Marketing is Failing Often and Failing Fast

Recently I’ve been watching this show called Rick and Morty. If you don’t know what it is, it’s like Back to the Future mixed with Family Guy. I say that because the show airs on Adult Swim and is clearly not meant for children. There are two protagonists, a foul-mouthed, uncaring mad scientist grandfather by the name of Rick and an uncomfortably awkward, noble 14-year-old kid named Morty. Well just like Back to the Future, Rick and Morty often travel through space, interdimensional, and sometimes through time.

Naturally, the typical plot arises. Rick and Morty go to these different timelines with the knowledge that could alter the past and future. Of course, it starts to make you think about yourself. If there were five words you could say to the past version of yourself, what would you say? Marketing is a big aspect of my life and I spend most of my days trying to learn more and more. However, whenever you are committed to something you will also become insecure. It’s normal. When I got to thinking about what I could tell myself when I was  in my early days starting this career, I’d tell myself,

“Embrace failure. It’s going to happen and the more you do it the better you will become.”

The sentiment of this message is actually quite common and popular now. You’ll find it uttered by most entrepreneurs who are interviewed about their success. I can’t tell you how many times I heard it when I was going to school, sitting through all the different guest speakers who came to campus. What I think isn’t conveyed though is the degree of failure. When you say the word failure, you often think of a big fat red F on an elementary school test. Then you start to think of inferiority and lack of worth. It then seeps internally as you worry about whether or not you as a person are a failure. All the goals that you had set, how many did you not attain?

Well, pull yourself out of that. You are, not a failure.

What you need to realize is that when people talk about failure, it doesn’t mean catastrophic, end of the world failure. It means little mistakes and hiccups that occur on the road. Maybe its sending an email to the wrong person, saying the wrong thing 8at the wrong time in a meeting. Yes, catastrophic failures will occur as well, but the little ones also teach you a lot. You have to make sure that you are mindful and asking yourself about these little mistakes and failures. How can you adjust, what can you do better, what did the other party do to cause you to commit that mistake?

I’ve blogged about it so much, but I think this topic helps round out a common message I’ve given to those who are conducting marketing campaigns. Stop trying to be perfect. You cannot anticipate all the road bumps, angry customers, and mistimed execution. All you can do is get started and when little obstacles trip you up, get up, take a note and keep going. Digital Marketing is failing often and failing fast.

90% of It is Being Present

While I was still in college, I was at an entrepreneurial conference that was held for university students. It was called CEO and it was all about inspiring students to really go at that start-up life. I remember at one of these sessions I was listening to a senior discuss what had helped him be successful. He had started a college start-up that helped men deliver gifts to their girlfriends. I know right, a college senior WOULD create a business like that.30

Anyways, one of the things that he mentioned to us was the concept of being present. He said that 90% of it is being there. It’s so easy to stay in bed and make up every different excuse not to go somewhere. The real success though is making that effort to leave your door and be present. Its been some years since I heard those words, but man has they rung true. Especially in Digital Marketing.

Being Present in Marketing

In marketing, we are plagued with many problems. One of those things includes gaining someone’s attention. We often cannot get attention because we ask for it only when we need it. That isn’t the best recipe. It’s like when a door to door salesman comes to sell you something. They don’t know you, you don’t know them and they are there really only to sell you something. That is it.

Of course, sometimes this works. Especially when the salesman happens to offer something of incredible value that you may need at the time. However, when thousands of companies and millions of salesmen and marketers are vying for your attention, its harder to get that lucky.  It’s the same reason why major sportswear companies like Nike hire athletes to market their brand. It’s because as consumers, we trust those athlete’s decisions.

Here is whereas a business you need to learn to be present. You have to locate places where you can add value. Maybe it’s at a local Chamber of Commerce, an online forum or a social media chat. Here’s where that college senior’s advice ring true. You have to be present, which is 90% of the success. If you expect to go in guns blazing, trying to sell your product in forums and chats where people don’t know you, you are likely to get burned.

You need to put in the work before. Be present, put in that 90%. Go to those located targets earlier and don’t sell. Participate in the conversation and be present.

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect; Just Always Improve

Something I’ve learned through my years of doing this search engine optimization thing is that every year you have to be learning. New changes are made. Technology gets better, search engines update their algorithms and new, better programs are made to better do the job. Its just the nature of the industry. Those who refuse to move with the quick pace of the industry, quickly become obsolete. Recently though after a chance conversation with my gym owner, he reminded me that its not just SEO, its all fields.Continue reading

You Have to Find Your Market

A part of my time I spend at a co-working space down in Costa Mesa. While there I’d fielded questions from many start ups and small businesses. Something that comes up a lot is that the business knows who their target customer is. They know who they want to reach out to. Where people need help is in finding the audience.Continue reading

What is an Influencer

What is an Influencer

Influencers is a popular term used in the Marketing industry. Its a broad term for a figure who is particularly well respected in their industry and has a following of people who look to them for advice. There is no numerical or statistical barometer for determining if a person is an influencer. Influencers are not restricted by mediums either. So they can be an influencer from blogging, Instagram, Twitter, etc.Continue reading

How to Release A Product

Everyone wants to hit a home run. For anyone who plays baseball, obviously home runs aren’t everything. There is a lot more to the game. You want a good bull pin, people who can get on base and a defense that doesn’t commit errors. There is a lot to winning a baseball game. For marketing, its the same. Very rarely is it just one thing that will get you a win. I recently came across a case by Google and how they used marketing channels accessible to small business to advertise their products.Continue reading

What Music Artists Teach Us About Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a highly technical term that really is only used by the online marketing and blogging community. At its core, it  means you as an individual, or a business, writing or contributing on another entities marketing channels. A common example is a website specialist writing a post for a company that helps small businesses start. The post is for the company but it is written by the website specialist.Continue reading

Marketing, Like Business, is About Who You Know

The deeper I get into marketing, the more I realize how little power a brand and marketer really has. The reason being that at the end of the day, you can have all the best graphics, product benefits and greatest advertising campaign. But if there is no one to receive it or to help spread the word, then there is no point. Digital Marketing is something that is a collective unit. It necessitates the help of many individuals. This includes your customers, the media and influencers.Continue reading

The Benefits of Joining a Community for Your Business

Specialization can lead to loneliness.

It’s true. No matter how good you are or how much you like to work independently, at the end of the day we would love to discuss our passions with our peers. Its not always easy when at the office your seen as the expert. Its not like your going to go to a local bar and happen to find someone who is an expert either. This is where I really urge people to actively find a community within their expertise. Not communities that are going to be your hiking buddies or the people you go to happy hour with.Continue reading