We are a startup and composed of a few teams including IT and marketing. Lately, the marketing team is not doing their job and affecting my team a lot. Basically, when they cannot do something, they just go telling company's owner that they can't do their jobs because they are blocked by us (IT department) which I don't think it's true.

For example, they don't know how to setup Facebook Ads. So, I told them that they could check Facebook document/help center which provides very detailed instructions. Instead, they just said to company's owner that we blocked them from doing their job. Another example, they don't know how to use google analytics and they came to us instead of google. What we did was sending them links and told them to follow the steps in those links we sent.

What we learn from talking to them is they do not want to try/google/read anything and this annoys me the most.

This has been going on for about 2 weeks and it affects my team workload and morale. I plan to have a straight talk with marketing and company's owner telling them about these situations (what we can help and what we think they can do better,) asking them what they think, why they don't even read/try something.

I want to know if it's a good idea to do that? Is there anything I can do to make it better for my team and the company in long run?

  • 5
    I'm going out on a limb here, and say that if your marketing team doesn't know how to setup Facebook or Google ads, and isn't able to figure it out on their own, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong during the hiring stages and your company isn't going to have a long run.
    – Erik
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 11:46
  • 2
    @Erik I beg to differ. I thought IT's job is to help marketing to set up FB and Google ads so that the marketing people can concentrate on how to better the ads. Otherwise, why does the company need IT department for? Sit there until somebody's computer is broken?
    – Nobody
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 11:53
  • To the OP, when I was a software engineer, I understand my job was to develop software. However, every time I got to a different department or different project, I always ask IT 's help to set up the environment, such as the computer environment, IDE/CM. There was once I went ahead to set it up myself, the IT people was mad, they said I took over their job. I thought I was doing them a favor, they said no. They said if everybody did that, why would the company hire them for? Everybody has their job to do is the bottom line.
    – Nobody
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 12:11
  • 2
    In my opinion, marketing people are supposed to understand the company's product, the potential customers and how to attract more customers. I am sure the owner would not want them to spend time to read FB/Google documents, unless you company is the competition of FB or Google.
    – Nobody
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 12:16
  • @Erik It does mean they do not know. They might just do not want to have their hands "dirty" with "IT" work, and see as their only responsability dealing with customers. Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 13:21

4 Answers 4


What you are seeing is just a disagreement over which department does what.

This is pretty normal in a new company. Nobody yet knows exactly where the division of labour lies, and in a startup everybody has too much to do and wants (understandably) to put as much work on other departments as possible.

To put it simply marketing thinks that the technical details of setting up Facebook ads is "techie stuff" and IT should do it, freeing them for the stuff they really know about. IT thinks this is "easy stuff" which even a marketing guy can do, freeing them for the hard stuff. There is no obviously correct answer to whether this is handled by IT or by marketing - arguments could be made both ways. You think it's their job. They think it's your job. Neither of you is unquestionably right.

The important thing here in a new company is not to let this become a political fight. Unfortunately that seems to have already happened.

My recommendation is to have the heads of both marketing and IT sit down with someone higher up and decide which makes best sense for the company. Try not to think of it as "IT versus Marketing", but both of you working together to see which department could most efficiently do the job. That gets you both working for the common good instead of fighting. For future disputes like this (and there will be many) try to sort it out before it gets escalated, by perhaps sitting down with the marketing guys and try to work out which makes sense for the company. If you don't do that you are setting the precedent for the company that everything is settled by having a political fight between departments. That won't help your company succeed.

Try not to use the argument "we're too busy so they should do it". In a startup everyone is too busy.

  • 2
    This is an great answer. I might add that the solution might not be "IT does this" or "Marketing does this." It might be "IT helps Marketing put together the tools/documentation they need to continue doing this themselves in the future." Also, the decision doesn't have to be permanent. If it's decided that this is IT's job, but it starts to encroach on your other tasks, start keeping track of time spent helping Marketing, so you can use that to re-open the conversation. The balance might change if you can show that you spend x hours a week helping marketing, causing delay to other projects. Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 22:38

As a long timer in the industry, I have seen situations were other departments indeed need help, other times it was just an excuse to push their work to the IT department.

As they are already escalating to politics, it might seem indeed they are interested in shaking over the responsibility.

Computers are nowadays a bigger part of the work scenario and indeed in many situations it does not make sense invoking the mantra "computer procedures are for IT teams". Marketing people also has to know how to read and deal with step-by-step English instructions...If they do not know how to use the tools of the trade, they do not deserve a monthly pay check.

I would establish well where your responsibilities start and end. The marketing team just may see that is beneath their duties to do "waste time" on their kind of work, when they do think it is your responsibility. It might also be interesting talking about outside training. I would make it clear that if it is my team responsibility, than they should be the ones going to training too.

You are not being very clear about your position in the hierarchy, if you have a team lead, or report directly to a director, it might be his job to clear up this situation.

It is his job (and your job), to not let political machinations and traditionally lazy/manipulative departments affect the work of your team.

As for this particular situation, for everyone to save face, if I had resources available I would assign an employee to help them "smooth the process/train them" in a best effort basis, but make it clear the bulk of work and any future needs on the same work would be their responsibility.

P.S. I once managed a small, almost skeletal IT crew, and part of my duties as their director was fending off the constant attempts of the vendors team and quality team to pass the buck to them. (When I caught them writing and not advising reports for vendors, I had a conversation with my counterpart on the selling team. Once in a board meeting, the quality department tried to make my team write the monthly marketing newsletter "because we were good with computers"...let´s say the conversation did not go well.)


This would be a great time to help set up procedures for how business processes should be done. For a marketing team setting up a facebook add or google analytics should be part of their job (a business process).

Start with your management. State that you'd like to help the other team with the processes they are having issues with. Then involve the other team. Maybe walk through the processes and document. Produce something that they can use as a reference. Get screen shots and instructions for each step.

As a geek I understand the urge to send them to a link. For most non-technical users this is a pointless exercise. Many are scared by techy stuff like this (and frankly, most online documentation is poorly written). Giving them clear instructions on how they can accomplish a task helps the business and would also free you up for the fun stuff. As a developer I need to remember that if the marketing & sales staff do not do their job successfully then the business will not be successful and I won't have a job.


They don't know how to do these things. Maybe you don't, either, so you'll do what any rational human being would do - google it and follow the instructions. But... if they were any good at googling their problems and following the instructions, they would be in IT.

It's ok that they don't know how to do it. It's ok that you don't know how to do it, either. You're the Google-fu master.

When you bring it up with the boss man, you need to do it in a way that doesn't make the idiots in marketing look like idiots. This shouldn't be too hard, since you are dealing with very new technologies. Obviously use your judgement on this, but If I were you, I'd tell your boss that you don't know how to do these new things either, but you can figure it out by following the guide.

Here's the clever bit: You can tell your boss that you are more than happy to set up the facebook ads and google analytics, but If that's my department's responsibility, I'm going to need more people.

Congratulations, you just became head of marketing.

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