When Considering Your Marketing Goals and Objectives, Get Real!

Many of you have probably been at goal-setting seminars or workshops where the leader will pose a question like: “Would you like to make more money?,” and, of course, everybody nods or raises their hand. Then the leader will approach a workshop participant and hand over a dollar. “There—you’ve just made more money.” Not as silly as it seems, and, in fact, many marketers fall short when it comes to setting precise goals for their efforts.

“More” is Not a Marketing Objective

It is very common for me to work with clients who know they want “more,” but haven’t spent time quantifying what “more” really means. There are at least two reasons this is important:

  • The number of new sales or new customers you’re hoping to attract may not reflect the reality of your market—or the number may be significantly lower than what you might be able to attain.
  • The time, effort, and money you would have to expend to generate 10 sales is quite different than if you were trying to generate 100, or 1000 or 10,000 – you get the picture.

The Value of “Getting Real”

A few years ago I worked with an optical center that was hoping to increase its visits. We went through a strategic planning process that involved a careful look at historical sales, demographics, and market share. Finally, we considered capacity—how many spots were actually available for patients to see the optometrists? We learned a lot of very important things during this process.

  • The vast majority of existing patients came from within a 15-mile radius of the site. This gave us an indication of where our advertising dollars would be most wisely spent.
  • The vast majority of existing patients were also already patients of the larger healthcare system this practice operated within. And there were a significant number of existing system patients who had not yet used these services, but were “hot prospects.”
  • When we looked at capacity, we discovered that while the practice definitely wanted to expand, initially they were hoping to attain about 10 more appointments a week. That represented a challenge much less significant than the number we originally had in mind.

In addition to considerations about market demand, capacity, and specific goals, another very important reason to set tangible goals is to manage expectations. Here’s why.

Let’s suppose you’re implementing a campaign:

  • You’re thinking that 1,000 sales would be wonderful.
  • Your agency or internal marketing department thinks 500 is a reasonable target.
  • Neither of you shares your “internal targets” with the other.
  • The campaign generates 750 sales.
  • Your agency/marketing department is ecstatic.
  • You’re disappointed.

Precision matters. Do you have a precise idea of your response objectives for the communication activities you’re undertaking? Are you sure? It might be worth the effort to check—just in case.

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Strategic Planning

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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