The biggest obstacle to my brand’s success is internal politics

Like many of you, I regularly get approached by marketing agencies and management consultancies with insights such as ‘we know that understanding your customer is your biggest challenge’ or ‘we appreciate that failing to keep pace of what your competitors are doing is causing you sleepless nights’. 

Secret Marketer

Well, I’m sorry but I actually sleep pretty well, I have a good understanding of what my customers want, and without appearing overly arrogant, my competitors don’t scare me.

The truth is that my biggest challenge – the biggest obstacle to my brand’s success and the one thing that causes me the most stress – is internal politics.

I am sure there is not a reader who would not agree with me that if it was not for internal battles, hierarchical and silo mentality, and over-promoted, uneducated stakeholders, life would be better.  Why won’t people let us marketers get on with marketing our brand and representing our customers, in the way that we let the accountants count their beans and the HR team get all flustered about people policies?

The amount of time and effort that goes into selling the benefits of the bleeding obvious to my colleagues, when the reality is that we are all on the same side. When I’m given a brief to launch an initiative, to target a new sector or grow a certain revenue stream, and then have that proposition kicked apart, it does make me wonder how we were successful in the first place and just how powerful we could become if people focused externally on how we could make more of this opportunity.

As marketers we are responsible for growth. We probably understand our market better than anyone else; have a better appreciation for what our competitors are doing and what it takes to win. I have no problem with having to demonstrate why the approach we recommend is the right one, but why do people assume that we are hiding things, putting a spin on the truth, or have anything other than the company’s interests at heart?  Let’s focus our energies on the common enemy – the competition – not each other.

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