Marketing is one of the most vital aspects of business, as without any marketing efforts, your target market won’t ever hear about or find your product or service. But because of its importance, that also means marketing can come with some tough decisions. Whether it’s about what direction to take, who to work with, what your messaging should be or where to allocate your resources, these choices can have a major impact on the potential success of your product or service.
When you’re tasked with making these decisions as a leader—no matter if you make the right ones or the wrong ones—you’re bound to learn something along the way. Below, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council describe their toughest marketing decisions and the lessons they learned as a result.
1. Patience Pays Off
In the early days, our site was on the receiving end of Google’s algorithm update. We lost a significant amount of traffic, and management panicked and wanted to revise our content strategy. I decided to be patient and stick to what we were doing. Eventually, we got all our traffic back and more in the next update. Sometimes it’s better to be patient than to jump the gun and make a rash decision. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
2. You Should Always Believe In Yourself
A big marketing decision I’ve had to make was whether to stay with the agency that employed me or strike out on my own. That was a bit of a scary transition as I didn’t have a backup person to go to in difficult situations like I had when I was employed. I was the responsible party. My takeaway was that I am stronger and more capable than I realized when I started the process. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure
3. You Don’t Need Money To Take Action
My company started a new product by offering a workshop. I didn’t have the budget for promotion, so I started a Facebook page and asked people to invite their networks. My takeaway was: Don’t think about the budget for advertising. Instead, start doing something that generates attraction and it will also generate profit for you. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day
4. Upfront Effort Is Worth It In The End
The toughest decision was video marketing on YouTube, for sure. Making videos required more upfront investment. As changes are not possible once the video is published, we needed to ensure the messaging was right on the first attempt. Also, it took some time to get traction. But results, in the end, were amazing as conversions from videos are far better than from other mediums. So be patient and be consistent with video marketing. – Sujay Pawar, Astra
5. Always Try, Even If You Might Fail
One of the most challenging marketing decisions I made was to go after a large, established company as my first client. I had never worked with a big company before, and I wasn’t even sure my small startup would be able to help them. But I knew that if I didn’t try, I’d always wonder, “What if?” Once we sat down and started discussing the project, everything fell into place. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz
6. Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone Helps You Grow
Growing is always challenging, but it’s the right choice. The hardest decision is always to continually adapt your focus to learn all areas of marketing well. While some people get stuck as “specialists” in a particular role, expanding your experience to other areas of marketing will holistically make you better in all areas. It’s painful at first, but you grow so much more. – Andy Karuza, NachoNacho
7. Fear Only Holds You Back
One of the most challenging marketing decisions I made was to start a podcast. I had no experience and I was camera shy, but I swallowed my pride and started the podcast. Today I have over 100 video interviews with industry leaders. What I learned is that sometimes you have to just do it. – Alexandru Stan, Tekpon