Industrial B2B marketing: it’s okay to fail

Wouldn’t it be great to go through life where every endeavor was a roaring success.

You got top grades in every school test taken and became school dux.

You met the perfect partner and your wedding was an unbridled success without a hitch.

Your honeymoon was like something out of a Hollywood chick-flick.

Your partner became the perfect spouse and your children all grew up to be Rhodes scholars and gold-medal winning Olympic athletes who went on to develop cures for cancer and win Nobel prizes.

Reality is – it’s not reality.

Marketing’s no different and for that reason it’s important to manage your expectations with marketing campaigns and accept that failure is par for the course.

If you’re an industrial supplier or service provider and one in 10 of your marketing campaigns delivers a return over and above your investment then by my reckoning you’ve done okay.

If one in several of your marketing campaigns delivers a return over and above your investment then you’ve done well.

One in five: very well.

One in three: extremely well.

One in two: you’re a marketing genius!

This means you’re going to fail a lot at marketing, but that’s okay.

And why?

Because there are so many variables: price, product, promotion and place (distribution) – notwithstanding market conditions, the competition and force majeure.

And just because one of your marketing campaigns succeeded doesn’t necessarily mean it will work again.

Marketing is part science and part art.

Yes, absolutely you need to do your homework and make informed decisions about your marketing plans, but don’t procrastinate.

Sometimes it’s just a case of trial and error.

But without trying and without investing modestly and prudently in marketing you’ll be none the wiser.

The best engineering and marketing brains developing and delivering the best products and services at the right time to the right market is no guarantee of marketing success.

Doesn’t matter whether it’s advertising, a trade show, a mail out, a sponsorship or lead generation tools and services.

Not every marketing campaign is going to succeed.

Accept that and you’ll have a much greater chance of success in marketing.

Sure if your last marketing campaign was a failure try and understand why, but whether you can or can’t don’t beat yourself up and don’t let colleagues or line managers beat you up.

Just dust yourself off and move on to the next campaign – and a step closer to marketing success!

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