Fail & Learn
Sometime ago we at Impact were in the midst of a major IT project and I was aware that our tech team had conducted an important test the prior evening. When I crossed paths with our Manager of IT the following morning I asked him about the test. His answer made me smile and it continues to stick with me. He looked straight at me and said, “Now we know another way that won’t work.” Though he was clearly disappointed, his look was not one of dejection; rather, it was a look of resolve. His look communicated confidence that we’ll learn from the failure and we will figure it out.
Why did his answer make me smile? Because it exhibited strength and fortitude in the face of bad news. More than that, it made me quite certain that we have the right guy managing our IT area. We all make all kinds of mistakes. As long as our mistakes are honest then we should look at them as opportunities to learn something to avoid in the future. Winston Churchill’s famous line, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never . . .” was spoken to the students a Harrow School in 1941. It was part of a speech called the “The Unrelenting Struggle.” Though the marketing or technology struggles that we face today are smaller than those Churchill faced as he struggled for the survival of a nation in the early 1940’s, it seems fitting that words like those spoken by Churchill to those students in 1941 continue to inspire us today.
We at Impact recognize that direct marketing is an unrelenting struggle because what worked well in the past may not be the best technique today. In a practical sense, direct marketing can be boiled down to: test, test, and retest. Why so much testing? Because testing leads to failing which leads to learning which leads to success. At Impact we love helping our clients test and fail because, more than that, we’re resolved to help them test and succeed. Here’s another of my favorite inspirational sayings attributed to Churchill that can be applied to much of life including direct marketing: “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no lack of enthusiasm.” Happy testing!