5 Signs Your Marketing Team is Dysfunctional

unhappy marketing team

5 Signs Your Marketing Team is Dysfunctional

unhappy marketing team

As a Marketing Strategist, I’ve had dozens of opportunities to see first-hand marketing teams and agencies that are dysfunctional. What do I mean by that? Well, you’ve read this far so you have a sense. Read on – here are five signs that something is wrong with the team.

  1. Marketing (or an agency) isn’t meeting goals

I’ve had countless meetings with senior managers who have shared with me that their marketing teams are not meeting the goals they expect.

And yet many of these senior leaders are also a bit fuzzy about what the marketing person or team is doing. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, they’re micro-managing the marketing person (or team) so much that, in effect, they’re the problem.

If marketing isn’t meeting its goals – or an agency isn’t meeting its goals – there’s clearly a problem that needs to be addressed.

2) They’re not trying new channels/ideas

Digital marketing is changing all the time; change is the only constant. For that reason, marketing teams or agencies should be trying new channels, tactics, or ideas all the time. If marketing is just doing the same thing, over and over, it will become stale and not perform as well (over time).

If you’re not seeing new ideas from the marketing team or, alternatively, if new ideas aren’t being approved for the marketing team to try, then there’s a problem with the marketing.

3) The rest of the organization doesn’t like the marketing person/team/agency

This is classic – if no one likes the marketing person, team, or agency, there’s a problem. Or many problems. These can range from bad communication to and from marketing to the rest of the organization, to bad marketing hand-offs from marketing to sales, to – well, let’s just say I’ve seen lots of reasons and causes!

If the rest of the organization doesn’t like the marketing team or person – or the agency that’s being used – the marketing probably isn’t working as well as it should. It’s time to find out what’s going on!

4) There’s one person on the team who everyone dislikes

You’ve probably seen this – there’s one person on the team who doesn’t fit in, or who rubs everyone the wrong way. Often, it’s clear they are unhappy and they’re taking it out on the team. Or they’re just, well, difficult.

I saw this recently at a client and I ended up coaching this young woman 1:1 a few times. I finally learned – from her – that she had been offered a position at the company and, right after she started work, the position changed. She was being asked to do something she never signed up to do.

Interestingly enough, she was very open to coaching and mentoring, and loved learning how to do better. But she was miserable and made it a point of making everyone around her miserable. It took me a while but I finally found out what the problem was: she wanted another job altogether. She just didn’t want to be at that company.

She was let go, eventually. But the damage had been done on the team and it was hard to undo. One really unhappy person can be a hindrance to the team’s work.

5) If they’re an agency, they’re losing clients

One of the biggest telltale signs that there’s a problem with the agency team is that they’re losing clients. It’s not that they can’t sign new clients – it’s that they can’t keep them.

This doesn’t mean that clients are leaving all at once; it could be a slow trickle over time. But if an agency doesn’t have clients that stay for years at a time it means that the work isn’t good enough for the client to continue to pay them. And if the work isn’t good enough – then there’s clearly a problem.

I worked with an agency that just couldn’t hold onto its clients and the reason was that they weren’t strategic in their focus. They started off each new client with a bang – but then lost their way when it came to the daily work and showing an ROI (return-on-investment) to the client.

If your agency or marketing team is experiencing any of these problems, let me know. You can also take this survey – to see if the problem is you or the work environment itself. Once you have your score, go here to see if it’s you – or them.

And then let’s talk about it!


Photo by Gabby K from Pexels


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