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Business Growth – The Ultimate Way to Scale Your Business

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Business Growth - The Ultimate Way to Scale Your Business

Every business seeks, in some way or another, business growth through time and expansion to improve its financial, economic and recognition situation in a market that becomes more competitive every day.

This growth is conditioned by many factors or elements that achieve this goal.

There is no magic formula to achieve the expansion of your business. It does not matter if you are a large or small company owner.

The dedication, desire and determination to meet this goal can help you achieve it.  

You often think that it is a very distant challenge to achieve and that your company is not in the best situation to do it, but it is not like that!  

Read on to learn all about business growth and how, little by little, it can help you fulfill the dream of expanding your business.

Business Growth: What Is It?

This concept generally relates to the evolution and development that businesses go through throughout time, such as ongoing improvement, increasing profitability, attaining goals, improved brand positioning, etc.

Normally, companies grow when they discover a greater demand than they can cover, and they need to broaden their horizons to reach those customers who demand the product or service.

Therefore, it resorts to investing in resources to cover this demand, such as infrastructure, machinery, and production.

What represents the first step to growth.

But business growth does not refer only to this. But it is also about improving your services, especially when it comes to customer service, and how is this achieved?

The training and constant teaching of employees will improve management and generate greater productivity and efficiency to expand your opportunities.

Certain indicators can show you if your company is growing:

  • Need to hire more staff, because the one you have is no longer enough
  • Greater recognition in the market
  • An increase in the flow of customers and, therefore, sales
  • Faster product rotation, that is, more is sold than before
  • You see yourself in the scenario of having to create more attention channels because the ones you have are not enough
  • Among others.

Sometimes no matter how small the change may be, it can reflect that you are facing a panorama of business growth, and you have not even noticed it.

How To Make A Growth Plan?

First, you have to know what exactly a growth plan is?

It is a document containing each of the company’s objectives and all those strategies that you plan to implement to meet them.

The objective is to establish a set of steps to follow that may be changed along the journey and tailored to the conditions that may arise or that in some way obstruct the goal’s achievement.

Let’s have a look at how to make an effective business growth plan.

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1. Conduct A Thorough Analysis Of Your Business.

To start making your plan, you must identify each of the elements that are part of your company, including weaknesses, strengths, opportunities and threats that may arise.  

Customers, the market, and the competition – are all external factors that can influence or intervene in achieving objectives.

This way, you will be able to see exactly:

  • Where do you need to improve?  
  • Where is it weakest?
  • What are the problems you face?  
  • What is the strong point of the company?
  • What opportunities do you have?

With this clear, you will have a starting point to start your growth plan by knowing where you want to go and not starting without a clear premise from the beginning.

2. Set A Budgets

The financial and economic issue is crucial at this stage, so you must establish what your company can really spend to achieve expansion or growth.

Being realistic is very important in this step since you must make sure you have all the necessary resources to achieve the objectives and goals you are setting.  

Include each expense that you think may arise.

Therefore, you’ll have a clear picture, or at least a close approximation, of whether you can take on this risk or whether you’ll need to seek outside funding to do so.

The idea is not to have to limit yourself by money; to grow, you need investment. Otherwise, you will always be postponing it.  

3. Marketing And Sales Actions

Now that you know what the objectives are and how much you need to achieve them, it is time to define several important points, such as:

  • Which clients are the objectives directed to?  
  • How will you publicize the new product or service?
  • What type of advertising will you use?
  • How are the market and the competition?
  • How will you distribute it if you provide the shipping service?
  • Can you include any other sales channel?

You can successfully answer any questions if you implement actions related to digital marketing in your growth plan.

When developing a website, keep everything to the point, including web hosting, web design, intuitiveness, loading speed, responsiveness, and so on.

Social networks are a great ally to achieving many of these objectives, so you must include them in the action plan for growth.

The goal is to reach as many people as possible and give you recognition.

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4. Decide A Work Team

In the business growth plan, it is good to include the continuous improvement of your staff or work team.

This will be a crucial factor for them to grow together with your company.

If you are looking to grow, you cannot leave anyone out and having a prepared team focused on developing their skills and being more efficient will help you along the way.

In addition, they may then be able to guide new employees you need to hire due to growth.  

Likewise, it defines the processes and actions to improve them so that the management of your company is increasingly compelling.

