Is the fear of failure preventing you from trying bold new marketing ideas? Learning from others can be valuable, but relying too heavily on others’ successes can stifle innovation. It’s time for marketers to embrace the challenge and dare to go first!
When discussing new marketing ideas with builders, the marketer will often ask Do You Convert for examples of similar projects others have already executed. Sometimes looking to others makes sense to avoid spending time and budget reinventing the wheel with a new strategy or idea. Keeping an eye on competitors or other industries can be beneficial. However, if we haven’t seen anyone try the idea before, many marketers have trepidation about being the first. But we must remember that always waiting for someone else to go first isn’t how innovation happens.
If we only take a chance if another builder has already tested the waters, we will be playing catch up and never getting out ahead, and in this market, we can’t risk falling behind. Most of us have at least one project in our minds that we haven’t yet dared to pull the trigger on.
Taking a chance can be scary. It also requires some trust from your leadership. If you haven’t gained that trust yet, start with small things, and the more they see the successes and the way you learn and grow from the failures, the more trust you’ll gain.
Start with making sure you’re succeeding in your core marketing efforts. Are you meeting or exceeding sales goals multiple months in a row? Are your conversion rates high enough to fully capitalize on the impact of the new idea?
When you learn writing, you first need to learn the rules of writing before breaking them. Start by learning and executing the basics of your marketing role. Spend time mastering how your marketing and sales funnel operates and how to improve conversion rates throughout the funnel. Once you understand how things work, give yourself the freedom to bend the rules. We’ll never innovate without occasionally breaking the rules of how things have always been.
You can also build that trust by using your analytical side to define how to measure success. Sometimes, data and analytics can make this clear cut. Other times, success will be more subjective with consumer and internal feedback, but that makes it even more important to figure out what success looks like before launching the new idea. If you achieve success, great. Celebrate it, and determine how to build on it.
If the idea didn’t work out as planned, no problem. Dive in and analyze what didn’t work. You now have valuable insights and information your competitors don’t have. Then, it’s time to get busy on a new plan.
Embrace the Risk of Failure
The fear of failure often holds people back in their marketing and career growth. If you want to be great, you need the courage to go first and risk if it’s successful or a learning experience. We need to accept that failures will happen, and that’s okay. Failure can even be advantageous if we use the failures as opportunities to learn and readjust.
A career in marketing is unique because it relies heavily on both the analytic and creative sides of our brains. We often feel more comfortable with one side and rely too heavily on that aspect. But creativity is like a muscle that strengthens the more you use it. It’s not a tool you can hoard and pull out only when you need to and expect it to be ready to go. You constantly need to practice innovation and creativity to improve.
Most importantly, remember that you don’t always have to follow the old way of doing things. Our industry could use some rule-breakers.
While we could use more innovation in our industry, some builders have led the way in trying new things. Some examples of projects where builders have dared to “go first” include:
None of these marketers knew if their ideas would succeed or flop, but they took a chance and did something worthwhile. And while you shouldn’t wait for another builder to try something first, don’t be afraid to build on the success of others. Don’t duplicate exactly what they did, but look at your unique opportunities, strengths, and goals, and learn from their success to do something perfectly suited to your builder.
Take the Challenge
For 2024, I challenge you to choose a project or idea you’ve been considering and simply figure out the next step - no matter how small. Whether that’s doing some research or figuring out a plan or budget, dive in and see if it’s feasible.
Most of all, I challenge you to be bold, creative, and willing to take a chance. Don’t wait for someone else to do it first. You go first!