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Sometimes You’ll Lose

Date - 01 August 2017/ Category - Volume 2
Volume 2

So this week has been one of the most challenging I’ve faced in recent months. It’s one of those weeks where you know you’ll lose and as such you will face decision.

Work out if what you are doing is wrong and change it, or work out what you’re doing is right and keep going.

I’ve got a big issue with the youth of today, it’s not that they aren’t polite, it’s not that they don’t seem to want to get a job (who wouldn’t want to live at home for free), it’s that they’ve got no conviction.

Now to me conviction means the desire to see things through even when they get tough, but the problem is the youth of today don’t really understand that concept at all.

See I was the last generation to grow up without mobile phones and wifi. I remember when there was one computer for the whole of the school and it took 5 minutes to connect to the internet!
Yes I know I am barely 30, but the fact is something happened soon after I left primary school that changed how the youth of today perceive the world.

I was brought up in a world where information was found in books and answers took time to research. The generation after me get answers in seconds and that’s changed their expectation of not just information but success too.

If you don’t like an app just bin it and download a new one, no problem! If you don’t like a job do exactly the same. If things get hard there is always an easier way.

Yet starting a business or managing a project require conviction because the truth is sometimes you’ll lose. Even the best projects go through rough patches before they start to fly and as such without the conviction to go through the difficult periods how on earth is anyone meant to stand the course and succeed?

This week then I have had one of those rough patches. In essence a digital campaign I have worked on for the past nine months, one which flew from the very second I started it (now that as a statement alone is unusual because it was too easy!) has been struggling.

But it’s not the struggle that I’ve found difficult to handle, it’s the solution. You see for nine months this campaign hasn’t skipped a beat. Then this week all manner of odd goings on started to occur.

On page conversion dropped off a cliff, then CTR fell but on page recovered, then leads started going missing. You couldn’t write this stuff but a hidden external factor was kicking me in the nuts and there was very little I could do to work out what it was.

With each problem we did our basic checks, page speed, server speed, links & browsers etc. Everything drew a blank. Except for one thing, a clear decline in lead quality that along with falling searches indicated a seasonal change caused by people going on holiday and not wanting to commit.

Now in these situation when you have something that has been great and then died a very quick and painful death, you face a decision, stop or carry on.

I chose to carry on al be it with some tweaks. I designed a newer version of the landing page to increase engagement & we tweaked our ad text to try to eek out an extra 1% CTR. These are all things that we didn’t need to do a week ago and yet today seem obvious.

Did we fall asleep at the wheel? Hell no, this campaign is head and shoulders above the competition (I happen to know our CPA is a third of the nearest competition) but that doesn’t mean we can’t do better.

When times are hard you have to decide whether to weather the storm and if you do, then battening down the hatches and waiting for it to subside isn’t enough.

You might be in a Ferrari, but that’s no reason to rest on your laurels. Use the time wisely to turn your Ferrari into a space ship. Turn adversity into opportunity so that once the storm is gone you come out the other side even better.

Read our next blog post “Promote creativity“.