You will achieve everything with the help of each one of them, that each one specializes in their area and generates better results for you.  

The 5 Stages Of Business Growth

Those who run businesses know that the path a small business must take to become a large one is filled with many challenges and opportunities.

Knowing the stages a growing business goes through will give you an edge in making smart decisions at each of these phases.

First Stage: Existence

This is where most companies start, the main priority at this stage is to sell the products or services offered to customers.

This stage is characterized by the fact that the founders or owners are the ones in charge of the entire operation of the business.

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Second Stage: Survival

At this stage, the business is already considered viable, it has customers who generate income to keep the company afloat.

Now that the business is growing, the entrepreneur needs to start hiring staff and making strategic alliances, which are key to driving the growth of the company.

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Third Stage: Business Success

In this stage of growth, the work of the owners is more of supervision, since now their functions must be more focused on strategic planning and not on micromanagement.

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Fourth Stage: Takeoff

This stage is perhaps the most exciting!

If you decide to invest in growth in Stage 3, you want to keep up that pace of investment here, as your business will be entering a phase of rapid growth that you should be very cautious about.

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Fifth Stage: Maturity

This is the final stage of the model, but a company’s journey never ends.

You should take advantage of many opportunities here.

The company enjoys stability and resources to maintain its consolidation in the market.

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Foundations For A Successful Business Growth Strategy

The growth of a company must be constant.

Not because you have reached the goals in a certain period, you will lower your guard and let the sales be lost for another period.

We must constantly update and improve the goals that we set for ourselves. For this, we will show you what steps you should not neglect:

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Focus: what do you want to do? Where do you want to go?

Here we refer to the vision and mission of the company.

Of course, in a growth strategy, the main thing is sales and generating income, but having a clear focus will help you align your efforts.

 Culture: we must adapt to the current situation and change for the better.

For example, if we need to invest in new technologies to improve our processes, people must be willing to change positively.

 Processes: they must improve as the company grows, producing more and improving your customer acquisition, sales, and loyalty processes.

 Infrastructure: If we achieve growth in sales and, therefore, growth in our company, our organizational structure will automatically grow.

People: As we already mentioned, when a company grows, its list of collaborators increases, which it will need to ensure the quality of the processes.

However, successful growth will also depend on people’s commitment to the company.

What Does A Company Need To Grow?

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We’ve covered how the most effective method for a company to expand is to increase sales.

However, we need to do more than just increase sales; we need to increase quality sales so that our customers have a unique experience throughout the whole process of enjoying the product or service.To get the experience from customers, we can use user feedback tools. It offers idea boards and feedback widgets allowing your customers to suggest ways to improve product quality and performance.

Let’s see below what elements a company needs to grow.

Products Or Services

It is the basis of your business, it is what you offer and what your company’s income is generated by.

Focus on developing products and services that solve problems that your customers usually have, and describe how your product or service helps solve these problems, this is called a value proposition.

In this way, you will achieve that people connect emotionally and rationally with your company.

Customers

Once we have our product and value proposition defined, selling it would be the next step, but not for this reason, we are going to go out and sell to everyone.

Our product or service is not for all people or companies.

Focus on discovering who is a good client for your company and what characteristics they have.

A good practice that you can carry out here is developing the famous Buyer Personas.

Sales Teams

Now that you have defined your products or services and you know very well who the right customers are, you will realize that your products do not sell themselves.

As we said above, having a sales force is very important for a company to be able to sell its products or services.

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Key Factors That Will Determine The Growth Of Your Business

As we have previously mentioned, a company cannot grow if its internal departments work in isolation and without articulation.

Therefore, to achieve the growth of a company , the following elements must be kept synchronized in an organization:

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Processes In The Company

For a company to grow profitably, it is very important to define processes and identify those keys to developing its activities.

Without these, it will be difficult for our value proposition to be transmitted by our products or services to the customer.

Qualified People

For processes to work efficiently in a company, qualified people must be available in each area.

It is important to invest in training programs so that people can do their jobs better.

Technology

The digital age has made it easier for companies of any size to use appropriate technologies.

This allows companies to have a competitive advantage by improving the productivity of their processes, which is reflected in more satisfied customers, increased sales profitability.

Growth Strategies

When a business needs to grow aggressively, it likely needs strategies that deliver that growth in a scalable and profitable manner.

