I’m a long time listener, and I had a question/topic that I’m struggling with and may have had a fatal impact on my organization.  I know I’m not thinking about this well, but I’m not sure how to tackle this issue.

My situation is: I’m in a small organization, and there are entire general areas of the business that aren’t being at all or are being done very poorly.  One major incident is that our VP of marketing left a few years ago, and no one was promoting the company, the website got stale, and the sales team buckled down to just cold call prospects; and we weren’t getting any warm leads.  So, seeing the impact. I ‘stepped up’ and worked on & took over marketing.  However, my background is in tech, I’ve helped with sales engineering and have exposure to customers but I’m not a market professional.  But I figured, I’m smart, I’ll work on this and try and make some impact on this area; some advancement is better than nothing.  Fast forward a few years, and I didn’t make much of an impact, I didn’t allocate an appropriate amount of time, and I’m a novice who ‘read & learned’ a lot but not experienced professional that a customer has.  Now I’m responsible for an area, haven’t made an impact and we still aren’t getting any leads to pushing into the sales funnel.

In reflecting, I’m not sure what I should have done instead.  Many questions:

  1. Should I have not taken on this new area? 
  2. Should I have allocated more time to it (but I didn’t have any experience to estimate the learning curve)? 
  3. Would someone better have stepped up if I didn't?
  4. This pattern in long term result in being a jack of all traits (and master of none)? 
  5. Should I focus on developing my expertise only? is there a conflict between personal and organizational interests?
  6. Is this financially irresponsible, I'm getting a high wage as a technical manager and I'm doing work of a lesser paid, junior marketing activity? Should I pushed harder to hire ppl to do the work?

I think I’m using ‘small organization’ as an excuse and this happens in large organizations as well, and my logic is flawed in some way.   For some context, my company is a software SaaS application with about 18 people, and most of them are engineers and have been there for 10+ years.

Any guidance you or your team can share would be soo helpful,


SETM22's picture

Sounds familiar. I'm also an IT manager and I did something similar years ago when our company was smaller.

BLUF: Unless you have a passion for marketing, find a way to bow out.

The long answer... I found that I neither had the time nor the personality/temperment to deal with marketing functions and things just floundered. Do you think a marketing person can just jump into a tech engineering role? Then the opposite is true. It's a very specific skillset and function. While I thought it was noble to step up, I realized I was doing more harm than good. The only thing of value was that I took control of some digital properties (social media pages, domain names, etc) but the rest was nothing to speak of.

All you're doing is making the company avoid the inevitable. They need to hire or retain a real, professional marketing person.


Ajoban's picture

thank you, that was helpful.

Would you apply that to other areas as well, if you have a passion/personal interest, then take on the role but not otherwise?

SETM22's picture

In a way, yes. But it depends on the scope of what it is. Meaning, if it's a role that requires time committment and special skills then unless you really want to do it, it may be best to not bother. However if you're just helping out with a task here and there, then that's a different story.

In full transparency, I'm a high "C" so if I can't do it 100%, I don't want to do it!

Lomari's picture

I know it. And I can say with confidence that it is worth it

Bailey3sf's picture

thank you, that was helpful.