Don't Let Unintentional Abandonment Have The Final Word
With my former marketing company, I heard numerous experienced business leaders proclaim away many different marketing channels. They simply"didn't work".
“We tried billboards, and they didn’t work.”
“We did social media marketing, and nothing happened.”
Pick a channel, and there was likely a prospect or customer who superficially claimed the endeavor was not fruitful. Well, if they didn’t work why do those channels still exist? Why do companies continue to pay good amounts of money to continue using them? Obviously, it's not simply the channel, but how we interact with those channels.
The more accurate way these businesses should evaluate these unintentionally abandoned efforts is summarized in the following statement: The way they executed didn’t generate the results they were expecting.
This means they need to adjust their expectations and change how they approached the initiative. But to accurately reflect on the situation requires a level of ownership in the failure. People don’t like admitting failure and prefer to blame others instead. It’s easier than taking the time to learn the lessons.
As a result, people don't tend to revisit their those failures and sit on the easy answer that it simply doesn’t work. And because that didn't work, I won't do it or try again. But, when we fail to dig deeper, we ’ll continue to make the same mistakes in different areas of our business. And we’ll miss a huge opportunity to grow our company with these supposedly failed tactics.
As leaders, we don't get to stay in this lazy jaded context. We're called to step up and forward and this means understanding why we succeed and what causes our failures. It's how we grow as people and become stronger leaders.
Several years ago, I was working with a customer who failed at a marketing tactic before we started working together. I came across this same approach as our engagement progressed, and encouraged this owner to seriously explore it as a way to dramatically grow the company. But, he had tried it before and it didn't work out well.
In response, I strongly pushed and facilitated him taking his objections and concerns directly to the company. I suspected they'd accommodate and work with us to make this work out in a positive way, and they did. We trialed the program in a customized way and it ended up working out spectacularly. As a result, we explored additional similar channels we could leverage to grow the business and for the last several years, this now plays a large role in the amount of success and growth we've had over the years.
While it necessitated me pushing the business owner to reconsider his position on the marketing approach, it ended up resolving his challenges and opening up an otherwise closed opportunity to significantly grow the business.
That thing you say can't or won't work: It could be your next big opportunity to make something wonderful happen. But, it might mean you're required to take ownership in the first time it failed.
It's totally worth it.