But what if we fail? — Kelford Labs Daily

Marketing as experimentation.

But what if we fail? — Kelford Labs Daily

But what if we fail?

I have a saying, “Marketing doesn’t fail, it stops.”

Yes, occasionally a company will make an ad so bad they have to publicly apologize, but, usually, the thing that hurts our marketing isn’t a mistake. It’s merely stopping.

Because the bigger point is that, absent a public relations catastrophe, marketing that doesn’t work hasn’t failed.

In fact, we have to expect that many of our marketing efforts will not pay off. That’s not failure, that’s experimentation. The only failure is stopping because we didn’t get the results we were hoping for. Because we ran out of money. Or energy, or patience.

But if we think about our marketing as experimentation, we’re less likely to give up when things don’t work out. Because we didn’t fail, we learned.

And if we see our marketing as an experiment, we’re less likely to overspend, overexert, or be overeager for immediate results. We can be prudent, we can be paced, and we can be patient.

Risk is inherent in our work. But not all risks are existential, most are merely disappointing. 

So if we can avoid the disappointment, we can avoid stopping altogether. 

And we can avoid disappointment by remembering that everything that doesn’t work has taught us something about what will work. As long as we keep the right attitude and keep things in proportion.

And keep going.

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