The good news is that as the decision maker you can use this excuse for anything and everything in business. The bad news of course is that it is a meaningless statement. More often than not it is based on pure laziness, unwillingness to spend money or both. “We ran an ad in that magazine, it didn’t do anything”
“We tried it but people didn’t like it”
“We did a direct mail campaign and very few people called”
“It cost too much. I don’t remember how much but it wasn’t worth it”
Rarely is this conclusion based on measurable data.
Here are some real reasons why 'it didn't work':
- Lack of focus and precise targeting
- Sloppy or bad creative (design, copy)
- No measurable goal(s)
- Results weren’t tracked or analyzed
- Meaningless 'data': a one-time ad is just an ad
- False or unrealistic expectations
I don't want to get too mushy on you, but a few weeks ago two climbers scaled Yosemite’s El Capitan face, a straight vertical ascent and one of the hardest climbs in the word. During the climb, they encountered a portion that was particularly challenging. It took seven days and nineteen attempts for Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell to conquer that section -“We tried and couldn't make it work” was not an option.
Laziness reluctance to spend money are common human traits. But lack of “commitment” is the root cause of unfounded decision making. It’s rarely about the money or the work that needs to be done - it is about the inability to ‘stick with it’ or the motivation to make it work one way or another. Success in marketing is directly correlated to repetition: the more consumers are exposed to your message the more likely they are to respond. One ad, one campaign, one email or one phone calls won't do it.
We tried it once is meaningless.
We will keep on trying until we get the results we need is the only way to build and ensure a sustainable business.