In the old days of offline marketing, we planned our “campaigns” months or even quarters ahead. It was expensive and time consuming to do a print direct mail campaign or plan a trade show exhibit. So we planned only a dozen or so initiatives in a year and expected each one to contribute a positive ROI.
But today, it is simple and free to create a YouTube video or blog post or to write an ebook in order to market a business online. Like the college application and job search markets, creating valuable information for attracting new customers is much, much easier than in the offline world.
Yet most marketers treat these online initiatives like an old offline campaign. They take time to get everything perfect. They plan months ahead, losing opportunities to communicate in real-time. They create only a dozen things online in a year rather than hundreds.
If you’re like many marketers I meet, you need to do much more than you’re doing now.
Marketers need to plan for failure
The problem with information on the web is that nobody knows with certainty which video or ebook will succeed, so finding success is partly a numbers game requiring investment in many ideas.
I don’t know if anyone will care about this blog post. It could attract 10,000 or more readers by being tweeted by hundreds of people. A journalist at a mainstream publication could quote from it. Someone might read it and that sparks them to invite me to speak at a conference. Or it could fall flat. It could “fail.” That’s the game, just like those job & university applications.
You never really know which one is likely to succeed, so the more good ideas, the better.