Let’s talk about failure.
It’s embarrassing. It serves as a quick and effective reminder that maybe (just maybe) you don’t know everything and it’s one of the best ways to become humble (because – let’s face it – you have no other choice).
Fear of failure is a huge hurdle in the marketing world. You’re charged with positively impacting your company’s bottom line … and no pressure, but EVERYBODY’S WATCHING. Also, you probably work with that person who meets all of your ideas with “What if it doesn’t work?”
Here’s how to get past those people and any fear that’s stopping you from implementing kick-ass ideas.
1. Learn How to Talk to Nay-Sayers
Those people who are constantly scared to try ANYTHING because WHAT IF IT DOESN’T WORK. Well, remember, sometimes that’s the point and you’re probably going to have to explain that to them. Every project – even the ones that seem to fail – serve their purpose and help you learn more about your audience and communication strategy. Explain how your goal is to learn about how your audience responds to messaging and the only way to do that is to try new things. Also, put the numbers in front of them – show them results from previous projects, data modeling, and success stories from other companies to back up your idea.
2. Limit Your Risk
Limit how many resources are spent on this new venture. Don’t use your whole marketing budget or every single person on your CRM list (for example) when trying something new. Use a small sample of your audience and just part of your budget to test out your idea.
3. Understand the Marketing Process
Guess what, at the end of the day – whether your project was in the red or the black – you’re going to step back, look at your results, your audience, etc. and decide what you’re going to do differently to make it better next time. Win or fail – you still have the same process. You don’t get an award for a great idea – you get charged with making it even better next time.
Don't Hold Back
In summary – don’t be scared of failure. Don’t let others minimize your ideas because they are scared. Be confident. Back up your ideas with data. And get it done already! 🙂
Whew! Marketing to a tough crowd?
I once heard a freelance writer tell a story about a direct mail piece he was working on for a teachers association. In the past the audience (the teachers) would call in and complain about any grammar mistakes or other mistakes they found in the letter. The main complaint: "How can you send a letter to TEACHERS with a typo in it?! Not professional at all!"
To beat them at their own game, he put a teaser on the OSE (outside envelope) that said “There’s a typo in this letter. Can you find it?” … He had the letter proof read like always, didn’t leave a typo on purpose or anything, but knew there’d be something in there they would probably complain about.
The response was amazing and positive. The teachers LOVED it and thought it was funny. And they decided to purchase what the company was selling. The moral of the story? Get creative and beat the haters at their own game. Your audience just might reward you for it.
And … how many mistakes can you find in my post? (Ok, don’t actually tell me.)
First, I'm the mother of three crazy, sassy, sarcastic, hilarious children. Second, I work in the world of social media, email, digital marketing. Third, I'll probably try to tell you what to do.