Good morning: The sweet smell of … failure?

If you aren't making mistakes, you aren't learning anything.

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Good morning, Marketers, may the wind blow your troubles away.

When Jim Stengel was CMO of Procter & Gamble he would visit all the marketing departments once a year (there were and are a lot of them). Top of the agenda was discussing failures – his own first. He wanted everyone to know that it’s ok to mess up. That’s because, as our own Webicon GreenJim Pace points out today, you can’t learn any other way.

Technology has made it less expensive than ever to do marketing experiments. Experiments that always succeed only confirm what you already know. It’s the ones that fail that matter. They can change your assumptions, show design flaws and make you realize you weren’t using the right data. Failure. You can’t succeed without it.

Constantine von Hoffman,
Managing Editor


About the author

Constantine von Hoffman
Staff
Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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