Marketing executives know they are accountable to a high bar of performance. They also know that they’ve got to be creative, as well as metrics-driven, to breakthrough. What if there is no ROI on an investment? What if the audience was wrong and the offering was slightly off? Paid ads. Purchased databases. Perfunctory social media. Demand generation. X + Y equals what?

Steve Jobs said it best upon his return to Apple, “Some mistakes will be made along the way and that’s good because at least people are making decisions and we can learn from our mistakes.”

Great marketers know that mistakes come with the territory and offer a rich set of insights that enable them to pivot toward success.

anthonyBarnum has spoken in-depth about metrics, best practices, cadences and creating objectives-driven programmatic campaigns for public relations, social media strategies, and owned content. It’s important to optimize outcomes by leveraging case studies, strategic decision-making exercises and focusing on the process upfront. However, in marketing, there is another factor which can never be quantified: The distillation, the contextualization, and the creativity that engages and moves the target audience to recognition of a solution. Sometimes, the data produced from a wrong move is more important than the data from the reasonably performing initiative.

Maximum ROI cannot be met without experimentation, but that requires an appetite for risk.

As strategists working on behalf of high-growth companies, we are often gently pushing companies to take bolder steps. Conversely, we may learn of a vision within the company and help the organization translate it into an actionable strategy.

We recommend clients have elements of their marketing that support the distinction of their brand. Examples include incorporating branding videos, more modern visual identity pieces, less conventional content, and more captivating and edgier spins on their thought leadership.

Marketers have always wanted to break out of their shells. They are often highly creative and nuanced thinkers. Our role is to serve as a cocreator, helping them to harness and maximize the impact of their great ideas.

More than ever, we all need to develop great ideas, embrace change and take risks. We live in a world where industries of all kinds are disrupting the status quo. Innovation is stretching across sectors to improve efficiencies, disrupt stagnate markets and deliver solutions that advance lives. We live in a radical time of change that is accelerating as technologies advance and decrease in cost.

So, marketing is at a crossroads of what has and what will drive ROI. Mistakes often take time to first manifest and then be examined for the data produced. It’s important for marketers to understand what best practices are for the category of marketing they seek to advance. Marketers need to play it less safe – they need to adopt, refine and advance, leveraging a range of emerging strategies. This will, in turn, engage new generations, new technologies and new ways of thinking by embracing the lessons-learned from all mistakes.