It happens to the best of us.

We plan for months, invest in the right resources, and pay excruciatingly close attention to detail. And then the day of the big campaign launch comes.

And goes.

A failed marketing campaign can be the result of bad timing, a lack of interest in the specific offer, or one of a million other reasons.  Sure, you may obsess for a little while over the fact that you cleaned your customer lists, monitored competitors and analyzed response rates ad nauseam, but you still can’t come up with a valid reason for why the campaign went awry.

While the actual reason for a failed marketing campaign can provide important insight on a tactical level, there’s actually more strategic value that can be gained from this wake-up call. What it’s telling you is that perhaps it’s time to rethink your level of engagement with customers.

Just like there’s no crying in baseball nor over spilled milk, if your marketing campaign is met with deafening silence, here’s what to do going forward:

1. Identify your VIP customers and ask them if they received the offer and if so, why they did or didn’t respond. Provide an incentive to them for sharing their feedback and make sure their responses don’t require more than two minutes of their time.

2. Conduct a wider poll, perhaps on Facebook or via email, asking customers for their top three favorite products. Again, be sure to attach an incentive for their participation and build a new campaign around their feedback.

3. Consider the timing of the campaign. Did it arrive in an inbox at 3:00 am or was it timed to arrive during optimal business hours? Other timing considerations include major holidays when competition is fierce and your offer may get lost among the noise.

4. Assess the campaign from the customer’s point of view on whether it’s a truly compelling offer or it’s a way to clear out inventory.

5. Segment your audiences and customize your offers. Once you have more up-to-date information on customer interests based on ad hoc conversations and polls, cull your lists and develop more customized offers specific to smaller segments of your audience. You’d be better served to initiate several targeted mini-campaigns with specific offers based on the interests of customer subgroups versus mass distribution.

Want more ideas? Check out my latest contribution to American Express’ OPEN Forum, “When the Big Marketing Campaign Fails, What Next?

Have you ever had to rebound after a failed marketing campaign? What did you do? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.