This morning I awoke to find out a friend's 14 year old daugter had lost a her 26 day fight against an extremely aggressive form of cancer. It was especially difficult to stomache because there had been a community uprising to aid her battle.
You see, she was A- which I've come to learn is extremely rare and thus I and a bunch of others tried to leverage our social graphs to strir up a call for blood. A local TV station did a few stories, the local paper ran a story just this weekend. It was incredibly moving to watch a community (and folks that lived as far away as Ohio and California) come together to donate much needed blood.
If she had been a client and this had been a pr/social media campaign -- we surely would have had an Effie Winning Case Study as the blood bank was literally overwhelmed. The phone lines were jammed and it was standing room only in the waiting area.
Which would have been great..except for one big thing - she died.
Which drove home two really important points for me this morning:
First, sometimes you're going to fail regardless of everything you do. Your strategy may be inspired. Your tactics brilliant and your execution flawless. But in the end, a force beyond your control will sink your efforts and the business goal at hand will not be reached. But if that happens, step back and understand that. If you're an agency side person, study the situation and see if by chance you could have done anything differently to keep the failure from happening again in the future. Not in a "whose fault is it?" way but more in a post battle "let's learn from this experience" way like they do in the armed forces.
Second, it's just marketing. It's just money. It's just fame or Internet fame folks. Your real success is the love and friendship of the important people in your life: your wife/husband, kids, parents, friends, etc. Everything else -- clients, money and fame can be replaced... rather easily if you think about it. But the same can't be said for those all important relationships can it?
Think about it.
photo credit: By Hassan C