What To Do When Bad Things Happen to Good Marketers

09/22/2016 05:42 pm ET Updated Nov 29, 2016
When Bad Things Happen To Good Marketers
When Bad Things Happen To Good Marketers

Good Morning! 9 AM. Tuesday. You feel good as a Marketer. Really good. Then, Stuff Happens…like this:

  1. NO MONEY: The client runs out of money for marketing despite the campaign running in the black. All your hard work, THE END.
  2. EMAIL MISHAP: “OMG! He Sucked! My 14 year old dog could have pitched it better! And, here’s the updated Cost of Product from the manufacturer $1.92”: You accidentally forward an email to the wrong person with confidential information or emotional “words”.
  3. YOU’RE FIRED: Boss’s assistant sits down across from you at Starbucks and says politely, “You’re So Great. Gotta Let You Go. Scone? Espresso? It’s on us”.
  4. DATA DUMP: Data figures you studied for hours were 100% right, RIGHT? You find out, someone gave you misinformation and the real data is you are 59% wrong. Earlier, you sent a private note to the CEO outlining how your marketing efforts have added to the bottom line & requested a raise because, someone should take note & look at you, you’re Sandra Dee!
  5. THE PERFECT BODY: Social Media blunder…you pulled a Victoria Secret?
  6. DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK: You worked on a proposal all night long, dotting the EYE’z and crossing each TEA. Then, something with your computer just “happened” to the last edit at the exact time it’s due.
  7. DEAL! NO DEAL: You land a big Purchase Order for an additional 98,000 copies of the latest book your boss wrote & gave you to market. You print them & send to the vendor…with the wrong title.

Seven leading successful marketers returned their answer, “What’s one of the worst marketing days you’ve ever experienced, and what did you do?” While each answer was different, there was a common solution I wanted to share. Why? Because if you are a good marketer, no…a GREAT marketer, you WILL have problems. Big problems! Every great marketer encounters some really low, lows. I know this because great marketers love what they do & they deeply care about the success of the people and products in which they serve and sell. They believe in them. (Like me, who crashed boldly into 2 out of the 7 above.)

So, first, know this: you’re gonna be fine and stronger from this. How? Because you’re an awesome marketer, you push the envelope to see just how far you can go to create beautiful brand awareness with sales to match, constantly learning, using the latest best-practices, tools, platforms, innovation & your content is constantly consumed. When you roll “Like That”…yup, The Marketing Fan is In Your Face. What blows back is Excellence for your clients, but also be prepared one day for The Stank, or what most people call Bad Days.

WHAT TO DO WHEN WITH THE STANK: Here’s The 4 Steps that pushed fresh air back into the successful, overcoming marketing lungs of some of the most influential leaders I’ve met in the industry, including Oprah Winfrey. They maintained their trust-worthiness. Here’s how:

  • Admitted The Mistake
  • Faced The Consequences Without Question
  • Attempted to Repair
  • Apologized Sincerely

SHUT UP! WHO CARES! Of course they all did that, you say! So what’s The ONE THING they ALL did? They immediately moved on. Once they “owned it”, they never looked back, mulling things over & over or repeated their mistakes. Own It and Onward. In fact, they also shared their worst faux pas with other professionals, sometimes even to the general public, merely to help another person steer clear of any similar disasters (Stank) with support, suggestions & encouragement.

The Moral of The Stank: Look, we are ALL Marketers. When people ask me what I do for a living, my response is something like this, “I’m in Marketing, Just Like You”. Some look at me and say, “No, no, I’m in real estate, banking, baby sitting, school teaching, acting, parenting, construction, truck driving, make-up, administration, drawing, fast food drive through order taking, gardening, human resourcing, shelf stocking, street sweeping, engineering, plumbing, healing.

I disagree. Whatever we end up doing in life, agree with me on this: 1. Bad Stuff WILL Happen to Good Marketers. 2. EVERYONE is a Marketer. If we live passionately, we ALL are trying to persuade others about something, to be understood, to see our point of view or to simply agree/disagree with us that kale chips instead of 3 doughnuts could be a good choice to eat on any given bad day. Sometimes, a simple nod of the head from someone can make all the difference in the world to feel inspired to keep on going. If you live near or around other humans, you’re employed, yes, as a Marketer. Maybe your job today is to help another Good Marketer get through a Really Bad Day. If you’re now making new business cards, be sure to add your latest credential, Senior VP of Marketing. See you “out there”, Co-Worker.

Kimberly McCoy, C.C.O., Life-Hiker, Founder of HiRise Promotions & Marketing, Inc. in 1993. Kim is 6'0 with Size 11 Feet, always answering questions like "how tall are you? did you play volleyball in college?" Advocate of healthy marketing adventure, public relations, thankful attitudes & people who go the extra mile (not for the calorie burn). Spends most of her time enjoying the thrill of creating successful sales & strategy for brands & authors that make life better with a smile on her face in Lycra. Failed as a TV Reporter, but aced it behind the scenes in marketing & PR, which made her realize...failure can be a great kick-in-the-asking for better direction. Never looks back, but up, so she can climb tall mountains. Wildly attracted to learning, kind humans, and eating carbs in airports boarding flights between Houston & Chicago.
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