It happens. Big marketing plans don’t turn out as you’d hoped. The time, money, and energy you sunk into the marketing tactic just don’t pan out. The results are flat and so are your hopes. Before you throw in the towel or get discouraged there are a few do’s and don’ts to consider.

#1 Don’t React

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to have an immediate reaction. Allow yourself and your company time to sort through what went wrong. It may not be immediately apparent. Evaluate the process from inception to conclusion. What could have been done better? What worked well? What might you do to make minor changes and reap better results?

#2 Identify the Problem

Generally, marketing efforts fall through for one primary reason. However, you have to uncover the reason. What was the biggest contributor to the setback? For example, if you initiated an AdWords campaign and received a big bill but no increase in sales it may simply be a minor change in your call to action that can make all the difference. Or maybe a campaign that was working is suddenly flat and producing no results. What changed? You may need to dig deep to identify the problem.

#3 Look for Opportunities

With every set back there is an opportunity. The opportunity may be to learn more about your audience, your niche, or to identify areas where a specific marketing tactic just doesn’t work. Your audience and your niche are unique. There won’t be a one size fits all approach that works. You’ll need to try various marketing tactics to see what works and what doesn’t. This means there will be some failures and some setbacks.

#4 Recruit Your Team

Look around for skills, knowledge, and experience that you can leverage. Who can help you succeed the next time around? Who has special skills or has dealt with this type of setback before? What technology can help you succeed? What resources do you have to take advantage of any opportunities the setback presents and turn it around?

#5 Put Systems in Place

The only way to track success and evaluate your results is to put systems in place that do just that. Use analytics. Track each step of the process from the beginning to completion. This information will help ensure that your next marketing initiative is a success.

Finally, take action. It’s not enough to sit and stew and plan and process. Once you know what went wrong and you’ve identified potential opportunities, created a team, and have your systems in place it’s time to step back into the game and try again. This time, you’re armed with more information and experience – both valuable resources.