The sweet smell of fresh cedar is wafting in the breeze around my homestead this week—along with hint of marketing inspiration. Let me explain …
To take advantage of a long holiday weekend and a string of dry-weather days, my darling husband and I embarked on a “small” home improvement project: Sanding and staining our recently built 16-by-16 deck—plus an intricate one-story staircase.
She was such a beauty following her construction last fall.
But as is tradition, a delightfully heinous Minnesota winter set in. When spring arrived, she looked weary and weathered.
For months, we prepared to offer ourselves up to the cause once warmer weather came. And with the help of how-to YouTube videos and a lot of strategic Googling, our confidence and can-do attitudes were on the rise.
When that fateful weekend arrived, we weren’t so naïve to think this project would be easy—it would take time, attention to detail, teamwork, and a bit of strategy to do it right. We didn’t fancy ourselves skilled craftsmen, rather capable apprentices who knew how to wield a sander and paint brush. We were ready.
But in accordance with the prophecy of best-laid plans, things quickly went awry. From seemingly unavoidable inefficiencies to tool malfunctions to weather miscalculations, what started as a one-day-tops project has officially spiraled into a multiple weekend ordeal. We were worn down and frustrated, not knowing exactly what to do at times.
Do you see what I’m getting at, B2B marketers?
The frustration and disappointment that comes with falling down on what you thought was a well-planned or strategically innovative initiative is something every B2B marketer has had to face.
Maybe you’ve gotten buy-in on an influencer marketing initiative and determined a few weeks in that you don’t have the bandwidth, niche expertise, tools, or timeline to execute effectively. Perhaps you’ve invested a sizeable portion of your budget in a marketing automation tool only to discover you lack the integrations, process documentation, or internal resources to get it fully off the ground. Or more simply, a tried-and-true tactic isn’t driving the results it used to—and you may not even know why.
Regardless of the situation, the anxiety and emotion you feel can make it incredibly difficult to gain the perspective you need to quickly pivot your approach. So, how do you accept what’s happened and move ahead with ambition and confidence?
When small or seemingly insurmountable challenges arise, success is directly tied to our ability to keep our eye on the prize: The goals or outcomes we hope to achieve. With our objectives in focus, we can rely on our smarts and experience (and perhaps even a little insight and help from a agency trusted partner) to guide the most effective tactics that come next.
Frankly, after just one hour of sanding, we knew it was going to get ugly if we didn’t adapt to the reality of the situation. That said, it took us a full three hours to fully accept our fate, and refine our approach and reset our expectations. Through repeated equipment failures, four extra trips to two different hardware stores, and now being the proud owners of four sanders of varying sizes, the sanding is complete and the staining is planned for the next string of sunny days.
Here she is after 20 hours of sanding—a near spitting image of her original glory last fall:
So, remember this B2B marketers: You have a lot on your plate and things don’t always go as planned.
From creating relevant, engaging content on unsexy subject matter to contending with increasing competition, buyer distrust, and long sales cycles, B2B marketing is no cake walk—it’s an endless work in progress. However, with a steadfast focus on your end-goal, there’s no such thing as failure, just another opportunity to get it right.
Looking for more crafty inspiration? Check out our post on three “real-life” tools that need to be staples in your B2B content marketing toolbox.