Why I fail most of the time .. and how testing, measuring and improving helps
December 18, 2012
Turning failure into success
Like James Dyson, Richard Branson, Alan Sugar I frequently fail. What’s more I’m not ashamed of the fact because being able to fail is an important part of being successful.
Virgin Money, Virgin Cola, Virgin Vodka, Virgin Vie, Virgin Vision, Virgin Wine, Virgin Cars, Virgin Cosmetics, Virgin Brides, Virgin Jeans, … the list of Richard Branson’s failed Virgin brands is long and gets longer over time. The strange thing is Richard Branson is a very rich and successful self made man.
So what is going on here?
Well like a lot of other business people he isn’t afraid of failure. He gets a good idea, gives it his all and runs with it. Some ideas make huge profits and some bomb. When they fail he learns from it and moves on.
I get a lot of people approach me with good ideas … and they spend ages perfecting their products or services and their marketing plan but then say “What if I
They then suffer failure paralysis which I describe as the fear to act in case it results in failure.
Often they then go and make a few tweaks to their “formula” .. but put off launching the product.
What they don’t understand is failure to move forward is also a form of failure. All that investment and no action is failure.
My usual response is, “So what? Everyone fails at some time. It’s what
you do before you fail that matters.”
I tell them about Richard Branson and James Dyson who spent years failing at designing the perfect vacuum. There is a difference between the reality of not having a product ready for launch and not moving forward with the finished product. Once Dyson had he product he launched and succeeded .
I also recently read about Sochiro Honda, the founder of the Honda Motor Company who was quoted as saying that “Success is 99% Failure.”
He apparently believes that failure is a stepping stone to success
Looking at the past
When you learnt to walk you frequently fell over. When you learnt to ride a bike you often fell off.
What you didn’t do was refuse to walk or cycle in case you failed. So why do people refuse to launch a product or whatever in case they might fail. And why is it that if they do fail they give up forever. If you had done that you wouldn’t be walking today.
In walking, cycling and business you have to practice.
In marketing we often fail. Adverts don’t bring in enough business, phone calls don’t lead to contracts, emails don’t get opened.
Does it mean we should give up marketing? NO !
We test, measure and optimise our marketing and ensure it works better in future
That’s called being in business.
For a few ideas on what to optimise watch the video below.
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Very old fashioned way of doing things - reflected in his own website (not modern and broken links, images don't load)... went elsewhere and much more forward thinking... Questionable legitimacy of the other reviews posted.
Stefan is rightly known as “The Marketing Magician”. He has an uncanny ability to conjure effective marketing seemingly ‘out of thin air’. But unlike most magicians he’s only too happy to reveal the secrets behind his magic. His enthusiasm is infectious and he’s generous with his time and attention. So if you want to get to grips with the tricks of the marketing trade, Stefan’s your man.
Stefan seems insatiably curious about how our experiences affect the way we interact with companies; what attracts us to them. And he turns this all into original marketing ideas. Plus, he's quite the gentleman. Really glad to know him!
Stefan is chock full of ideas - but more than that, they are GOOD ideas. In the space of one hour he gave me what is probably a year's-worth of implementation. Yet, it's all stuff I can do myself if I wish - no voodoo to be contracted to consultants I cannot manage and whose results I cannot reliably measure.
I have just completed reading Stefan’s book on the marketing of hospitality. I found it outstanding from both the strategic point of view Stefan adopted and the many practical suggestions he offered. And his wonderful, slightly quirky self shone through, which added delight to the entire experience. Check Molly’s Place, A Bar & Grill, in Grenada, MS a year from now and see how we are doing!
I have had the pleasure of working with Stefan on two occasions and was thoroughly impressed both times. His marketing knowledge is excellent and he has the ability to execute a task to a high standard all the way through to completion.
I've had the privilege of working with Stefan on two book projects, and I have also benefited from his marketing wisdom in a private mastermind group. The man is a consummate professional, and he backs it up with a hilarious sense of humor. I highly recommend him.
Stefan is very thorough in his research and understanding of a clients requirements. He has a proven record of delivering comprehensive strategic marketing plans that address education / FE issues critical to the ongoing success of a college. I would recommend considering Stefan for any project that involves strategic planning, communication or digital marketing.