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October 25, 2010 / jasonpinto

Getting Burned by the Tool

Michelle Jollymore is a fellow employee of mine at the interlinkONE office. She primarily works in our marketing department — she helps create new graphics for us, design advertisements, direct mail pieces, and more. (In summary, she gets stuff done!)

Well, as talented as she may be with any one of the graphics programs from Adobe, she had a little bit of trouble this morning with something else — a curling iron.

The picture above was taken after Michelle returned from the doctor’s office. Yes, she tried coming to work today despite the burns on her fingers. I honestly will never forget the sight of her typing with one hand, while the other hand was in a bag of ice.

Michelle was burned by the tool.

Is she going to throw it away? Is she going to hide the curling iron in her basement? Of course not… I have no doubt that she’ll be rocking the 21 Concord Street office with some curls by the end of the week.

When it comes to marketing our product or services, we may occasionally get burned. Perhaps it’s a new marketing channel that we try out for the first time… or a new software application… or maybe we use a new employee to help us out on a task. Let’s say that our expectations do not get met.  How do we react?

If we receive two scans the first time we put a QR Code in a printed advertisement, will we swear off QR Codes forever? If we only have 20 followers on Twitter after our first two months, will we abandon our account?  In some cases, we may find ourselves wanting to answer “yes” to these questions. If something lets us down, we may try to justify this thought in our head: “I have no idea why this failed, but it did. And I don’t have time to waste on things that don’t work for me. I’m moving on.”

We must be willing to fight the urge to spite the tool that may have let us down.

Rather than quickly ditching it for what’s next (or what worked for us last year), we must be willing to invest time and effort into analyzing why something may have performed lower than our expectations. We must also be willing to put that intelligence to work, and try to make it more successful at another time.

Sure, it’s no fun to get burned. We may want to shed a few tears in the kitchen when it happens. That’s okay… But don’t be afraid to try putting a few more curls in your marketing efforts. Most likely, you’ll be styling sooner than later.

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