People seem to be job hopping more than ever. With many of our clients I see a lot of turnover in their marketing departments.
I've made a few observations for the reasons that I see people leave a marketing job.
1. The Job is Too Big for a Department of One
The most basic issue is that the marketer is asked to do too much with too little.
Many times we think Marketing is easier with tools like HubSpot, which can do everything. Tools today can produce blogs, emails, landing pages, web pages, manage social media accounts and paid campaigns.
But frequently the issue is that one person cannot effectively manage all of these various properties, even with a great tool.
This problem is made worse when the marketer is starting with very little existing marketing assets. For example, they've been asked to create everything. Ebooks, blogs, emails, ads, etc.
There's an expectation that since we can do everything with tools, then we should be doing everything the tool allows.
But all of these marketing devices have nuances and best practices, which the marketer has to learn to do their job well.
In addition, many marketers (especially at smaller firms) work alone in their 'Department of One'. They are the entire marketing department. They have no one to bounce ideas off of.
When lots of marketing ideas are tried but none are completed effectively, that frustration can lead to turn over.
How do you make the job smaller, but no less effective?
Crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. Start with something the marketer knows how to do, such as blogging. Once they get into a good rhythm of producing blog posts, venture into an ebook.
Then add a workflow after the ebook is downloaded.
Then add an email campaign.
Allow the marketer to fail at new things, repeat and fix it. Always have a task that they can successfully do every week.
2. Job Description is Too General
"Marketer" is a very broad term, like Lawyer or Doctor.
Not all Lawyers are good for Criminal Defense.
Not all Doctors can perform surgery.
And yet, many when companies hire Marketers, many tend to have very general and broad job descriptions, such as 'perform marketing tasks for company'.
This could be anything going to trade shows to blogging. Not everyone can do everything.
If there was one critical skill that I would want any marketer to have, it's writing.
But many marketers cannot write. Some have spent their careers managing others, or managing creative projects (like website design projects).
I have witnessed numerous issues where a marketer was hired to write blogs, or at least, that's what their employer was thinking, but in reality, the marketer thought they were going to manage someone who was going write blogs.
How do you hire the right marketer?
Create more specific job descriptions! Be very clear in the amount of writing, managing, and technical competency you need in a marketer.
Is the marketer going to write blogs? Are they going to update the website? Do they need to know HTML?
Some customers tell me they can't create a specific job description because they don't know what marketing they need. They want the marketer to figure that out after they are hired.
This chicken and egg scenario usually ends badly. There's no telling that the person hired has the skills that the company needs, after they figure out what the company needs.
3. Strategic vs Tactical Tasks
Not everyone can think strategically, and not every strategic person can do tactical tasks.
Should you using paid ads? This is a strategic question.
Building a landing page for paid ads-this is a tactical task.
Someone who can to determine if paid campaigns are viable for their company might not be able to also build out the landing page (maybe they don't know HTML).
It's understandable. Not everyone who knows HTML can think strategically.
When a strategist is hired to do tactical work and vice versa, the result is usually frustration and a quick exit.
So what kind of marketing should you hire? Strategist or Tactician?
I usually lean towards tactician. Certainly if you're a smaller firm, you should not need a full time strategist. Your marketing should not be that complex.
But either way, you need to determine which skill is more important, and make sure that you have the right person for the job.