Analyze Your Market More Thoroughly

Prior to considering expansion, it’s a good idea to implement growth methods capable of penetrating the market in which your product is sold.

You may gradually establish yourself as a leading brand synonymous with quality, service, and attention.

The idea is to attract new customers within the same niche and get your regular customers to keep coming back to you against the competition. The same you can achieve if you work to increase your website traffic by different means.

You can apply different promotions, offers, loyalty systems and much more.  

You can also expand your sales methods, either selling online, offering offices or any other addition that adds value to your service or product.  

Create New Products

You can expand your product catalog by creating new options that you can offer your customers, such as alternative, cheaper lines —without losing quality— or even compliment your already offered products.  

You can also add new elements according to the seasons to diversify a bit so as not to lose the interest of customers or even improve the product each time.

Always try to maintain your essence and prevent them from getting bored of what you sell.  

Optimize Your Resources  

A good way to achieve the growth you’ve been waiting for is to look for ways to increase productivity, reduce costs and improve processes.

 The optimization of resources will give you the possibility of achieving more sales, generating more income and, at the same time, obtaining better results.  

Every time you manage to reduce production times, make sales or reach a goal, the chances you have of being prepared for growth are greater.

Create A Customer Segmentation

Sometimes as a business owner, you may think that you can reach all types of clients, and although it would be very good to achieve it, you must bear in mind that the desired reach is not always achieved.  

So you have to focus your strategies on a specific customer segment that is really interested in your product or service.

In this way, they will be more likely to acquire it.

If you manage to establish your ideal client’s profile, it is easier to direct the strategies for them and not only reach a small number of people by using techniques that do not correspond.

Likewise, this will allow you to create a community of customers loyal to your product due to the need or interests they demonstrate.

Expand Your Market

When you already have a good position in your current market, you can try new horizons, either by including products that cover new needs or by expanding your geographical reach.

So that you can put it into practice, you must study how this situation could impact both the company and the clients, making projections or estimates and really studying if you think you can reach this new market.  

Drive Growth With Inbound Marketing

Changes in customer purchasing habits are forcing companies to implement new strategies  focused on making the consumer experience more valuable.

Today we live in a world where we all need to buy, but nobody wants to be sold to . This is where the methodology that we will talk about makes sense.

Inbound Marketing is a methodology that proposes to sell in a different way through attraction marketing.

Instead of your company going out to chase customers, they are the ones who find you on the internet when They look for informative content.

In this way you will be adding value to the experience of your customers throughout their purchase process.

This methodology was developed by Hubspot and is implemented throughout 4 phases to achieve the growth of your company.

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1. Attract prospects and customers to your website: through useful and relevant content that they can find on Google.

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2. Convert visitors into contacts: Once they are on your site, they will leave their data in exchange for downloading some premium content (ebooks, guides, templates).

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3. Relate and nurture the database: automation technologies automation technologies are used to start a relationship process with a conversational and personalized approach through email.

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4. Close with the best-qualified people: Once the technology has helped you in this nurturing and maturation process, you will be able to identify the best-qualified prospects and send them to your sales team so they can close the deal.

When a company uses new technologies, the internet and a growth strategy such as Inbound Marketing, it will be able to:

  • Generate more qualified visits to your website
  • Increase contacts (leads) and build a database
  • Get business opportunities for your sales team
  • Have a sales forecast for the coming months

This is what we call a predictable income machine. Having information that allows you to forecast the business’s future income will help you prepare and anticipate the growth of your company in a more intelligent way.

Conclusion

All companies must invest in growth strategies wisely. Preparing for business growth through strategic planning should not be underestimated, as there are risks to unexpected growth.

Finally, the leaders of the organizations must promote the change toward digital transformation so that it is an integral part of the company.

This will allow them to adapt their business models to guarantee their existence in the market and always grow in a profitable and sustained manner.

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Top 3 Strategies for Success

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Top 3 Strategies for Success

With the advent of e-commerce, manufacturers have unprecedented opportunities to expand their reach, streamline their operations, and enhance profitability. Amidst this digital revolution, adopting Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) is pivotal in optimizing production processes, quality control, and resource management.

