When we see someone else having success with a certain marketing technique, we may be tempted to copy it. But often, when we borrow someone else’s “perfect” strategy, we find that it doesn’t work nearly as well for us. And that can be incredibly frustrating.

There is one truth in marketing: Not everything works. Many businesses will give up almost immediately if a marketing strategy doesn’t succeed the way they expected it to. So, your seminar didn’t draw the number of people you hoped? Does that mean the entire thing was a failure? Are you willing to try some changes to achieve a better result? You may need to tailor a strategy to your industry, company or target market. Using another firm’s successful strategy can bring us close to success — but often not all the way there.

A lack of success in one avenue of marketing can open the doors to a better marketing strategy overall. In marketing, the way to go from bad to great is by trying different things. If you haven’t employed a marketing strategy that failed to work perfectly, you probably aren’t taking the risks you need to. We want to give ourselves the best chance of success, but we simply cannot generate results if we don’t fine-tune our campaigns.

One trait of successful, growing businesses is that they work at perfecting what they are doing. They may not always be adding new strategies, but they work to improve the ones that weren’t initially successful.

So, if you are not getting enough people to your seminar (for example), consider your message. One solution for successful marketing is to continually hone in on clear and concise messaging that your target market will find compelling. In the case of the seminar, your invitation should clearly answer the following questions:

  • “Why attend?”
  • “Why this seminar?”
  • “Why now?”
  • “Why your company?”

In order to serve the people who need what you have, you may have to take a few calculated risks with your marketing. A marketing strategy won’t work perfectly the first time, so make sure you give yourself the time to develop it and make it better.

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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. For more information, go to www.redzonemarketing.com.