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How to Enjoy Failure…

...5 steps to B2B communications success

So what’s your latest business marketing disappointment? Maybe it was:

  • Customers aren’t logging onto to your website—or they zip out quickly after arriving

  • Your webinars aren’t gleaning the sign-on response that you’re seeking

  • Too many folks are deleting you from your e-newsletter

  • You haven’t been able to gain an appearance on a podcast or other broadcast option

1. Start by admitting the failure

There are some people who never admit they failed. Some of these blame their upbringing: “My dad hated my great sense of color. He insisted I go into business, not design.”

Some folks take blame to the absolute nth degree. Maybe you can recall a recent president who—even now—is never wrong. Every stupid (and/or inconsiderate) overlook, every racial or misogynistic action, even outright treason, is always the fault of others.

There’s not much help for endless deniers like the latter, but anyone in the first group can be forgiven. The keys: admit something went wrong, stop complaining, recognize true goal(s) and aim for at least some of them.

2. Understand failure’s benefits

Early in our marriage my hubby segued from a career as an optician to eyeglass sales and it was okay—but it quickly became clear it really couldn’t lead to his goals. To him it felt like a failure. He must have chosen the wrong segue! (At least that was his thought.)

Well, I just happened to see a small plaque in a store on my way home. (This was back home in NYC…walk a few blocks and you can find pretty much anything to cheer you!) It simply said, “It’s better to have tried and failed, than to have failed to try.”

Sounds so basic. But it spoke volumes to hubby. It turned him around and he was encouraged to explore way outside his training. It didn’t happen overnight, but little by little I was married to a leading NYC Mac specialist.

3. Start a review

After forgiveness, moving onwards involves a major tool towards success: analysis.

Sounds very clinical—but does it have to be? Sure, there are all sort of software design tools that provide different types of analyses. But even if you just take out a pad and pen and make a list of what you’d need to institute the changes you instantly see are needed, who says that wouldn’t move you forward?

4. Do your homework

Okay, don’t say “homework.” Call it analysis, call it research…whatever makes you feel like a mature senior marketing guru. Then start using both the ‘net and discussions from one or more audiences to glean insights that will really re-steer your focus.

Various voices should generate those discussions. Clients, employees, colleagues, general consumers—whoever you and/or your team know can provide needed insights. After all, if you’re seeking ideas for a case study, you really need to understand what insights potential clients need as opposed to general consumers.

Anything left you need before you move in your new direction? Would a focus group help? Do you have to compile one that’s truly official or just glean insights from the folks noted above?

What kind of marketing materials do you need? A whole new website or just an extra section? Infographics? Press releases? Social media—and which outlets?

How well have you refined your targets? Got a few key niches or gonna try blowing news all over creation? (The latter is rarely a good approach, BTW.)

Gotten the idea? Taken a deep breath and moved past the original disappointment? Ready to refine it towards success? Sounds great! Let us know how it goes. ##

If you’re still a little frayed by a failure and would like some outside inspirational marketing ideas...even actual senior communications...then just contact Wendy Meyeroff. She’s turned around many a failure, been part of new campaigns, and just developed the right words for NIH, Apple, Sears, CBS, Dr. Oz, and many others on the B2B and/or B2C outreach for 20+ years.

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