As the lines between traditional brick-and-mortar sales and online commerce continue to blur, manufacturers increasingly realize the need to adapt and thrive in this new digital landscape. This article explores the top 3 strategies manufacturers can employ to succeed in e-commerce.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)

MES (Manufacturing Execution System) is specialized application software designed to solve the tasks of synchronization, coordination, analysis, and optimization of production output within any production. MES systems belong to the class of shop floor-level management systems but can also be used for integrated production management at the enterprise as a whole.

MES collects and analyzes production processes, product demand, and inventory data. This allows manufacturers to adapt more quickly to changes in the market, reconfigure production to meet current requirements, and closely monitor trends. As a result, manufacturers can more easily predict and meet customer needs, which helps increase online sales.

MES helps in maintaining accurate inventory records and managing inventory turnover. This avoids overstock or shortages, which can affect a company’s ability to meet online demand and maintain customer service levels.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) enhance transparency and automate operations, reducing human errors and operational costs. Integrating Manufacturing CRM streamlines customer data, allowing manufacturers to tailor products, respond to market changes, and offer competitive prices in online stores. The synergy between MES and CRM creates an agile manufacturing environment, optimizing efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Content Marketing

Kapost’s research shows that companies in the B2B segment that blog get 67% more leads on average than companies that don’t. However, it’s worth remembering that content marketing requires a lot of resources to prepare and regularity in publishing it. This content can be, for example, brand identity and E-commerce logo, articles and videos, webinars, research, and interviews.

The content should help solve a specific problem to create the image of an expert and thus influence the decisions of potential customers. The topics discussed should not be chosen randomly. A little research in Google Trends will help select the main topic, discussion areas in the video, phrases, and words that should be included in the article. Publishing content based on such a prepared analysis allows you to achieve high positions in search engines. It provides a good user experience for customers looking for answers to product/service questions, comprehensively covering the subject matter.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are free traffic, increased user confidence, and the creation of an expert image.

Content marketing is a form of promotion that requires patience and time. Its effects will also depend on the quality of thecontent itself, its optimization, and promotion methods. No specific terms can be specified here.

YouTube channels as a form of content marketing

You can discuss your production process and show and test products on your YouTube channel. If someone is looking for information about a product and is unsure which brand to choose, they will likely find your video and maybe make a purchase. Remember to choose a title that matches the search query and prepare a video description with product links. You can send out an email to announce when new videos are released. Whenever you have particularly compelling videos, you could also promote them via texting notifications to drive even more traffic.

Utilize user-generated content and social media

Not utilizing the content that your users generate is a huge issue. This is because it’s not easy to refresh an e-commerce website and keep it alive. But photos and videos taken by real customers are great for this purpose.

Adding a “widget” that connects your online store’s website to its official social media accounts brings significant benefits. These include revitalizing your social media accounts, increasing your credibility as a manufacturer, inspiring other customers to buy, and encouraging repeat purchases.

Snapchat Planets

Snapchat’s “Planets” feature provides a unique and interactive way to engage with your e-commerce store’s audience. Here are some creative ideas on how to leverage Snapchat Planets to create engaging content:

  • Virtual Store Tours: Use the AR feature to create a virtual tour of your store. Each planet can represent different sections or categories of your store. For instance, one planet could showcase your latest collection, another could highlight bestsellers, and another could offer exclusive deals.
  • Product Launches: Announce new product launches by creating a cosmic journey. Users can travel from one planet to another, each unveiling a new product with engaging visuals and detailed descriptions. This creates a sense of excitement and discovery around new arrivals.
  • Interactive Shopping Experience: Create interactive shopping experiences where users can explore products in a fun and engaging way. For example, users can navigate through different planets to find hidden discounts or special offers, making shopping more interactive and rewarding.
  • Customer Rewards and Loyalty Programs: Develop a loyalty program where users earn points or rewards by exploring different planets. Each planet can offer unique rewards, such as discounts, free samples, or exclusive access to new collections. This gamifies the shopping experience and encourages repeat visits.
  • Themed Campaigns: Align your marketing campaigns with planetary themes. For instance, during holiday seasons, you can create a holiday-themed planet where users can find special holiday deals, gift ideas, and festive content.

By leveraging Snapchat Planets, you can transform your e-commerce store’s content into a captivating and interactive experience that keeps your audience engaged, entertained, and coming back for more.

Use newsletters to captivate your target audience

Newsletters can strengthen the connection with the consumer and demonstrate that shopping with you is safe and profitable. Remember that the more personalized the message, the more effective it will be. It should contain a call to action (CTA), such as a button that redirects to products.

