A recent roundtable hosted by EMR and the Knowledge Engineers concluded that much can be learned from the agility of start-ups which may fail in the initial growth phase but brush themselves off quickly, before going on to greater successes.
Taking risks can be extremely rewarding. While big gambles can sometimes pay off, taking a chance and being unsuccessful can be a key bedrock of success. The world is full of examples of extremely successful people who attribute their successes to the lessons they learned through failure. Michael Jordan attributes his near-incomprehensible levels of achievement on the basketball court to the many shots that he missed, and Robert Downey Jr turned his drug related issues around to become one of the world’s highest paid actors.
The world of advertising further evidences this. Protein World recently took a huge gamble with its highly controversial ‘beach body’ campaign, which launched the brand’s profile into the stratosphere and made the previously little known business £1million in just four days. Dove‘s ‘Patches’ campaign in 2014 on the other hand was a gamble that did not pay off, receiving heavy criticism. However, the brand subsequently refined its strategy and produced one of the most successful digital campaigns ever – illustrating again how failure can lead to success.
Channels that seem like the next big thing (such as 2006’s flavour-of-the-month Second Life...) can all of a sudden fall into obscurity, and once-burned marketers are sometimes wary. However, working to change your thinking from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, reacting to criticism positively and viewing mistakes as events to be learned from, is important in the marketing industry where working in an ever-changing landscape is part and parcel of the job.