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What do you do when your boss thinks he knows digital marketing and doesn't trust your decisions?
Boss has little to no experience in digital marketing and results from digital marketing have been good.
1) Sit down together, set targets and ask him for freedom to hit those targets. As long as you do, he should keep off your back
2) Quit, if it is really bad and is affecting everything. Life is too short to work in a bad environment
3) Talk to him about how you feel like his interfering is not allowing you to do the job that you were hired to do
4) Suggest a few A/B tests and put your ideas against his. Let the data show him that he doesn't know what he is talking about
5) See number 2) :-)
This has happened to me countless times. You must be patient, understanding and forgiving of your boss's ignorance. Ultimately if your digital marketing work shows positive results your boss will have little choice except to support what you are doing. Of course there are situations where he will bury his or her head in the sand, and at that point you have to move on.
But if you are patient, and bury your boss with proof showing your digital marketing work is effective, you should persuade him.
For me there are several things in here: first is your actual role within a company. Have you been contracted as a specialist? Associate? Head of Digital Marketing? Does your role imply the actual decision making power? And, what is the role of your boss? (if he is a head of digital marketing and knows nothing about it, run away, now - you do not want to report to someone who has no idea on the job they should be managing the team for). You should think of the tasks you were supposed to execute when you entered the company. Were you lured by the possibility of having strategic impact or were you aware that your role is purely executional? If the management was clear that your role is operational, than it is understandable that your boss does not trust your decisions - he was not supposed to have to trust them at the first place, since you were not contracted to make them.
Many times a boss only wants marketing specialist to execute their own vision on how to manage the campaigns and what should be done. In that case, he has the right to decide, and if you are not happy with it, you should probably seek some other job. Once someone is used to complete authority, it will be complicated to make them change their mind and although you can try, this is more a personality trait and if you are smart and know what you're doing, you probably should seek another job.
Now, if your role is senior and you were specifically recruited to make digital marketing related decisions, that is a different story. There I would think of the incentive structure for the company and tried to align your boss with you, showing that you both want the same thing for the company. Here Philippe had a great insights on setting the targets (be careful with those not to overpromise). I would be careful by A/B testing your ideas against those of your boss - he may not know a lot on digital marketing, but he may not take lightly being proven wrong officially (depending on the culture, this is tougher than it seems). Use psychology here to handle that well - figure out his motivations and clarify your value and alignment.
If you are confident with your strategy, you can explain how it works and period of time. The work flow of strategy, your boss should accept because he has a little knowledge of digital marketing.
Otherwise, listen your boss questions and doubts and clarify to him. Every strategy needs at least a piece of time frame. So, make him understand about your strategy and how does it work.
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