Why do Most Digital Marketing Managers Fail?


I find it interesting that many businesses still are not aware of the impact digital marketing has on their bottom line. Many feel they have a website and that is enough. I see companies checking off the box, saying “I am doing social media”, or “I am doing SEO” without really understanding what is at stake when they do not do this type of marketing correctly.

Company leaders must understand that to be successful in today’s marketplace they must invest both time and money into their own Digital Marketing education as well as that of their staff. The days of putting “digital marketing” in a box that someone else will deal with, are over. Let’s look at one example where lack of education impacts long-term success.

When I am brought in to assist companies to improve their marketing online, the first area of unrest I find is they have trouble unifying their marketing message between offline and online marketing departments. When questions arise about mixed messages or inefficient campaigns, finger pointing begins from both departments.  What usually ensues is that because digital marketing is still not fully understood, the digital marketing manager usually takes the brunt of any failure.

To move this relationship to a more positive arrangement we need to address a few of the situations these Digital Marketing Managers find themselves in and what must happen to fix them.

Struggle of Digital Marketing Managers

Lack of detailed job description:

This is caused by top leadership not understanding the responsibilities of this role. Many times the position is filled internally and the person with the most knowledge of technology is given the job. Digital marketing is not the same as IT support. Leaders need to get help understanding what a digital marketer needs to do for their business in order to make sure they have the right person in place, or if they do not that they need to outsource these duties.

Lack of initial and ongoing education:

Without proper training or education the digital marketing employee will never be able to keep up with the ever-changing world of the internet. Usually companies rely of the employee to self-educate but this is only a part of the training needed. Time must be allotted for these employees (and management) to attend conferences and workshops to improve their education.

Tip: Leaders must make sure that when the employee returns from these events that they provide a detailed report on what was learned, what could be implanted and why and then, lastly how could it be implemented. This will make sure that the investment bears fruit.

Lack of Leadership support:

If there is one issue that MUST be understood is how important leadership or management support of your Digital Marketing Managers’ efforts are to the dealership. Without the proper support, online marketing efforts will never be respected at the overall marketing table. Each department will continue to force employees into protective silos and the loss of revenue will continue. “All I want to do is cover my own a**” will be the mantra of your vendors and employees.

If leaders are not embracing and supporting Digital Marketing initiatives than they will fail. There is no way a mid- to lower-level employee on his or her own will be able to make changes needed to improve performance.

The Digital landscape is changing all the time. Companies must invest in education on this topic as much as they would on their employees understanding their product or service. There are so many online forums to begin this self-educational journey as well as finding the right partner to help create an effective strategy and the right education structure for their team.

If I can be of service or you would like to bounce ideas around feel free to reach out to me. I will be more than willing to help.