Content Marketing Requires Failure for the Industrial Marketer

Content marketing works for the industrial marketer. Your industrial marketing strategy just needs to get over the fear of failure, says Fran Tarkenton

fran_tarkenton-content_marketingWhile eating my traditional oatmeal and downing my 2nd cup of coffee, I noticed Fran Tarkenton speaking about his new book, The Power of FailureSucceeding in the Age of Innovation on Fox News this morning. 

I still have fresh memories of Tarkenton scrabbling from would be tacklers.  Nobody has ever scrambled out of the pocket like Fran Tarkenton. As we watched the Sunday NFL game together, my Father use to say, “Son, if you can learn to scramble like that in business, you will never have a problem.”

I’m still learning.

I also have wonderful memories of a presentation I attended where Fran spoke about the power of failure over 15 years ago. I still have notes from that presentation, as it was one of my favorites.

Yes, we all have failures. Fran has always believed, according to my notes, we need to be more open about our failures, particularly as the pace of innovation accelerates.

Most of us fear failure, disown it, deny it, or simply try to ignore it. What we should be doing is talking about it, exploring it, embracing it, and squeezing out of it every priceless insight it offers.”

That brings me to the failure of many industrial marketers. Well not “many”…most industrial marketers, when it comes to web marketing. Most industrial marketers have built a web site. Many industrial marketers practice search engine optimization. I know…that is why I founded a web development company, focused on SEO, in the first place. There was a critical need in the industrial marketplace. 

Building a decent website, “tuning” web pages for the businesses’ critical keywords was sort of a “set it & forget” exercise. The owner or marketing manager really did not have to do a lot other than respond to the inquiries and quotes that came in because of increased visibility on the search engine return page (SERP). A well-optimized website was a pretty good lead generator…back in the day.

Step forward a half dozen years and that “set it & forget” tactic is no longer an option.

Without going into geek speak, I will just say that Google has thrown us all a curve ball. Or…in this case a very wobbly, out of control, football.  Google “moved our cheese”. Sorry.

Google now requires industrial marketers to prove, with quality content, your company’s expertise. Now a new marketing tactic is born…CONTENT MARKETING. (At least, for the industrial marketing community)

Now industrial marketers are, literally, forced to become content creators and publishers. Does that sound like a good fit to you?  Sort of like oil & water, don’t you think?

When a prospective buyer is searching for “hydraulic cylinders for RV leveling applications”, your content must be there to greet them.  Otherwise, you just lost a potential lead or an opportunity to gain top-of-mind awareness.

So what does this have to do with failure? 

One of the key tenants of Fran Tarkenton’s message 15 years ago was “fail fast, fail often to win long”. Tarkenton’s new book continues that same theme.

I have helped many industrial marketers develop web strategies around developing quality, helpful, branded content. Some have failed and I take responsibility for those failures.

However, the ones that are winning are the ones that practice Tarkenton’s advice:

Produce content your prospects’ love…FAST. Understand much of it will not work.  Track the content that does work and repeat. Experiment.  Fail again.

Failure is a gift, if you know how to accept and use it.” – Fran Tarkenton.

Make a decision to “win long”

This outstanding video, The Story of Content, The Rise of the New Markeing, explains how content marketing has the potential to transform your industrial company.  Notice that they talk about failure a lot.  But also gigantic successes. 

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