Marketing Challenge: Good Marketer, Bad Attitude


Lenore Cranston didn’t want to fire Jaden Waterman. But, then again, she did.

Cranston, who runs marketing for Big Adventure Travel, hired Waterman a year ago to oversee the specialty travel agency’s email marketing. Over the past year the campaign creative has improved, subject lines are catchier, and Waterman is doing a better job of tracking and responding to trends in data than his predecessor did. Results in terms of opens, clicks, and conversions have improved slightly since he joined.

On the other hand, Waterman has an attitude. He gets defensive at any feedback and resists adhering to some of the standard operating procedures that ensure consistency and efficiency. Cranston has spoken to Waterman, but to no avail. Frustrated, she recently snapped at him about his attitude and he now avoids her as much as possible.

She knows another discussion is in order but feels as if she’d be wasting her breath. Waterman is defensive and obstinate, and Cranston firmly believes that neither will change no matter what she says. She also knows that the rift created by their most recent discussion will only get worse—and may lead to bigger issues—if she doesn’t take swift action. Based on her view of Waterman, though, replacing him seems like a better option.

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