Athletes vs Marketers – the importance of goal setting

There is no debate that goal setting works. It has been proven time and time again that you are more likely to achieve your goals and aspirations if you write them down and set some timelines for achievement.

With The Olympics just around the corner, I’m sure that thousands of athletes around the world set themselves a goal to represent their country at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. That’s what I love above sport… it sets natural deadlines for us. There is always a big tournament, Grand Final or event coming up to set your sights on. The key differences between those who make it and those who don’t are the smaller goals that are set to achieve the bigger picture goal (or BHAG as some call them) and the hard work and discipline to stay focused on the journey in the meantime.

We don’t always have a tangible event or tournament to link our business goals to… which makes setting marketing goals that little bit more difficult. However, we do have EOFY or New Years as a deadline, and EOMs (end of months) in-between.

Breaking down the big goals to actually reach them

An athlete may have a goal of winning a gold medal, but that’s too big and distant to reach on its own. Using that as a start, they likely work backwards, setting the smaller milestones they need to reach to make that big dream come true.

Here at Baker Marketing, we have developed a process to translate this to marketing.

We work though a Company Vision Timeline with all of our clients. This is the ‘gold medal’ level of goal setting, where we identify your BHAGs and, through the process, get inside your head to understand some of what you are striving to achieve with your company. We do this so that we can then recommend what smaller steps and goals need to be taken to achieve those BHAGs.

In other words, we ensure the big goals are articulated first so that we can actually do the marketing planing, where we select the most powerful marketing tools and ideas to help you reach those goals.

Oh, and don’t forget to set SMART Goals.

Measurements are critical in tracking progress no matter what size goals you have.

Goals actually get more marketing done

Believe it or not, establishing a goal will help you actually ‘do’ your marketing as well. The reason for this is the backwards-goal setting we already discussed.

Let’s look at an example:

Say your BHAG is to increase your company-wide turnover from $5,000,000 to $6,000,000 by 30 June 2017.

In order to achieve this increase in turnover, you need to setup some shorter-term marketing and sales goals. If web traffic is a known source of leads, then one such goal might be to increase website enquiries from 2 per week to 5 per week by 30 June 2016. To achieve this goal, you might need to redevelop your website, define your keywords, blog once per week, share your blog via social media and then send an email newsletter to your database.

That can feel like a lot of things ‘to-do’ (which is why we recommend using a tool such as our Marketing Action Plans to keep the implementation of everything on track) but without working this goal backwards, you might not have a clear vision of what marketing you needed at all.

Do you have the time to implement it all?

The next step in this backwards goal planning is to then look at resources and determine how you are going to make all of this marketing implementation happen within your defined timeline and budgets. Sometimes, the answer is you need to outsource components of it to a marketing company, or recruit a marketing coordinator to implement it. Other times, you need to review your big goal to assess its feasibility. And sometimes, you just need to create yourself a nice long to-do list and get cracking.

The important thing is to establish, and then keep, positive momentum. By which I mean both the momentum of keeping things moving, and the right attitude through the process. In the sporting community, there is also a lot of research about using visualisation along the way. In this article, Jason Day (World No.1 Golfer) discusses how he used visualisation techniques to achieve his big break and win his first major tournament.

“I visualised myself winning and holding the trophy before the week. I tried to visualise it over and over…That’s what I did in the (world) match play and that is what I did this week so obviously that tells me that I need to do that a lot more.”

Enjoy the little wins, not just the big ones

The final step is to make sure you celebrate your wins along the way. When you increase your website enquires to 5 per week, have a bottle of champagne with your team to celebrate the achievement of that goal. Doing all the little steps is how you get to the big victory, after all, it’s important to take the time to enjoy each victory.

If you’re still unsure how to set your marketing goals, and turning to your favourite athlete for inspiration doesn’t help, please get in touch with us. Our marketing management services are helping our clients achieve their goals every week, month, year – we’d love to help you too.




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