If you’re a marketing leader, congratulations! You have one of the highest stress office jobs in the world.
In fact, a 2015 report revealed that 80% of marketers say they’re overloaded and 25% have reached a stress-related breaking point that’s driven them to therapy.
And the higher up the leadership ladder you are? The more stressed you’re likely to be.
Since then, things have only gotten more complicated.
Responsibilities have doubled, then tripled. New technologies are appearing every few minutes. Marketers have become responsible not just for marketing leads but for sales and revenue goals.
Not to mention that the role of the marketer has ballooned. You’re expected to master not only both digital and traditional marketing but also data science, an ever-expanding suite of marketing technology tools (91 in the average company, according to Mary Meeker), and the ins and outs of privacy regulation.
In other words, welcome to Hell. No wonder the pressure is sending 1 in 4 of us to therapy.
But hey, we’re marketers. Creative problem solving is what we do.
So let’s solve this thing.
It’s pretty clear that a big part of the problem boils down to setting boundaries and prioritizing your health. Medical studies tie high stress closely to lack of sleep, poor diet, and less physical activity. If you can fix those things, your high stress levels aren’t long for this world.
Of course, your reaction to that might be No shit, Sherlock. That shit is easier said than done.
Because how can you create better eating habits when you’re working through lunch every day and too tired to cook at night? How can you increase physical activity when you’re so burned out by the weekend that all you can do is lay on the couch and binge-watch Game of Thrones?
So yeah. Part of the answer is biting the bullet and prioritizing your health even though it’s going to suck at first. Even though it seems like it’ll cause more stress, not less.
And the other part of the answer? We think it’s about changing your mindset at work.
Now, I don’t mean yoga or Zen wisdom or manifestation a la The Secret. I mean something more tactical. More tangible.
I mean shifting away from thinking of marketing as a funnel—an endless parade of Must Get More Customers!—and toward thinking of marketing as a loop or a flywheel. An opportunity to get new customers, yes, but, just as importantly, keep customers, connect with customers, and increase the lifetime value of customers.
How the hell does that relate to stress, you ask?
Well, marketers have known for approximately forever that acquiring a new customer costs five times as much as retaining an existing one, right? And part of the reason it costs more? It’s not just because you’re spending actual dollars on ads. It’s also because it takes more effort from the team. It is, simply put, more work for less payoff.
So the concept of a flywheel—where customer acquisition, engagement, and delight are given equal priority—means you can reel in your workload (and take that time for a healthy lunch and a jog at the end of the day) while reaping greater results.
And that’s not just a marketing platitude. It’s backed up by research. Increasing customer retention by just 5% drives profits up by anywhere from 25% to 95%.
Of course, there are other ways to offload some of your stress. Like hiring Catalyst to help you meet those marketing and business goals and take some of the pressure off your team.
If that sounds like a relief, let’s talk.