Don’t forget to put a box to check for consent to process personal data when subscribing to the newsletter. Also, add an option to unsubscribe from the newsletter in each email.

A regular email account is not adapted for the newsletter, so do not use your everyday email address. This way, you risk being blacklisted by spam filters. The benefits of newsletters are optimizing advertising costs, increasing loyal audiences from different channels, and building mutually beneficial relationships with partners.

Print and PDF Channel

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In the digital landscape, the significance of Print and PDF channels cannot be underestimated for manufacturers engaging in e- commerce. The tactile experience of print offers unique psychological advantages, enhancing comprehension and retention, which are vital for technical manuals and complex product details. PDFs merge this benefit with digital accessibility, ensuring wide reach while maintaining format integrity. This dual-channel approach not only caters to diverse consumer preferences but also bolsters marketing efforts, making technical content more engaging and understandable. Utilizing catalog software further streamlines the integration of Print and PDF channels into e-commerce strategies, enhancing product presentation and distribution efficiency.

Contextual advertising: Google Ads

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If you want the advertising you invest in to have an immediate effect, it’s worth turning to Google Ads. Google displays paid ads in search results and on Google’s network of partners (on-site ads in the form of banners).

You bid when you search for a keyword for which advertisers have set up a campaign. The search engine determines who will appear in the search results and at what position. When assigning bids, the quality of the landing page, the quality of the ads, and the stated maximum bid per click are all considered.

To start setting up your campaign, simply login to your Google Ads account. Using the service is free, and you’ll find plenty of online tutorials on creating a campaign. However, you may find that it won’t generate valuable traffic if you don’t set it up optimally. Your budget will be wasted on clicks that won’t lead to conversions. This is why most companies resort to the help of agencies, including specialized agencies.

There is probably no industry in which Google Ads campaigns cannot be used. However, advertising can be moderately profitable if there is a lot of competition in the industry and margins are low.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are large audience reach, the ability to get the target audience as accurately as possible, and very detailed statistics on results.

The effect of launching a campaign should appear almost immediately. A properly set up campaign will increase traffic to the website. By systematically optimizing the campaign, you can achieve much better results.

You also can use paid Facebook Ads post promotion. It is important to pinpoint your target group, but how do you do it? A popular way is to draw up a customer portrait, that is, to make a collective image of your customer.

This considers age, gender, income level, location, interests and hobbies, and online behavior. Such a person will display a group interested in your services or goods.

Implement personalized product selections

Recommended product block and cross-selling are very powerful internet marketing strategies. In addition to the recommended product block, which shows the analogs of the product being viewed, it is worth paying attention to the website’s functionality.

As a rule, the products in the “You may also like” block are selected based on the pages previously viewed by the customer, his previous purchases on the website, as well as what was purchased by other customers with similar tastes. If this functionality is implemented technically sound, it can lead to additional items added to the shopping cart. “You may also like” block partly acts as an alternative to the advice of a specialist or consultant.

With blocks for cross-selling related products is a similar situation. Usually, in them are placed products from the same product line, collection, or simply those that perfectly match the product being viewed. You can use AI-powered live chats to proactively engage in customer conversations and suggest products based on their behavior.

Conclusion

E-commerce for manufacturers is a vast field, and in this article, we have presented the most popular and most effective forms of selling online. Remember, no effective e-commerce strategy exists. Each industry and business will have specifics. Try combining the above mentioned e-commerce strategies to maximize your chances of success and increase your profits.

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

Did you follow the Apple iPad Pro content debacle?

Here’s a quick recap. A recent online ad for the new iPad Pro showed a large hydraulic press slowly crushing various symbols of creativity. A metronome, a piano, a record player, a video game, paints, books, and other creative tools splinter and smash as the Sonny and Cher song All I Ever Need Is You plays.

The ad’s title? “Crush!”

The point of the commercial — I think — is to show that Apple managed to smush (that’s the technical term) all this heretofore analog creativity into its new, very thin iPad Pro.  

To say the ad received bad reviews is underselling the response. Judgment was swift and unrelenting. The creative world freaked out.

On X, actor Hugh Grant shared Tim Cook’s post featuring the ad and added this comment: “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

When fellow actor Justine Bateman shared the Tim Cook post, she simply wrote, “Truly, what is wrong with you?” Other critiques ranged from tone-challenged to wasteful to many worse things.

