Today’s Marketing Cookie – Check Your Work

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Today's Marketing Cookie - A clean tie attracts the soup of the day

"A clean tie attracts the soup of the day."

Today’s fortune came from my daughter Asia.  Asia plays bass guitar in a rock band, she is the salutatorian of her sophomore class in her high school, a prolific writer, and a talented illustrator. Asia has the whole world in front of her, and as you can see, I am a proud father… and for good reason!

Today’s Marketing Cookie is about checking your work.

In the late 1940’s a research project called, “MX981” at the Edwards Air Force Base, was conducted to test the human tolerance for g-forces during rapid deceleration. The tests used a rocket sled mounted on a railroad track with a series of hydraulic brakes at the end. During the tests, questions were raised about the accuracy of the instrumentation used to measure the g-forces. So, an engineer named Edward Murphy proposed using electronic gages attached to the restraining clamps on the harness to measure the strain being exerted on the straps. Everyone agreed and Murphy’s assistant wired the harness for a trial run with a chimpanzee.

The sensors provided a zero reading.

When the sensors were inspected, it was discovered that they had been installed backwards. Unfortunately, Edward had been offered the time and opportunity to calibrate and test the sensors prior to the test, but he arrogantly declined. In an interview, Murphy blamed the failure on his assistant saying, “If that guy has any way of making a mistake, he will.” and with that statement, “Murphy’s law” was born. Forever after, people the world over continue to confirm what Murphy said, and have reiterated that, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

Let’s face it. Microsoft will always try to “update” your software at the precise moment when your life depends on printing an important document, your Internet connection will die in the middle of an important webex, and that phone call you’ve been waiting for all day will most certainly ring during the thirty seconds when you walked away from your desk. Murphy would say, even if absolutely nothing can ever go wrong… something will. If the possibility exists of several things going wrong, the one that will go wrong is the one that will do the most damage. It could be that everything will go wrong at one time, which will always be at a time that is when you least expect it.

There’s a lot of moving parts in marketing campaigns these days. An advertisement must to be displayed properly, which must be accurately targeted to the right prospects, with the right message, and at the right time. When the prospect clicks the banner ad, they must arrive on the right landing page, which loads quickly, perfectly, and contains the the right offer. When the prospect fills out the lead form, the data must be correctly saved in the right data base, routed to the correct sales person, and the whole process must be tracked, scored and attributed correctly.

Many times in marketing, there aren’t any second chances, do-overs or mulligans. The best way for marketers to be prepared for things to go wrong, when a contingency is not possible, is to check your work. Test the link, proof-read the copy, check the page in all the browsers, test the form, and make sure everything works perfectly. He might have blamed his assistant for the failure, or he might even say that something going wrong was inevitable, but Murphy did not take the time to check the quality of his work, which proved to create a self-fulfilling prophesy.

So it is with today’s fortune. While it may be true that, “A clean tie attracts the soup of the day.”, you have a responsibility to avoid slurping your soup and using a napkin.

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