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Why working in marketing makes you bitchy

By Mark Schaefer

A lot is made of being “authentic” in marketing today. I’m not a big fan of the word, but I understand that there is some expectation to display some human emotion in our content and campaigns.




And for me, increasingly, bitchiness.

Part of this irritability may stem from the copious amounts of BS shoveled at us each day, but a new “State of Marketing Work” report from Workfront points to some other factors. In fact, reading this report, it’s hard to believe you might work in marketing and NOT be kind of a bitch.

Some of the highlights of the findings include:

You know, even reading these results makes me feel bitchy.

I’ve been reflecting on some of these findings and realize that there are a lot of trends out there compounding marketing frustration:

It’s not easy being in marketing, is it?

But you know, it has NEVER been easy to be in marketing.

There will always be conflict in the workplace. In fact, if there isn’t conflict you’re probably not doing your job. Marketing is not for milquetoasts.

Marketing tends to shoulder an unfair portion of the blame when things go wrong. The average tenure of a CMO is just 44 months, about half the tenure of a typical CEO.

And the pressure to remain relevant? That is real and it’s time to stop making excuses and get the digital marketing training you need to lead.

Yes, it’s tough out there. But I have no regrets, either. Marketing is the cutting edge of business. Marketing creates products, new value, new customer relationships. As Peter Drucker famously said,

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

Exactly. And I love it.

Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world.  Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Disclosures: Workfront paid me to create custom content for them in 2016 but had no role in this post. Illustration offered license-free by Toothpaste for Dinner.

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