or is the business growing and you need more bodies to support this growth.
Before jumping straight to hiring someone new, think about what you can outsource. Use an agency or freelance marketer to share the load. Let them take the strain without the cost and hassle of recruitment.
Not getting the results you want
You're confident that you are implementing your marketing strategy as planned. The content you're putting out there is well thought through, has eye-catching imagery, and the narrative is spot on for your audience. However, it's just not gaining traction. The engagement, comments and likes are not happening on your social media pages, and there's not enough traffic coming to your website.
Solution: First, take a step back and get some perspective. What does ‘good' actually mean to you? What results are you aiming for? Shooting for the sky is great, but it can be disheartening if you're not achieving the overnight success you're aiming for. Incremental gains and realistic goals are where you should focus your attention.
Once you've tuned into your goals, don't try and fix them all at once. By doing so, you'll spread yourself too thin and lose focus, thereby still not achieving the marketing results you want.
Set your specific goal. For example, increase ‘likes' to 500 on your Facebook page in the next quarter, then detail what you can do to achieve this. Once you're clear and implementing the strategy, move on to the next item.
When things fall into place, being a marketer is awesome. You get to come up with creative ideas and truly contribute to the business's success. And if it stresses you out occasionally, remember – you're not alone!
Amanda is a freelance marketing consultant and business coach, having worked in marketing and leadership roles for 20+ years, and is an associate of Green Umbrella. Amanda is working with the GU team on strategy, marketing and business development and, in her words, ‘loves the ethos of Green Umbrella. The team really know their stuff when it comes to digital marketing and social media, plus they are genuinely great people to work with!’