If you own a business and have invested in marketing services that left a bad taste in your mouth you may have Marketing PTSD and it may continue to negatively affect your business until you deal with it. First, let’s talk about what PTSD is. PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder and is basically a pattern of behavior that develops when you’ve been through something traumatic. When it comes to marketing some common symptoms of marketing PTSD can occur when you’ve been ripped off by marketing vendors, when you’ve been greatly disappointed by marketing vendors, poor execution of marketing activities by your staff members, or you just had an all-around bad experience with your marketing tactics for whatever reason.
I want to talk about this because there are a lot of really good marketing vendors out there and marketing professionals that are well-meaning who have the tools and the knowledge to help you grow your business but if you have PTSD, you may be blocking them from helping you. Knowing that you have marketing PTSD and healing from it will help you take full advantage of the best marketing talent out there.
3 signs that you may have marketing PTSD
If there’s something with your marketing that you don’t understand and your first thought is this isn’t working, I got ripped off again – you may have marketing PTSD.
If you’re investing in your marketing and you’re biting your nails before anything’s even done (like when you’re just about to make your first initial investment), you may have marketing PTSD, because nothing’s really happening yet so why are you stressed out?
If you just have this heavy feeling whenever you get into a conversation about your marketing or you even avoid it completely and you say to yourself I’m just going operate and grow through word of mouth and you just give up on marketing completely, it could be because you suffer from marketing PTSD.
Steps to heal from marketing PTSD
At Marketing Boss we have helped business owners heal from marketing PTSD and want to encourage you to take the following steps to overcome the self sabotaging patterns that come with trauma from marketing:
Empower yourself with knowledge: It’s hard to take advantage of someone who knows their stuff so you can diffuse your anxiety over marketing by educating yourself. You don’t need to know everything there is to know about marketing however, just the basics will do so you can have informed conversations with your staff and vendors. At Marketing Boss we made it easy, you can hire us to coach you or you can get everything you need from our Marketing Boss signature course, Think Like a Marketer, Grow Like a Boss.
Surround yourself with subject matter experts: There’s only so much that you can learn on your own, at the pace that you need to, and marketing is always changing. You want to surround yourself with people, preferably not just vendors with an agenda to sell you specific marketing services. A vendor with a sales agenda will never give you objective insights about what is best for you and your business and most vendors specialize in specific tactics. Instead, hire a consultant or strategists that can give you insights based on data. You can hire a fractional CMO at Marketing Boss or Marketing Consultant that will teach you and help you make decisions with absolutely no agenda other than to help you.
Set measurable goals and audit results monthly: Marketers are experts at talking their way out of situations where they are being questioned. But numbers don’t lie. When you set quantifiable goals from the beginning and then audit results against those goals, everything gets easier. If you need help setting measurable goals you can grab a free worksheet here or take our Marketing Boss signature course, Think Like a Marketer, Grow Like a Boss.
If you have been through experiences that have left you with Marketing PTSD, you should know that you are not alone. The Marketing industry is unregulated and saturated with vendors, freelancers and would-be professionals who are not as good as they sell themselves to be. They rely on your lack of knowledge to make a living from selling you on whatever they have learned to monetize. Even the well-meaning vendors who are good at what they do can cause you trauma when they sell you on something your business doesn’t need or is not ready to capitalize on. You need to be very careful about who you hire and how you manage expectations when you do.
Check out our guides to hiring vendors and for more info on how to hire specific vendor types: