New Marketing Campaign? Strive to “Fail Quickly”

Marketing Campaign - Fail QuicklyTo Succeed Faster, Consider Embracing Failure

No one builds a marketing campaign to fail, right? While you certainly don’t want to fail intentionally, it is the failure itself that often paves the way to future success. Think of small failures as progress, not as setbacks. Thomas Edison “failed” 10,000 times before he hit on the right combination of elements for the first light bulb. When asked about his “failures” he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. Edison knew that each failed attempt brought him one step closer to success.

Marketers often set out to try to construct a “perfect” marketing campaign— (with all of the associated time and money spent developing), only to discover that it doesn’t remotely match expectations when it actually goes live. The thrill of the launch is often quickly met with extreme disappointment. Those same marketers are faced with not only the poor performance of the campaign itself, but also the extra time and money spent on it. Worst of all, the window of opportunity may have closed, with customers often moving on to something else while marketers keep working away in their ivory tower.

There’s a better way, but it involves a different mindset. You need to embrace failure—failing quickly and more often. Why? Because the quick failures allow you to realign strategies and get you much closer to success. A dynamic campaign with a responsive feedback mechanism allows you to make necessary adjustments on an ongoing basis. The feedback you get on these less-than-perfect early efforts makes it possible to make real progress quickly, making valuable changes that your customers will respond to.

So, how do build a marketing campaign to fail (succeed faster)?

  1. Build your campaign in “chunks”.  Deploy in phases which will make adjustments easier (and faster).
  2. Start with a concept test and get quick feedback.  There’s no reason to build a whole campaign around a concept that doesn’t engage your customers.
  3. Act on your feedback as quickly as possible. Your feedback system must gather your metrics and present them to the development team for analysis and next actions.
  4. Tweak the effort Now that you know what your customers like and what they don’t, time to make some quick adjustments.
  5. “Rinse and repeat”. Re-deploy it, get feedback, and make more changes.

The faster your campaign fails, the faster you can get to work on improving it, and turning it into something that your customers will respond to.

When you are developing your new marketing campaign, Don’t try to be perfect—it takes too long and you’ll end up missing your window!