I’ve been in marketing for so long that very few people remember (or even know) that, first and foremost, I’m a linguist and a translator. Having spent over 7 years of my life training for, and working in this area, I am particularly sensitive to translation and localization mistakes. And while many of them can be justified by complexities of grammar, the banner that I’ve spotted today was plain hopeless.
Checking my Yahoo mail earlier this morning I was staggered by what I saw in the sidebar. A banner which was clearly localized (the concept was likely American, the original ad copy was in English, but since I was accessing Yahoo from Russia, I was served a “Russian” version of it) contained 7 mistakes in 7 words:
What is even worse, all of the above are mistakes made by elementary school children.
When you need a surgery, you go to a medical doctor, not to a plumber whose mother is a nurse and he knows a medical thing here and there (and may even have similar tools). Why, then, when it comes to marketing, would you even think of hiring anyone but a professional? When you are marketing, you are putting your brand (your most valuable asset!) on the frontline. Do you really want to have it associated with low quality?
The above example has once again reminded me of Aldo Gucci’s “the bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.”
Entrust your marketing to experts! Unless, of course, you want your brand to be associated with dilettantism.
I am a big soccer fan. My team is FC Zenit St Petersburg (Russia). It is a good team (holder of UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup 2008, Champions of Russian Premier League 2007, 2010, and 2011-2012), but it didn’t win the Russian championship in 2012-2013 (coming to the end just one point short), and now that they have instituted a joint tournament between the most popular soccer teams of Russian and Ukraine it has already lost two (of the first) games: 0:1 in the game against FC Shakhtar Donetsk, and 1:2 agaist FC Dynamo Kyiv.
Tomorrow they are playing their third game in the tournament, but the team spirit is at an all-time high. Everyone at FC Zenit is optimistic, and ready to fight to the end. Knowing them I am also fully confident that their chances of finishing (this tournament) well are pretty high.
Why am I so confident?
Because I have come to treat defeats as an integral part of success. Any business(man)/(woman) can learn a ton from athletes here. I’ve mentioned soccer already; but here’s how the legendary Michael Jordan once put it:
I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
Remember how Steve Jobs was raising back up from his failures? Remember what he achieved as a result?
Failures and defeats should be treated as opportunities for learning and strengthening, not as excuses for whining or quitting.
The wise Sir Winston Churchill is known for saying:
Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
So don’t let any momentary failure get in the way of your longer-term success. Press on… Don’t lose passion (or optimism)… Overcome, persevere, and succeed!