Setting Expectations

Marketing is an expectations game where you have to read the future. 

You put in long hours developing a marketing plan. It is filled with grand ideas and garnished with bells, tweets and whistles. Your goal is to be a smashing success.  Then you execute and hit all your milestones only to come crashing down to earth because your colleagues think the program failed. Someone quips, "it didn't live up to my expectations." 

Setting expectations is so critical to success because so much of our work is a game filled with anticipation. 

You put a big bet on outbound marketing, inbound SEO, web design, promotion, direct mail, etc...(pick a marketing tactic) and get everyone excited about your idea. But have you done the really important work to define what success looks like when the program is over?

I think we marketers are guilty of over selling expectations because we fall in love with our own tactics. We want it to do well so we puff up our feathers and get everyone believing that we have found the magic elixir. We are great cheerleaders but need to do a better job of setting the table.

In setting goals and expectations, most companies also suffer from trying to do too much with each tactic. I can’t say it often enough but a lack of focus and specificity gets in the way of success.  Pick a goal. Make it a really important one. Tie it to a well-understood incentive. Assign an owner. This isn't difficult but requires some discipline. Executing well is in the details and setting expectations is directly linked to achieving the results you establish. 

To achieve greater success with your marketing, take these six critical steps.

Invest in Agreeing on Success 

While you are dotting your i's and crossing your t's, remember to get keep internal stakeholders sold on a common statement of success. Keep it simple. Be specific. Use a time frame. Use numbers to measure results. You'll find your marketing becomes more successful, when you agree on what success looks like before the marketing effort begins. 

Jeffrey Slater


Does your marketing need to do a better job of defining success? Maybe I can be of some help to coach you along your path so you can leap toward your goals. Connect with me through Clarity

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