Why Your Marketing Manager Keeps Quitting

You assumed your marketing manager was happy, things were moving, and that your marketing efforts positively impact your bottom line. But then they quit.

Now you’re confused because this is the second, third or fifth marketing person who has left your business in fewer years than people.

I’ve advised and coached many marketing managers who had quit their marketing role in their career cycle; I can assure you that they were neither happy nor satisfied with their time in the business. Many of them leave disenfranchised as to whether they’re even in the proper role.

They are almost always good at their job (with very few exceptions) but have never really felt empowered or passionate about marketing your business.

90% of the employer’s I speak to will place blame; it was the marketer’s fault. The business owner will follow up to say how much they hate marketing and that marketing is a crutch or a burden that is then boomeranged back to them when their marketing manager has quit. With that attitude towards doing your marketing, are you surprised that no one else is inspired to do it for you?

If the leader isn’t inspired to
market their own business,
how do you expect to inspire
your marketing person to do
it for you?’

– Ming Johanson

At the time of writing this, I’m ten years into my business. In that time, the perception of the business owner around marketing has not changed. In my speaking engagements, 1-2-1 coaching sessions, general networking conversations & education pieces, I’ve spoken to the upper limit of about 20,000+ people in business or marketing. 

Many of the core needs of a business owner are:

  • to be seen as innovative (or cutting edge)
  • to claw back the time that marketing takes from them
  • for their marketing to reflect their unique offering
  • for someone else to do their marketing for them (or at least the bulk of it)
  • to understand why their marketing is not working for them.

The idea that ‘Somebody good at marketing will fix this’ is flawed and the source of frustrations for all involved. The gravity of what a marketing person needs to know in a digital arena is far more than your marketing graduate is ever equipped. Kira’s blog on her first month in our business is anything to go by, our role as marketers demands so much more than anyone is ever prepared.

The business owner might not know why they have a marketing manager or what the line of accountability for this position is. If you’re lucky enough to find someone who knows why they are in their job and has a clear understanding of what your company does (and why), then that person is worth their weight in gold because it’s rare.

In SMEs, the business owner rarely shares the business goals or business plan with their marketing manager. Conversely, the marketing manager rarely asks what those goals and business plans are. 

One of the sweet spots for Marketing Jumpstart is usually where the most significant tension is for a business, during start-up and every growth stage. 

Our primary mandate is to help the businesses we work with to grow and ultimately prepare them to have their internal marketing manager. I’ve been told that it’s counter-intuitive to our business sustainability, but it assures our business success when we guarantee the success of others. 

The natural evolution for a business is to grow, and if you are not growing your business, you’ve got a costly hobby that probably barely pays you a living wage.

Looking for extra reading? Here’s a throwback piece that discusses the marketing symptoms we don’t talk about.

Are you looking to engage in a chat with Ming? Reach out and connect with Ming on LinkedIn here.

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About Ming Johanson
Ming works with businesses across the globe from business development to managing (with her team) complex digital strategies that deliver tangible and desirable financial returns. Recently recognised and awarded for her ongoing contribution to the technology industries in the 2019 Women In Technology Tech [+] 20 Awards, Ming is a passionate mental health Ambassador for R U OK? Day, a mentor at Startup Weekend Perth and a regular Australian Media Commentator as a Tech Evangelist on a range of topics in Mental Health, Social Media & Technology.