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.

Get in the Habit of Looking for Collaboration

Collaboration is the word that we all heard as Freshman in college. You know, being in those common rooms or classes and being taught that if we all hold hands, we can change the world. Well however, naive you think that is or if you still believe it, there is definitely some business success that comes from collaboration.

Marketing Collaboration is a Great Way to Grow Your Audience

Collaboration leverages the power of Word of Mouth. Thousands and millions of companies are out there. Everyone is trying to be unique and stand out. Well as a business owner you are an equal player with your own expertise. There are other businesses who are experts in other areas. At the end of the day though, they are trying to grow their audience and customer base.

It can be as simple as a Internet hosting company working with a web design company on creating joint content. Of course, you’d like things to go just beyond a simple advertising relationship. What is best is if your the hosting company asked the web design company to step in and be a guest on their blog/podcast or seminar. Offer advice on what businesses should prepare for they build their site or what to avoid.

It’s that simple.

You Don’t Have to Look Too Far to See This Collaboration

Go through your albums and songs. Go look at how many of those songs are collaborated. I recently have been addicted to the new Kanye West album, The Life of Pablo. And no joke, he features over 10 artists on this album. Yet here’s where I want to quell initial fears. Collaboration is stopped by insecurity of a business to be shown up by how good other businesses are.

Now let’s go back to Mr. West. Saving any of your preconceived notions of the man, he is in the discussion for best rapper. There are other great peers, but he is in the discussion. Now, with someone as so concerned about himself,  you’d think he be guarded. But no, Kanye features a multitude of artists to help him create even better music.

Kanye is Kanye. We’re Talking About Business

Of course this may seem trivial. As if I’m citing tabloid trash, but I think we need to think of Kanye’s position. As an artist/rapper, he has a business to run as well. He is dealing with millions. At the launch of the album he tweeted out that he was $53 million in debt.

If you were $53 million in debt, you’d be in crisis mode. It’s not a laughing matter or just another tabloid article. Its a serious, financial situation to be in. Well note that for your business, take a page from Kanye and other artists.

Utilize the talents and expertise of others in your community. Their collaboration can enrich your content.

Collaboration Also Exposes New Audiences to You

When your helping other businesses with their marketing, you grow your expertise. When you walk up in their, the other business is telling their customers and audience that you are someone to trust. That you know what your talking about. That means the company has already done the hard work for you. They got the trust.

Now its your job to deliver. Offer great value. Teach great content. Then you will have gained some leads for your business.

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What is Content Marketing? And Why Should I Do It?

What is Content and Why is it Such a Big Deal?

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