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Today's Marketing Cookie - Fail Many Times
"A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he gives up."
Today's Marketing Cookie is an encouragement to press on, even if you miss a step and fall up the stairs. Don't you hate when that happens!?! You've probably climbed those stairs thousands of times, but for some reason this time, your feet got in the way of your walking, and it didn't work out. Do you give up and quit going upstairs any more? No. You can't sleep on the couch forever and so you have to pick yourself up and try again. Well, it's that way in marketing too.
In 2008, I launched a social networking site for AMA Boston called "connect". It was a terrific success because it connected the chapter with the larger marketing community in Boston and it still continues to serve thousands of marketers today. It worked! It became a model for other AMA Chapters as well as for other organization and we are very proud of it!
Based on the results of that experience, I recommended a similar approach for a few of our clients. I figured that if we followed the same playbook, and invested some time and effort into it, it should be great!
Well, it never got off the ground. It flopped.
Being determined to realize success, we pushed even harder. We came up with incentives, contests and special offers. None of it worked. Why? Why did a social community work so beautifully for some clients but not for others?
So, we decided that we needed to change the content. Didn't work.
Then, we though that maybe we needed a greater volume of content, and paid writers to generate more content. Nope.
Next, we wondered if it just needed to be promoted more, so we sent direct mail, emails, and placed advertisements. Nada.
Finally, we decided to admit defeat and shut it down. My strategy had failed.
In the meantime, we discovered that the target audience was already participating in other networks. Ah hah! Rather than try to pull prospects into a social network of our own, we went to where the customers were already hanging out and engaged with them there. Much better! We had lost the battle, but kept on fighting the war. I learned that past successes doesn't necessarily translate into future victories and that sometimes admitting failure is the only way to find success.