Lessons from Mobile Matters: Fail Fast and Pivot

Michaela Markley Picture

by Michaela Markley | Last Updated: Jul 14, 2020

If there is anything as marketers that we have to come to terms with is that we’re going to fail and honestly probably fail often when trying out new trends and technologies. Personally as a Type A personality, it’s hard to come to terms with failure but it also empowers me to push to find the secret sauce to making something spectacular. On one of my favorite Mobile Matters episodes, we speak with Rochelle Hartigan, GE Lighting’s Marketing Director of Brand and Advertising. She encourages us to test out new ideas and shiny objects but to do it intelligently, fast, and be prepared to pivot away from a new idea quickly!  Test and Try a LOT There are many shiny new objects out in the market continually. At the moment it may be TikTok but tomorrow another social platform might arise causing marketers to wonder if they should be in the new space. There are social platforms, MarTech innovations, and technology innovations that continually change the landscape of marketing. As a marketer, our job is to know what to test and try out for our brands and what won’t fit our target audience or purpose as a brand. However, when there is a new shiny object that may fit our target market or goals it’s important to be willing to test, fail, and pivot! Or test, succeed, and implement! I like to think of it as an 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of your marketing budget will go towards the strategic efforts that you know work and help your company meet goals but approximately twenty percent of your marketing budget should be used to test. When you see a new shiny object or new MarTech platform that could help your team be more efficient, build brand awareness, etc it is important to know how often and how much you are willing to test. You’re not going to succeed all the time. (And probably most of the time you may have to pivot.) But if you don’t test you may miss out on a large opportunity for your company or be less competitive. Maybe only one in four tests actually ends up providing positive results but being able to find one or two new effective ways to market for your company each year helps your marketing department evolve and grow as technology changes. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from testing and testing often!  Lean on Your Agency Partners If you work with a marketing agency you’re pretty lucky when it comes to having an expert who knows the marketing landscape inside and out. Don’t underestimate the importance your agency partners have when it comes to trying to figure out what to test for your brand. Your agency partners most likely have many other clients who also may be wanting or already testing new technologies and platforms in the marketing landscape. Allow your agency partners to help advise you on what shiny objects may be worth testing out for your brand. If you have a strong relationship with your agency partner they should already know your audience, brand goals, and what might be worth your money to test and possibly implement!  Failure may have to become part of your vocabulary as you test out new ideas and new technologies but it’s okay! As long as you know not to hold on too tight and be prepared to pivot when testing you’ll be alright. It’s important to know your threshold of when to accept a test failed or succeeded. Don’t be afraid to fail because it only gets you closer to success. 

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