Actor Justine Bateman shared Tim Cook’s post on X, which featured the ad, and added this comment: "Truly, what is wrong with you?".

A couple of days later, Apple apologized and canceled plans to air the ad on television.

How not-so-great content ideas come to life

The level of anger surprises me. Look, the ad does show the eyeballs on an emoji-faced squishy ball popping under the plates’ pressure, but still. Calling the ad “actually psychotic” might be a skosh over the top.

Yes, the ad missed the mark. And the company’s subsequent decision to apologize makes sense.

But anyone who’s participated in creating a content misfire knows this truth: Mistakes look much more obvious in hindsight.

On paper, I bet this concept sounded great. The brainstorming meeting probably started with something like this: “We want to show how the iPad Pro metaphorically contains this huge mass of creative tools in a thin and cool package.”

Maybe someone suggested representing that exact thing with CGI (maybe a colorful tornado rising from the screen). Then someone else suggested showing the actual physical objects getting condensed would be more powerful.

Here’s my imagined version of the conversation that might have happened after someone pointed out the popular internet meme of things getting crushed in a hydraulic press.

“People love that!”

“If we add buckets of paint, it will be super colorful and cool.”

“It’ll be a cooler version of that LG ad that ran in 2008.”

“Exactly!”

“It’ll be just like that ad where a bus driver kidnaps and subsequently crushes all the cute little Pokémon characters in a bus!” (Believe it or not, that was actually a thing.)

The resulting commercial suffers from the perfect creative storm: A not-great (copycat) idea at the absolutely wrong time.

None of us know what constraints Apple’s creative team worked under. How much time did they have to come up with a concept? Did they have time to test it with audiences? Maybe crushing physical objects fit into the budget better than CGI. All these factors affect the creative process and options (even at a giant company like Apple).

That’s not an excuse — it’s just reality.

Content failure or content mistake?

Many ad campaigns provoke a “What the hell were they thinking?” response (think Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad or those cringy brand tributes that follow celebrity deaths).

Does that mean they’re failures? Or are they mistakes? And what’s the difference?

As I wrote after Peloton’s holiday ad debacle (remember that?), people learn to fear mistakes early on. Most of us hear cautionary messages almost from day one.

Some are necessary and helpful (“Don’t stick a knife in a live toaster” or “Look both ways before you cross the street.”) Some aren’t (“Make that essay perfect” or “Don’t miss that goal.”)

As a result, many people grow up afraid to take risks — and that hampers creativity. The problem arises from conflating failure and mistakes. It helps to know the difference.

I moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to become a rock ‘n’ roll musician. I failed. But it wasn’t a mistake. I wasn’t wrong to try. My attempt just didn’t work.

Labeling a failed attempt a “mistake” feeds the fears that keep people from attempting anything creative.

The conflation of failure and mistakes happens all too often in creative marketing. Sure, people create content pieces (and let’s not forget that there are always people behind those ideas) that genuinely count as mistakes.

They also create content that simply fails.

Don’t let extreme reactions make you fear failures

Here’s the thing about failed content. You can do all the work to research your audience and take the time to develop and polish your ideas — and the content still might fail. The story, the platform, or the format might not resonate, or the audience simply might not care for it. That doesn’t mean it’s a mistake.

Was the Apple ad a mistake? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

Was it a failure? The vitriolic response indicates yes.

Still, the commercial generated an impressive amount of awareness (53 million views of the Tim Cook post on X, per Variety.) And, despite the apology, the company hasn’t taken the ad down from its YouTube page where it’s earned more than 1 million views.

The fictional Captain Jean Luc Picard once said, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness. That is life.” The Apple ad turns that statement on its head — Apple made many mistakes and still won a tremendous amount of attention.

I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t criticize creative work. Constructive critiques help us learn from our own and others’ failures. You can even have a good laugh about content fails.

Just acknowledge, as the Roman philosopher Cicero once wrote, “Not every mistake is a foolish one.” 

Creative teams take risks. They try things outside their comfort zone. Sometimes they fail (sometimes spectacularly).

But don’t let others’ expressions of anger over failures inhibit your willingness to try creative things.

Wouldn’t you love to get the whole world talking about the content you create? To get there, you have to risk that level of failure.

And taking that risk isn’t a mistake.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 



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The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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