I love marketers. They tend to be upbeat, engaged, and curious. They're usually excited about their jobs, their products and their company. And they play important role to play in every company's success.

That being said, there are some facts about marketing in today's business environment that marketers would rather keep to themselves:

1. We have no idea how to sell.

We know that two of our most important functions are 1) locating qualified sales leads and 2) providing the sales team with tools that make it easier to sell. However, many of us have never attempted to sell anything, so we're forced to depend mostly upon guesswork until we've got enough data to see what's working and what's not.

2. We'd rather talk than listen.

We view our job as providing the right information at the right time, either through outbound marketing, (advertising, trade shows, public relations, branding and social networking) or inbound marketing (creating website content, white papers, blog posts, etc.). We're really good at disseminating information. Listening to customers, not so much.

3. Engineering calls the shots.

When push comes to shove on our marketing projects, we're more likely to give in to the demands of the engineering group rather than incorporate suggestions from the sales team. There are two reasons: 1) the engineering team is in the same building, and 2) let's face it, they've got more political clout.

4. Many of us are in panic mode.

Marketing is changing so fast and in so many ways that we often feel either adrift or running as fast we can just to keep in place. Those of us who are over 30 feel like we've been invaded by aliens (millennials) who talk a foreign language. We're still struggling with Instagram and Pinterest, so please don't talk about Snapchat and Vine.

5. We'd rather not be measured.

All things considered, many of us long for the good old days when marketing meant grand strategic plans, broadcast advertising and slick brochures. All this new marketing technology is wonderful and it's useful to have all that data, but if we'd wanted a job where everything we do is measured, we would have gone into sales.

Please don't think I'm claiming that all these truths apply to every marketing group in every company. Even so, they are probably more commonly held than you think.

Published on: Feb 5, 2015
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