Read this great article about the founder of Spanx (thank you 99U) and her upbringing when her father challenged her with the question “What did you fail at today?” throughout her upbringing. While hers is a success story of one in a million, the idea of constant support from a parent to try your very best is fantastic.
As a father of a 9-year old the article speaks to me, but as a marketer who loves to constantly try new ideas and launch new projects, it really resonates with me.
Over my career, marketing mistakes have taken many different forms. And now with the ability to measure just about every metric you can imagine, failure is even easier to find. However, I caution you to not spend all of your time lost in the analytics trying to figure out what went wrong. Rather, take the most obvious lesson(s) and move on to the next project or campaign.
Just as with art, there’s no real answer as to what will move an audience and what will not. The answer is to continue to try new ideas, push your own creative boundaries, gain inspiration from those around you and create a new tomorrow.
See, marketing and art have a lot to do with one another and those in the arts should not be afraid of failure OR of marketing.
As for my 9-year old, I asked him what he failed at today. He said “nothing.” I thought about it for a minute and then realized, I’m probably trying a little too hard. He’ll have enough time to find his own failures, but it’s my job to make sure he’s not afraid of them.