I’m just going to come out and say it – everyone thinks they can do marketing! It is the only position within a company that everyone else thinks they can do better, cheaper, wiser or just simply take over. You don’t hear development complaining that everyone is telling them how to code better or hear accounting say everyone is telling them how to keep the books. Only marketing is up against this peril.
I’m sure other marketing folks reading this post will agree! It is just something we deal with all the time. The top dictates the culture, the CEO needs to show confidence in marketing, including product management, and give them the authority to do their jobs.
It is important to get feedback from other departments on product vision and roadmaps, marketing programs, messaging, and prospect qualification criteria; however, it is best to decipher the information and then incorporate what you feel is critical. Equally important is that the marketing person has the confidence as well as the support from the CEO to be able to say to people, “Thank you for the input/feedback, I’ll take it under consideration.” Otherwise, you will have other departments swaying all your decisions and efforts, which will cost you valuable time and money.
In a startup or growth stage environment, you need to establish the balance of listening to the opinions of others, taking in feedback and still be confident with your product management or marketing program decisions. The views on how things, ‘should go’ will always be there – it’s just part of being in marketing!