Working in marketing can be a wonderful thing.

There’s a certain thrill in coming up with an idea, developing it, nurturing it, seeing it through, watching it come alive. There’s a sense of affecting real change when you respond to a brief and you start to see an impact in conversions, sales, click-throughs, or audience numbers.

There’s a feeling of pride when you drive past an outdoor campaign that you worked on or read an article mentioning your product or service. It’s a creative, energetic field and 2021 is an exciting time to be a marketer, with so many new technologies and new ways of reaching your customer.

However, all this aside, marketing consistently tops lists as one of the most stressful jobs out there.

Do you agree?

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Unrealistic Expectations

Marketing is an essential element in the process of generating sales or increasing market share. It’s completely natural for companies to expect an immediate return on investment but the truth is, it takes time and patience. Marketing can be cumulative and takes an ‘if you build it, they will come’ approach. Consistency and persistence are key.

However, unrealistic expectations are often a problem for marketing staff who frequently feel pressure, which leads nicely to our next point.

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Make it go viral

Since the early days of the organic ‘viral’ videos in the 00s, brands have been chasing the concept of the viral video with clever campaigns and punchy hashtags. Raising awareness is one of the biggest goals of marketers and of course, it’s natural to get to want to get your message out to as many people as possible, going viral can be the Holy Grail of marketing.

But the question begs to be asked, does chasing these rare, fleeting moments make sense? Or should you be focusing on the fundamentals and the bigger picture instead? In many cases, the harder you try to capture that viral unicorn, the more ‘try hard’ the campaign appears. You can do everything right and watch on with disappointment as the campaign underperforms.  Many will try but few will experience the reach and engagement they are looking for. Again, this leads to marketers trying to manage expectations and feeling undue stress as they launch a new campaign.

Being creative

To work in marketing, you do have to have a certain level of creativity and an ability to generate ideas, content, and solutions. But, whilst sometimes, the ideas just flow out, there are times, especially during periods of extreme work fuelled stress, there’s just nothing there and you’ve got no fuel left in your creative tank.

This is okay. Remember, even the most inventive people in the world struggle with this problem. It’s easy to get distracted with budgets and spreadsheets, presentations and management meetings, analytics, and day-to-day firefighting. Your brain can feel overloaded and panicked.  It can often feel there’s no space for any brainstorming or idea formation. But, regardless of what else is happening, it is important to carve out time for creativity in your week, to come up with ideas and to thrash things out, to give yourself the space to breathe.

Do More With Less

Let’s face it. Marketing can be incredibly frustrating, especially when it comes to budget. There are objectives and aims, targets set and goals to reach, and, in many cases, you are being asked to tighten your belt, to watch the budget, or to ‘do more with less’. It’s hard to sit in a room and be asked by a superior to magic these conversion figures, sales, audience numbers out of thin air when you feel that there could be more investment in the product. This applies to limited staff numbers, squeezed resources, and lack of budget to spend on improving the output or technology.

There are so many amazing products and services in the marketplace that can assist marketers but if the budget is overtly restricted so, is potential. Obviously, from a CEO or CFO’s perspective, there are always financial limits, and they are simply doing their job. It’s completely understandable but again, it comes back to the word that we’ve mentioned so many times – expectations.

Stay ahead

As a marketer, you must work hard to ‘stay ahead of the pack’, to get to grips with emerging technologies, are constantly learning and continually growing, it can feel overwhelming and the expectation of being inspired and ‘always on’ can be exhausting.

Remember, marketing staff all over the world share these problems with you, and roughly 71 percent of marketing professionals feel burnt out. To help free up that creative mind of yours, always remember to stay organised. When you are working on something driven by a moment of spontaneity, it’s easy to get pulled from one thing to the next. But putting some structure on your system will really help your mind stay clear.

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All this aside, whilst marketing is often a very demanding role, it can be so rewarding and even though many staff feel strained, on the flip side, there are high levels of job satisfaction in the marketing industry. It can be stressful, but with practice, you can learn to control how you manage this stress and how you respond to it.

Focus on the positives, those moments where your hard work pays off when your creativity leads to something special, when the audience responds well, when your gut feeling is right and when a campaign you’ve worked on makes a real ripple.

Keep making ripples……