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Failing (and winning) with your marketing tactics


Have you ever been frustrated by trying to market your organization with nothing to show for the time, money, and energy you invested? Or maybe you're intimidated by that very thought, so you haven't invested much at all in marketing your business!

It's understandable to feel that way, but we want to remind you of the very first Sandler rule: You have to learn how to fail, to win. Have you applied that thinking to your marketing yet?

Think of it in terms of I/R (Identity/Role) theory. If you're trying a new marketing tactic—say, social media marketing—and you don't see a lot of traction, there are a couple of different ways you could look at that situation.

You could consider yourself a massive failure for not getting a handle on this particular tool and quit outright. You'd be quitting because you think you're a failure—meaning there was something wrong with your identity.

Or, you could consider that the way you're doing social media marketing isn't working. It's not you—it's just the process you're using. That lets you maintain a high identity value even if you're not excelling in one particular role (in this case, that of an online marketer).

Reflect on how you've gotten better at other aspects of your business: cold calling, setting good upfront contracts, management, you name it. How many times did you have to fail at those things before you found a process that worked for you?

Marketing isn't any different than that. You'll probably fail before you succeed. But that doesn't mean that you are a failure. It means that you've found some ways to do a particular marketing activity that don't work well for your organization.

Paying attention to the marketing tactics that have been successful for your organization and those that have failed will give you a better idea of what will work going forward.

Learning how to fail, to win, in your marketing means that you might make some marketing choices that don't work. But just like any other part of your professional life, those failures give you something to learn from.

Pay attention to your target audience (your ideal prospects) and pay attention to your successes and failures. That's how you'll learn what you need to do to win with marketing your organization.

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Mike Crandall

Mike Crandall

Sandler Custom Growth Solutions

Mike Crandall is a Speaker, Consultant, Coach and Trainer focused on Sales, Management, and Leadership Development.

He's also the owner of Sandler Custom Growth Solutions, a world leader in innovative sales, management, and leadership training. They offer consulting, coaching, and training for individuals and organizations serious about professional development and growth.

Mike is the author of "Motivational Management The Sandler Way" and has written a sales column for several years.

Tim Priebe

Tim Priebe

T&S Online Marketing

Tim Priebe is a public speaker, author, columnist, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.

Tim’s company helps with websites, social media, blogging, email newsletters, Google rankings, and online video. Tim is the author of several online marketing books, including "102 Tweets," "Blog a Week," and "Online Marketing Mindshift."