When I was in high school, I had a track coach, Mr. Johnson, who loved to quote Albert Einstein, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” As a teenager, this quote was something that I reflected on quite a bit during those long distance runs.

Over time and years later, I’ve observed brands fall into the trap of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results and I think back to those rainy, cold afternoons on the track with Mr. Johnson…and Mr. Einstein. 

For marketers, breaking the cycle and truly achieving different results is possible. I’d like to share four tried and true practices to get you on your way:

  1. Commit to proactively identifying and solving problems… most notably the customers’ problems. Think about what challenges your customers face and find ways to help. How do the five P’s of marketing impact your customer’s needs and are you addressing them? Optimize your messaging accordingly.

  2. Test & Learn. The most successful marketers are constantly testing. How do customers or prospects respond to different channels of engagement, channel combinations and different messaging strategies? What new or different customer segments can you productively engage? If the test performs well, test again with a larger sample. If test doesn’t perform well, document findings and determine if a re-test is needed or testing something entirely different is necessary.

  3. Secure organizational alignment on success and socialize performance regularly. Before kicking off any marketing initiative discuss success metrics and obtain buy-in from all parties on what success looks like and potential next steps. By communicating how your plan or program will support customer engagement and company goals, you’ll ensure that a win doesn’t turn into a loss or vice versa. It’s also a good reminder of what’s important – customer engagement & performance. 

  4. Perseverance. Whereas it may seem a bit counter-intuitive, breaking unproductive cycles and patterns is not a simple task. Hard work and continued effort are requirements for improving results and breaking the loop. Never give up!

Through committing to the four points above, you may help your organization innovate and produce different results…and if more reflection time is needed, may I suggest a long distance run?