When to Fold ‘Em

A marketer’s daily life is filled with the pursuit of success. Our mission is to make things happen — drive sales, move product, generate leads, and a million other things.

Never do we like to admit defeat.

Yet sometimes that’s exactly what needs to happen in order to achieve success.

Too many times, marketers keep doing the same failing tactics for one reason or another. Put off redesigning your website due to budget or time. Keep your same mix of spending and tactics because new channels are “too risky.” Launch the same old email campaigns because you’re not sure what the best practices are. And as we emerge from the economic doldrums, the resistance to change will only grow as nobody wants to lose any revenue by trying something different.

Yet sticking with the same tried and true tactics only leads to false hope. Now is the time to admit defeat — what worked before won’t work in today’s world. So throw out those old strategies, and test and test some more to find the new best answers, whether it’s channel, medium, or message. Take the time to explore alternatives, try something new, and revamp what’s been stagnant. Research a blog, do something social, revisit your email strategy…hell, if you’re still heavily invested in direct mail, try a new format or shift spending to another channel, like PPC.

That’s the only way to emerge as a leader when your customers are ready for action.

An Email Resolution

Many, many marketers are not sad to see 2009 leave. A tough year to say the least.

Looking for ways to improve is an important thing to do as we move into the new year. Certainly it’s always an important thing to do, not just in January. Yet the turn of the calendar typically provides a convenient checkpoint for marketers to revisit our plans and practices. On that note, check out this MediaPost column on email metrics. It’s full of suggestions on how to use those metrics to find a deeper level of guidance and strategy-changing perspective.

If you’re one of those who uses the turn of the calendar to seek new life for marketing plans, maybe this will help you find it.