Frustration is a good thing. Really? During a conversation this morning with my wise friend Lissa Bergin-Boles over at TrueCallings, Lisa explained that being frustrated can be hugely constructive as it’s a recognition that we know something is wrong and needs to be fixed. If you put the frustration on the table and tease out what’s going on, you can usually figure out how to fix things. (Although there are those who use frustration to just whine.)
Having been with many different companies this week I heard a lot of marketing frustrations, and on this Friday afternoon I’m reflecting on what might be behind the frustration:
- “We’re just not getting any value from our public relations agency.” Is it the agency — or is the real issue that traditional publicity-driven public relations isn’t as valuable as it was five or 10 years ago?
- “I’m blogging for my company but am not sure it’s valuable. Just how do you measure this social media stuff?” My question to this gentleman was, “Why are you blogging?” If you have a purpose or goal, you’ll more easily be able to assess the value. Turns out there was no real goal, hence the frustration.
- “We’re not generating enough sales leads.” Is it the lead generation strategy — or is market interest waning in the overall category? Or is it that your product has a reputation for being hard to use? Or is it that you’re not making it interesting enough for people to want to know more? And just what is considered a lead — registration information from a podcast — or someone who wants to talk with a sales rep?
- “It’s hard to get people to contribute to our online community.” Is there a good reason for them to contribute? What do they get from it? Or is it that your tools make it too hard for people to contribute?
- “I really have to find another job.” Is it the job? The company? Or something else? During one particularly frustrating point in my career I thought the answer was to get out or marketing. On closer inspection I just hated commuting three hours a day. I got rid of the commute, stayed in marketing, and glad I did.
- “I’m so frustrated that it’s Friday and I can’t stay focused on getting this project done.” Admit that you hate this type of work and stop taking it on. Focus on those projects that give energy vs. take it away.
Thanks again Lissa — and if I missed any other advice, please share!