Stick to What Sticks

Throw as much as you can against the wall. Whatever sticks, go with it. You never know which experiment will be the one that turns ideas into results.

David Ben Horin                

Try everything until you find what sticks.

My wife has a very simple strategy for success:

Throw as much as you can against the wall. Whatever sticks, go with it.

Even if she said this while our children were all in diapers and she was knee deep in baby wipes, it makes a lot of sense.

The hardest companies to market are the ones where it takes a year to make a sale. One of the companies was a B2B software outfit that sold databases. From the time the developer tried out the product, it could take months, in some cases years before he made a project out of it, then convinced about 8 layers of bureaucracy that it was worth purchasing.

By then, nobody knew who brought him on as a potential in the first place.

It was causing the marketing people a lot of frustration. We couldn’t link our efforts with the company’s bottom line.

We tried webinars, white papers, google ads, Reddit ads, free demos, discounts for early purchase. None of it worked. Or maybe it did, we just couldn’t determine.

Then came the use cases. The CEO saw a page on the website with a few articles about how our customers were using the database and he mentioned that he wanted more.

Given that we had little to show for our efforts, whatever he asked became an immediate priority.

Finding the Golden Question

I started talking with the clients. One of the questions I asked was, what’s the future for your company?

The moment you talk to someone about what they are working on, they open up. Ask a person about his goals and he gets really excited.

They all told me what they were up to.

I always asked what they needed from us to make it happen.

Then they told us what was missing from our product. In some cases, we had it, they just need to know. I even offered to arrange a meeting with them and a developer to show them how to do it.

That year sales jumped for the first time in company history. People were just asking for more resources.

I can’t tell you that it was current clients, who already bought and installed the product, and had their payment details in the system. That all they needed to do after a developer showed them how to achieve what they wanted with something they already had was to press a button and spend a little bit more.

But it makes sense.

It was the first time the marketing team could connect the dots between creating content and generating sales and it came from an unplanned, unintended idea.

Who knew?

That’s why I say do everything you can. Leave no stone unturned. Do all you are able to until you find out what is working. As long as it doesn’t break you, keep throwing as much as you can against the wall.

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