Managing Failure in Digital Campaigns

Managing Failure In Your Digital Marketing Campaigns

In the interest of sharing what works in digital marketing, we’re all too eager to discuss the tricks, hacks, tools, and techniques that work. What you don’t see is how much failure you’ll face along the way.

From the time you launch a campaign or a marketing plan, to the actual moment you begin reaping the metrics that you need, there’s all that in-between stuff…which means you have to run tests, you make mistakes, you miss your objectives, sometimes you even make decisions that only prove that you weren’t doing the right thing.

Honestly, it’s enough to make anyone just give up and quit. But I’ve been at this long enough to confidently say, you don’t have to.

That’s just the reality of running digital campaigns.

Here’s what you should remember—keep going. Because you’ll get there. Failure is a big part of this whole process.

Seth Godin said it best in his book, The Dip.

It says that when you first find yourself working on a new campaign, everything is exciting and new. You feel motivated to get things up and running, you see your results inching its way towards your goal.

As time goes by, you realize, you don’t get the same engagement you used to, your page doesn’t seem to attract the right kind of audience you need, your blog doesn’t get read, and nobody opts-in on your campaigns. Nothing you’re doing seems to work anymore and you start to feel upset and get discouraged.

That’s The Dip.

And here it is straight from Godin’s book—

“Never Quit”.

What a spectacularly bad piece of advice. I think the advice giver meant to say “Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment”.

Now that’s good advice.

I suppose what we’re trying to remind everyone is that, yes, failure is frustrating, unpleasant, and exasperating. But it’s necessary if you really want to learn how to do things right. It’s all about reframing your mindset when it comes failure.

But How Do I Know If I’m In A Situation That’s Worth Seeing Through?

I’d consider a couple of things:

  1. Do you have enough resources to get past this dip? Meaning, do you have the budget, the time, the team, and the knowledge? Take note of what you need and be practical and realistic.
  2. Once you do, consider if all the work and effort that you will put into it will actually be worth it.

If the answer is yes to both questions, then by all means, see this through.

How Do I Know What I Should Or Should Not Do When It Comes To Content Marketing?

What the dozens of success stories published on blogs don’t tell you about are the hundreds of versions of the same campaign that came before that.

Understandable. The goal is, after all, to make sure that the success is replicated. But it also just makes most people assume that achieving your desired results are just as easy, when in fact, it will require:

  • Getting to know your audience and understanding what they need.
  • A/B testing more times than you can count.
  • Studying various techniques based on successful campaigns and how they can apply to yours.
  • Understanding the kind of channels you should be using.
  • Knowing how to accurately measure your success.

And you go through the same sequence over and over again until you achieve the numbers that you want. It’s hardly the simple, step-by-step process you had in your head.

Realistically, you can’t instantly become the best if you’re just starting out with something. Take that fact in, process it and know that it doesn’t mean you can’t work your way towards being the best.

Along the way, you will fail and you will make mistakes, you will learn from them and do better next time.

So here’s my Seriously Simple Marketing tip for you—Seriously Simple Marketing Hack

  1. Take one aspect of your marketing plan that you essentially gave up on already. Was it to reach a particular number of Twitter or Facebook followers? To increase your engagement?
  2. Assess whether or not your goal is feasible and give it another shot—but this time, give yourself room to fail. And when you do, note down what you did and change it up on your next try.
  3. Keep trying until you get your goal.

– Mercer

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About The Author


Chris Mercer, who typically goes by "Mercer", has a sales and marketing background that stretches over 20 years. He began his online marketing career in 2009 and has become a sought after analytics & conversions expert, helping other top-marketers to improve their own offers and sales funnels. Now decades of real-world experience are brought to you post-by-post as he delivers Seriously Simple Marketing tips that you can use to build your own business!