As a marketing coach, my favorite question to ask someone is, what does success look like? You wouldn't play a game of baseball without keeping score, so why should business be different?
This question helps me understand motive and needed
actions. It defines how we will keep score. It shines a light on progress and
where the finish line will be and it creates a clear equation.
In my business, I will consider myself successful if
_____________ happens by _____________(date).
Or, I am starting this marketing project in order to achieve the following _____________. I will measure success if I can do this ________________ by this date___________.
Not very complicated but it requires a lot of soul searching
and inward thinking. Why are you running this business? What is your motive?
Where do you want to take the brand, product or service? Is this a lifetime
project or something you want to sell quickly?
Is a new opportunity the goal?
Are you trying to raise awareness?
Are you trying to change a perception?
Is the goal to get customers to switch?
How will you know you have won the game?
This also applies as a great career question when starting a
new job. How exactly will you know you
are successful and does that align with the people who may judge you?
I always start with the end in mind.
Who will evaluate
success? Whose opinion matters most? If I know their metric, score keeping or KPI
(key performance indicator), then I can focus on achieving that as part of the
Here are five examples of how I have measured success during
the last year.
To make our conference successful, we need to have at least 10 senior brand
executives from our top strategic customer accounts attend our forum and be
activity engaged with us for five hours each. So success is 50 hours of time
spent with senior leadership.
Our conversion rate on our email campaign must generate 4 times gross
revenue as the program cost. Simple math: the campaign cost $10,000 and we must
generate $40,000 within 8 months from the start of the project.
OUTREACH: In the coming three months, at least 25 articles online or in
print must appear mentioning our new product launch from targeted publications
with a reach exceeding 1,000,000 readers in total.
Traffic to our new website must increase 15% year over year and with a 25%
increase in the time spent on the site by new visitors.
We must generate at least 50 news leads each at the two new trade shows and
those leads, over six months will create at least twice the revenue as the cost
of attending the events.
Note that each metric or KPI (key performance indicator)
include a specific number that we can measure.
And, these goals were established by marketing with input from sales,
finance and other engaged colleagues. I
do this for several reasons but when I report out our progress at the end of
the quarter to our general management team, everyone has already agreed what
success looks like and I can share if we achieved our goal.
Not everything can be quantified but often that is because
we get lazy and we just say, “I know what it will feel like if we are
successful.” That just doesn’t cut it
anymore. Well-defined success parameters
help build marketing credibility internally which boasts confidence on those
Entrepreneurs and small businesses get to decide these
things on their own. It’s a fundamental question that everyone should ask before
their doors open for business or before starting a new marketing project.
How do you measure success at what you do?
Need a marketing coach? You can hire me through Clarity to provide advice about marketing for your new product, business or service. I donate 100% of your fee to charity. So far I have donated almost $400 to Charity: Water.
Just follow the link for some Clarity.
Labels: Business Coaching, clarity, Marketing Coaches, Marketing Moments, What does success look like?