Marketing is always changing, and there are no silver bullets. What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow, and the thing you thought would never work in a million years — that might be the campaign you’re telling your grandkids about years from now.
Carol Meyers — a veteran of four IPOs — says the only thing evergreen in marketing is the need to know your customer. You have to understand them and what you have to offer them, and then you have to work like hell to find the right tactics to get that message out there.
It’s important to always be experimenting. Don’t worry about making mistakes. In Carol’s experience, the big mistakes are less about what you did, and more about what you didn’t do.
“We try to do experiments all the time. Usually what’ll happen is someone will propose something and my first reaction might be, ‘Are you kidding me? That’ll never work.’ But I try to hold that in and suspend disbelief, because I really don’t know everything. And things I’ve done in the past that have worked don’t always work at a new company and a new market.”
“So I usually think about, well, okay, what’s the biggest risk that could happen if we spend this money and it doesn’t work? Probably nothing really bad. So go ahead and try it, let’s come back and talk about how it went. And sometimes people really surprise me with things that I thought, there’s no way that’s going to work, and they work beautifully.”
Carol says that as a marketing leader there’s nothing more important than hiring well. And a huge part of hiring well is finding people with urgency around their ideas.
Encourage your team to share their ideas and make sure they feel comfortable doing it. If they bring an idea to the table, ask them why they want to try it, why it’s good for the market, and what the impact is going to be. Have a conversation about it and try to go deeper.
And if it sounds like an interesting idea — try it.