We failed, and that’s okay.

We failed, and that’s okay.


Congratulations! You’ve made it through two-thirds of 2020.

This year presented incredible challenges, and with them, valuable lessons. When the global economy came to a screeching halt in March, we put all our chips on our agility and adaptability.

For more than a decade, we touted our prowess among hospitality and tourism businesses, but in a matter of weeks, these two industries became the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. In order to weather the financial storm, we invested more of our marketing on industries outside of these verticals. So far, it’s worked. Since March, we’ve signed 14 new clients.

However, as much as we love sharing our successes, it’s as important—if not more so—to share our failures.

We tried something different

Over the summer, our team dreamed up a lead generation product in which we believed the business community would find value. We dubbed the product the Brand Strategy Package (BSP).

Within the package, we offered a brand refresh, a new library of creative assets and a data-backed marketing strategy, all for a discounted price.

The team wrote copy, built a landing page and spread the word about the BSP via email. We sent this offer to people who had signed up to receive TJA-developed resources focused on marketing in the age of COVID-19. This group would be the first to take advantage of the limited-time BSP. Our goal was four conversions from the list of 180 recipients; after all, we were offering the bulk of our award-winning services for one, steeply discounted price. The results were astounding:

0 interest and 0 conversions.

Houston, we have a flop

The BSP turned out to be a big POS.

Only one person responded to our emails to say, “Why are you contacting me?” We’re asking ourselves the same question, buddy.

We also asked ourselves, “What went wrong?” Our product was simple, effective and, most importantly, discounted. What were we missing?

We recently welcomed international speaker Rich Mulholland to give a talk to our team. His conference production company, Missing Link, lost all its revenue overnight as a result of the pandemic. In a few months, however, he and his team built the revenue stream back, 100 percent. He shared with us that despite being thrust into a world where large gatherings were no longer safe, he didn’t make the mistake of pivoting his business 180 degrees. Instead, they made as little adjustment as possible to meet the demands of this new normal, while executing on the same promise the company had made for the past 22 years: to make companies suck less and help bored audiences. Missing Link’s customers trust them to create memorable experiences. So, they continue to do so today by helping companies organize exciting virtual events.

In pursuing the BSP, we at TJA momentarily lost sight of why businesses choose to partner with us: tailored creative strategies delivered via personalized customer service. Our clients don’t want a one-size-fits-all approach. They want our white glove service and solutions that address their specific needs.

Roll with the punches

The ability to adapt quickly is certainly important in growing a strong business, but it’s also important in these times of economic uncertainty to double down on what your business does well. Don’t be so quick to throw out the playbook, and identify your unique offering that your customers have grown to expect.

We love getting it right, and we do pretty often. But it’s impossible to forge a new path without hitting bumps in the road. It’s important to remind ourselves that creativity does not exist without failure.

Barring a refrigerator-sized asteroid complicating 2020 even further, we’re looking forward to finishing the year strong by doing what we do best.

If you’re in the market for a custom-fit, insights led marketing strategy, connect with us.

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