Salvaging Value From Business Mistakes
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Salvaging Value From Business Mistakes



Sooner or later, every business experiences a failed marketing effort, one whose cost is exceeded only by its complete failure to accomplish its intended purpose. To err is human. To learn from your ...

Sooner or later, every business experiences a failed marketing effort, one whose cost is exceeded only by its complete failure to accomplish its intended purpose. To err is human. To learn from your marketing mistakes is good business! This article presents three valuable lessons you should learn from such an experience. They are cut your losses; reevaluate your marketing goals and the tactics to achieve them, and; salvage value from your missteps.



Total Views
Slideshare-icon Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



1 Embed 3 3


Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Salvaging Value From Business Mistakes Salvaging Value From Business Mistakes Document Transcript

    • SALVAGING VALUE FROM BUSINESSMISTAKES:WHAT TO DO WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMMINGSApple introduced the Macintosh personal computer in a third quarter televisioncommercial during Super Bowl XLIII in January 1984. Playing off a George Orwell 1984theme, it featured rows of uniformed, colorless drones. They sat mesmerized, watchingas Big Brother dribbled propaganda on a large movie screen. Suddenly, a female runnerchased by storm troopers enters the room. She hurls a sledgehammer against thescreen, which explodes.The commercial ended with the statement, "Youll see why 1984 wont be like 1984."That commercial is the highest rated Super Bowl commercial of all time.Always stick with what works, right?The following year, Apple decided to use Super Bowl XIX to introduce Macintosh Office.This commercial featured a long line of blindfolded business people marching across adusty, forbidding terrain. Their only source of guidance is their hand on the shoulder ofthe person in front of them. One-by-one, they walk off a cliff.Dubbed the "Lemmings commercial" it is widely considered the worse commercial inSuper Bowl history. Apple did not advertise during the Super Bowl for the next 14 years.Have you ever had a lemmings-like marketing experience, one whose cost was exceededonly by its complete failure to accomplish its intended purpose? Sadly, I have!I spent $10,000 developing a traditional website in the hope it would soon have myphone "ringing off the hook" with eager prospects. The vendor guaranteed a "top 3"ranking for the phrase "fractional CFO." While it accomplished that goal, I am stillwaiting for the phone to ring! Very few people search that phrase, largely because theydo not know what it means.I learned four valuable lessons from my personal lemmings experience. Allow me toswallow my pride and share the lessons learned.
    • 1. Cut your losses!Ego has no place in rational business decisions. Admit your mistakes, save what is left ofyour limited marketing resources and move on! I compounded my mistake bycontinuing to pay the vendor $60 a month to host the site. The vendor provided nomarketing support, no analytical data or anything to justify the additional fee. Ieventually moved the site to, a vendor that for a low annual fee providesunlimited email and website hosting. Since I already had an account, I saved $720 peryear.2. Cut your losses!OK, this is a repeat of #1. However, I want to emphasis the paramount importance ofnot "throwing good money after bad" as the old saying goes. Money is always a scarceand expensive commodity, and your business is no exception.3. Reevaluate your marketing goals and your tactics to achieve them.My initial hope (it was far too naive to qualify as a goal) was that if I simply created awebsite, my target market would flock to it and contact me. While an Internet presencebuilds credibility, I now realize it is unlikely businesses will retain executive managementconsultants based solely on online exposure.That is not to say that the website cannot serve a valuable role in my marketingstrategy. However, it rarely serves as the primary strategy for new business production.One of my goals is now to move promising online relationships offline. In other words,make personal connections over a cup of coffee or the telephone. I also learned theneed to help educate the business community on the existence, purpose and value offractional CFOs. My tactics now include extensive networking.4. Salvage value from your missteps.I grew up playing in my familys auto recycling business (o.k., junkyard if my brother isreading this). I learned the importance of salvaging maximum value from everyopportunity. In the case of my misspent marketing funds, I have uploaded the sitesvideo (half of its cost) to YouTube. It has increased my Internet footprint and maycontribute toward my goal of consumer education. As previously mentioned, I alsotransferred the website to another hosting service. While this may or may not helpincrease brand awareness and establish my expertise, it is now essentially free!Let me close with some simple but very practical advice. To err is human. To learn fromyour mistakes is good business! 2
    • © 2013 by Dale R. SchmeltzleAbout the author: Dale R. Schmeltzle, CPA is a founding partner of CFO America, professionalconsultants dedicated to helping business owners define, implement and monitor the strategicand tactical elements necessary to achieve long-term financial and operational success. CFOAmerica provides fractional or part-time executive management expertise not available on anin-house basis.Dale has been a frequent author and speaker for numerous professional, civic and non-profitgroups. He wrote Highly Visible Marketing, 115 Low-cost Ways to avoid Market Obscurity. Hehas also taught college level accounting and financial courses to non-business audiences. Formore information, please visit or follow us on Facebook at Consulting CFOs and Executive Managers 3