Doing All The Right Things Is Sometimes All You Can Do…

An important lesson in business as well as in life is to learn from your mistakes.

Sometimes though, you can seemingly do everything right according to what you have learned, what you have read and researched, and what are commonly known as best practices, and still not get it right!

This is something I have noted twice now this year! I guess this could mean that either I have not done quite as good a job as I think I have – entirely possible, or perhaps there were circumstances beyond my control. Either way it does give you reason to think it through and try to learn more.

In the first instance, we did a self promotional marketing piece entitled Print Plus… a journey. This was a rather unique concept and printed piece designed around a travel theme. The idea was to create a fictitious travel experience that highlighted a variety of cross-media options that showcased how print could interact within a marketing campaign. And while we received a very enthusiastic response on the creativity and in fact sparked several jobs as a direct result, overall we have yet to generate the impact that we felt it would promote.

The second scenario was for the promotion of an industry conference that I will be attending this coming week. I was invited to be part of the conference planning committee along with several other key association members. Together the committee brainstormed and identified some very unique speakers and timely topics. From a marketing standpoint, we also made a strong commitment to not only “talk the talk,” but also to “walk the walk” with a number of cutting edge strategies including personalization, a pURL campaign, multiple e-mail reinforcement messages, video invitations from committee members, several keynote speakers and sponsors and even telemarketing follow-up along with social media. I can honestly say that this conference was probably promoted as well as any that I have seen! And yet, the registration levels to date are behind what we had hoped for.

Feedback so far is that while members have found the content to be of interest, they are not able to attend due to slow business conditions and the increased competition for industry events this year. Perhaps we will learn more in talking with those who are in attendance and or as we survey other members in the coming months as well. Either way, I do look forward to the conference – in meeting with fellow members, attending the many sessions and learning from the featured speakers. As is typical, I fully expect to gain a great deal from the experience.

So what does all of this mean in the grand scheme of marketing?  What is it that I have learned or am able to take away from these two experiences of the past year? I believe, that ultimately one needs to be true to your efforts and your commitment. In any given campaign you will likely see either great results or not so great results – but that does not mean that you give up or lose faith, but rather you keep reaching for the end goal. I also believe that over time we might find that both of these campaigns might actually draw some of the results we had sought out – just in ways that we might not have expected!

What are some examples of your efforts that have not worked as you planned?

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