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How to Deal with a Marketing Micromanager

by Jennifer Beever on April 22, 2013

in the weedsHave you ever tried to get projects done when working with a micromanager? Sometimes managers of marketing projects need to handle the micro-details, but if it’s constant and unproductive, it’s time to do something differently.

Micromanagement may have its pluses when you’re running a business and on multiple deadlines, but it can make the marketing work environment stressful and unproductive. When a micro manager is breathing down the neck of anyone, especially a creative person, it may cause more problems than it solves.

I think one of the reasons for micromanagement in marketing is that so many people think they are just as good as anyone else when it comes to marketing. They know what colors are best, they critique the wording, they react to photos and images. Why shouldn’t they direct the details?

Micromanagement leads to poor morale

The answer is that micromanagement often leads to poor morale. It can even lead to a not great design, because too many people are involved and the design loses its cohesion and original intent. Then, the designer “loses heart.” They may lose that sense that they are contributing to the greater good or that the design is losing its design integrity. They might stop making recommendations (although this is a bit passive/aggressive – they really should speak up and ask to discuss the process and the micromanagement before giving up).

Set up guidelines and let go of details

One of the things that I’ve found, especially with creative people, is that if I set up a marketing project correctly by defining the purpose of the project and identifying the characteristics of the target audience who will see or receive the marketing piece, it’s best to let them have some free reign. The creative mind should not be pressured, but allowed some space and time to… …well, to create!

A few times, especially when I was new to creative direction and management, I loaded up my designers will all kinds of directions. They came up with a fabulous design, that had NOTHING to do with what I told them. Bless their hearts. Note to self, “Provide guidelines and client desires, but let the creative process go!”

Help your micromanager focus on what’s important

If you have a manager or business owner who is doing a deep dive down in the weeds with the creatives at your company (graphic designers, writers, videographers, and web developers and programmers, who are creatives, not techies!), help them bring their nose and eyes up. Ask them to focus on business objectives, results reporting and strategy. Don’t allow them the time and space to be in those weeds, messing up the free flow of creativity!

Hire an outsource marketing resource

Another way to remove the micromanagement factor is to hire an outsource resource to manage your marketing. I know, this could be seen as a shameless plug for my CMO for Hire services, but outsourcing works! Businesses need to focus on their core competencies and not get bogged down in processes and tasks that can be outsourced.

If you need help with your marketing, contact New Incite today. We design strategic marketing plans and provide training, consulting, set up and actual marketing execution for companies that want to grow faster.

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