The most iconic TV commercial of all time, Apple's 1984 ad during the Super Bowl, was destined to be a flop.
When Steve Jobs showed the ad to Apple’s board before it aired, the response in the room was despair.
One executive announced, “Who wants to move to a new [advertising] agency?”
Another asked the agency to sell off the spots they’d purchased during the game (luckily, they didn’t).
The CEO at the time, John Sculley, recalled later that most of the people in the room thought it was the worst ad they’d ever seen.
Of course we know that the commercial, directed by Ridley Scott, became one of the most famous and recalled advertisements that have ever existed.
And Apple’s board wanted to shut it down.
It only ran once, but according to Stephen Fox in Mirror Makers, the next day Apple sold over $6 million worth of its new personal computer, the Macintosh.
The only people who know if your marketing is working are the people it’s meant to work on.
Talk to your customers, find out where they see your true value, and demonstrate that value to them at a distance.
Your competitors and colleagues don’t know if your marketing is good.
Only your customers do.
So pay attention to them, not your peers.