One client recently asked, “What do you do with those brand managers who don’t understand the value of shopper marketing and micromanage my shopper marketing team?” This is not a one-time occurrence, but rather a consistent pattern we observe across the industry.
As P&L owners, brand managers have the right to know how the shopper marketing programs they fund are performing and why you make certain decisions. However, there is a big difference in providing strategic guidance and feedback, and telling your team exactly how to achieve their objectives.
Researchers have studied the phenomenon of micromanagement quite a bit and came to several conclusions:
- Micromanagement is a serious issue that causes employees to become disengaged and leads to tremendous productivity waste.
- Micromanagement in most cases is unintentional.
- Micromanagers have middle-management anxiety of being disconnected. I experienced it in my personal career, too.
- Micromanagers like to stay in the familiar territory, many of them are recently promoted and have a hard time switching from “doer” to “supervisor/coach” role.
So what does it mean for you? Now that you have some insight into why people micromanage, let’s look at the problem with an empathetic eye and try to help the micromanaging brand manager loosen up and trust you more.
1. Teach them something they don’t know
2. Be proactive
3. Be transparent and open
4. Define the scope of brands’ engagement
5. Share your success stories and industry best practices
No matter how tedious it may be to constantly inform and engage your brand managers of your team’s shopper marketing tasks and achievements, it’s essential to the success of the business. The brand managers will not only listen to what you have to say, they will also value your input and turn to you for execution guidance. At the end of the day, whether you’re part of the brand team or the shopper team, your goal is to ensure the brands are supported and sales are booming. That can’t happen without constant communication and teamwork.
And this way, you’re the one holding the control in this situation since you’re displaying leadership, providing insight, and sharing your team’s success before the brand manager has the chance to even think about micromanaging.