My First Marketing Failure Without it Being a Failure

Marketing Failure

In my youth, I’ve always been nervous about having a marketing failure.  Will I get into trouble? Will there be any more project assigned? Through all the nervousness, I have come to find that any marketing failure is inevitable. It’s how you learn from it is what keeps it from being a failure. Here is what I learned.

The Project

I was tasked with creating a campaign driving people to a webinar in two months. The budget was flexible, and the call to action was to register for the content-related webinar. At the end of the webinar, the registrants were able to learn more or purchase product that supported the content and business need.

My first idea was to create a direct mail campaign to a targeted list. Having more real estate would tell the whole story. Better to personalize the material than appear spammy in an email, right?

The Results

The direct mail campaign yielded three conversions. This fell far short of the goal of 25 registrants, which only meant one thing: time to re-strategize.

The Redo

The new strategy was an email campaign. The targeted email list was larger than the direct mail list. This helped generated a higher response, yielding 30 registrants. The law of averages definitely helped achieve the conversion goal.

The Experience

As a young professional, it is especially important to learn from both good and bad results in order to grow. Here are the results, analysis, and learning experiences:

  • Although direct mail took more time to reach our audience and cost more, the three registrants from that campaign appeared more interested, asking questions about our company and the product both pre- and post-webinar. The expense enabled a targeted, industry specific audience.
  • In this particular campaign, email marketing surprisingly had a higher conversion rate than direct mail. Click to register was more convenient than following through on a direct mail campaign.
  • Successfully managing a budget always keeps the customer happy
  • Embrace something not working out—lots of marketing is testing and learning
  • As with any marketing channel, it’s important to understand and realize the pros and cons of each. My moral from this experience: a failure is never truly a failure unless you learn nothing from it.

Do you have any relatable marketing stories you would like to share? Comment below or email

Also see our last blog on the pleasure principle.