Are We Really All That Bad?

I’ve discovered something about my career as an in-house Brand & Marketing Communications Manager—people hate you.

It’s come to my attention that it takes the most patient and disciplined in our industry to work in-house. There’s always going to be some department upset that you’re not doing enough, or working fast enough, or even that you’re too efficient. Other departments wish you would’ve done something different or used a different color or used all the colors or no colors at all.

In the end, every task takes twice as long. Every project is more tedious than it should’ve been. Every task requires the opinion of every person and yields criticism from even the most unexpected employee.

The problem with the in-house Brand & Marketing Manager lies within the nature of working in-house for companies that do not specialize in advertising or marketing. The marketer’s colleagues are inexperienced in marketing.

In an advertising agency you have the accounts department working with the creative department. One thinks the other is crazy and too out-of-the-box, and the other feels their colleagues are too ruthless, stubborn and difficult. But they have respect for each other. They understand the difference between the right-brained and the left-brained and the type of individual that thinks with one versus the other.

The in-house marketer is misunderstood for his or her colleagues have no idea what side of the brain the marketer uses. They view the in-house designer as being too lazy or too quirky. Most non-advertising/marketing professionals look down upon advertising and believe it is a waste of money, a waste of time, and that advertising has a negative influence on society. There are plenty of case studies to back up how this is true—and one of the reasons I have refused to shop at Victoria’s Secret for over 10 years.

Perhaps in every company handbook should be a chapter on marketing, how it benefits the company and why every individual should care. We as marketers understand that sales people always care about the bottom dollar (and commission) and we understand that the accounting department always wants a hardcopy receipt.

But what about us?