Are marketers more resilient than others in the workforce? I have wondered this throughout my own marketing career. I see a lot of parallels between being resilient in life and being a marketer. In a past blog Leading The Dance:10 Tips on Leading Change Management I talked about marketers being change agents and our striving for continuous improvement. As a marketer leading through change and creating change, I need to be resilient so that I can come back stronger.

Just yesterday I was asked how I’ve dealt with marketing campaign failure. I am reluctant to call anything a failure because it is an opportunity to learn and grow. I can learn what didn’t work and take steps to improve in the next round. There is a continuous loop of improvement in what we do as marketers. This is why we talk about optimizations in digital marketing. This is why we set up testing scenarios to see what performs better. And in start-up environments we want to fail early and often so we can optimize more quickly for the future.

When I think of the characteristics or traits of a marketer, I see a natural alignment to resilience:

  • Flexibility – marketers are able to see view the opportunity from different angles, come up with multiple solutions and test new approaches.
  • Positive attitude – marketers must view opportunities as positive, as they feel they have the chance to impact the customer or situation with a solution.
  • Growth mindset – marketers view opportunities as ones they can learn and grow from with hard work, regardless of the outcome.
  • Internal locus of control (Konnikova) – marketers believe they are in control of their achievements and that their success is not dictated by their circumstances. With hard work and effort, small successes can be seen even if the overall campaign may be viewed as a failure by some. The way I think of this is that we control what we can and seek to remove subjectivity when possible. It is why testing, advertising and marketing research and customer reviews are used to remove the possibility of subjectivity.
  • Confidence – we must trust in our marketing abilities that we have built with education and experience.

  • Communications – as as marketers we continuously give and receive communications and must take feedback, good or bad, and learn from it. We need to optimize the campaign for the next round be it deemed successful or not.

  • Teamwork – marketers can build a strong, supportive and innovative team that celebrates success and laughs at failures.


So you may wonder how to build resilience at work? This article from Harvard Business Review (Achor & Gielan) states that resilience is about how you recover and try again. This means setting time to aside for internal (breaks at work) and external (rest outside of work) recovery. Take look for some practical tips on how to do that.


Photo by Amy E Mikel: Matthiessen State Park, LaSalle, IL. June 2018.


Achor, Shawn & Michelle Gielan. Resilience is About How You Recharge, Not How You Endure. Harvard Business Review. June 24, 2016.

Konnikova, Maria. How People Learn To Become Resilient. The New Yorker. February 11, 2016.