Plan to Have a Few Failures

During Content Marketing World’s Executive B2B Track (full disclosure it was sponsored by ANNUITAS), I listened to executives throughout the day discuss what they had done to attain success. Success can be found in many different ways; success in their organizations, success in their programs or success with their teams. What was most interesting to me with these leaders from various industries and backgrounds (Mark Wilson from BlackBerry, Kathy Button Bell from Emerson, Brian Kardon from Lattice-Engines and Carla Johnson from Type A Communications) was that they had something unique in common. Each one wasn’t afraid of taking a chance.

Plan to Have a Few FailuresTaking a chance doesn’t mean making an eyes-closed leap of faith off a bridge, rather, it means a calculated risk based on what is know and what the anticipated outcomes may be. The hardest part is knowing that one of those outcomes could have been failure. The key is learning how to fail fast, and be an agile learner to recover and respond to the situation.

Marketing is different today than in years past because the buyer is different. The buyer is in control. Most marketers struggle to connect with and Engage their buyers because each buyer is different, with unique pain points and different content consumption patterns and preferences. So what works for a VP of marketing at a technology company may not work for a VP of marketing at a paper manufacturer. Because each buyer is different and so much of what we need to do to connect with them must be personalized, relevant and educational– there are no rules to follow. We learn as we go and marketers today need to be agile, to try new things, plan to take chances to see what works…knowing not everything will be a success. If a failure occurs, fail fast, learn from it and move on.

Panelist Carla Johnson wrote a blog post this week about leadership in marketing and its role in revenue and reflected on the panel discussion. If 97% of marketers are doing things they’ve never done before, it’s worth a risk to try something new. And, it’s all new for today’s marketer and buyer, isn’t it?

Author: Erika Goldwater CIPP/US @erikawg is VP Marketing, ANNUITAS