Most Marketing Sucks, what if Yours Didn’t?
We've all felt the pressure of limited time and energy. Just thinking about watching this half hour clip from our recent workshop might be a stretch for you, so, first of all, thank you for trusting me with your precious time.
Learn to get the most out of your time, effort, and budget by implementing SMART goals. Watch the below, or read the transcript below the video.
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I understand this problem of limited time and energy. Like, I totally get it.
See, about 10 years ago I had my second child and before I even left the hospital I decided there was no way I was going back to my job.
So, my brand new baby and I started going cold calling together. He was just a few weeks old and, I guess it’s hard for people to say no to a mama with a baby because by the time my maternity leave was up, I had a business that would replace my salary and I put in my notice.
I also had a rambunctious two year old at home who managed to get both herself and my newborn son kicked out of daycare just weeks into my new business. (Don’t worry, she’s a saint now so if you have a wild little kid, it might get better for you in a few years) So, with no daycare option.. like any sane family would choose to do…my husband left his job to help with the kids while I worked. My days were filled with hustling and breastfeeding. Every minute of my day had to count.
About a year into my business we started to see that my son wasn’t quite developing like his peers. He wasn’t talking or listening to us much… we embarked on a year-long journey into therapies and assessments to ultimately learn that my son is severely autistic. We spent half of our waking hours at appointments and in classrooms learning how to help him. My working hours shrank as business grew, so being efficient with my time became even more important.
As he’s gotten older, things have gotten tougher. Don’t get me wrong, my son is a sweet and loving child who makes us laugh and feel loved. He also struggles to communicate and control himself to an extent that public school is not a safe place for him. As he gets older, insurance pays for fewer and fewer hours a week of private care. What started as 35 hours a week, is down to 15. And when he’s home — it take both my husband and I to keep him safe and happy. Which means my work week has shrunk even more drastically.
Then Corona happened and we lost all of our hours. So, I had learn to work in 15-minute sprints or around his already minimal sleep schedule.
So, when it comes to knowing how to make your time and efforts count BIG…I’m your girl.
One of the most important things I do to make sure my time, energy and budget are used well is to craft SMART goals around everything we do, particularly our marketing and operations.
Smart goals help you refocus your efforts and budget to find out what really works for your business so that you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
Strategy vs Tactics
First, we need to establish WHAT you’ll be creating smart goals for.
Strategy defines your long-term goals and how you’re planning to achieve them. In other words, your strategy gives you the path you need to follow to achieve your organization’s mission.
Tactics are much more concrete and are often oriented toward smaller steps and shorter timeframes along the way. They involve best practices, specific plans, resources, etc. They’re also called “initiatives.”
Strategy is harder to predict outcomes, it might change along the way,
Tactics are where we want to focus our smart goals because they are quicker, repeatable, and have more predictable outcomes.
So, what's right for me?
Every business, audience, and strategy is unique, so there’s no set formula. Much of marketing is trial and error.
Smart goals help you find the things that work and discard the rest.
What Tactics Do You Use In Your Business?
Think about the tactics you use, or plan to use in your business so that you can start to formulate a smart goal around one of those tactics as we go through this talk.
I’m going to give examples from a course we just launched that helps people write their own website content. The tactic I’m focusing on is our Facebook ad campaign geared to small business owners who are building their sites using Squarespace or Wix. This is a specific tactic, not an overall strategy, so it’s easy for me to create a smart goal for it.
Let's Break Down the SMART Goal
Your goal must be specific, otherwise it’s nothing more than a wish or an idea.
In my example, we’re focusing on one single product (the website content course) and one specific medium (Facebook advertising) to one specific audience (DIY business owners).
Next, the goal must be measurable. That means there’s at least one metric to track.
For my goal, we’re devoting a $2500 budget in the month of November to try to sell 100 course registrations.
We’re selling the course at $99 as an introductory offer, so for my goal of 100 registrations I should also be able to track a cost per acquisition of $25.
This is a measurable goal that I can easily track and see how close we are able to get to meeting it.
Agreed upon means your team, everyone involved in making the goal happen, is on board. If it’s just you, check in with yourself. But if you have a team working towards this goal together, make sure everyone on the team agrees with the it. You need everyone working in the same direction, or you won’t see the goal to completion.
Ah, reality. Setting goals, especially when we’re just getting started, can be super exciting. The sky’s the limit! We can achieve anything! Right?
Well, a good goal includes a healthy dose of reality. We want to ensure the goal stretches us to outperform what we’ve done in the past, but that we’re not reaching so far that we quickly get frustrated because we’ll never actually be able to reach our goal.
Going back to my specific goal, I know that our cost per acquisition for courses in the past has held at around $30. These have been for more complex courses without as clear of an outcome as the Website Content Course, so I can realistically push us to reach the $25 cost per acquisition.
Trying to get that cost to $10 would be unrealistic, and shooting for $50 wouldn’t be a challenge.
And finally, our goals must be time based. A goal can’t go on forever, there has to be an end date when we’re stopping and reflecting on our performance.
In my smart goal I’m giving myself one month to accomplish the goal and reflect back on performance.
Give your goal an appropriate timeline.
What Are Your SMART Goals?
If we take all these ingredients and put them together, we have a smart goal. It generally will relate to a marketing tactic and when the goal is complete we can look back at our performance and adjust going forward.
Determine a Baseline
So, how do you set your first smart goals?
Start with where you are now, take a look at your current performance and start small. Set just one smart goal based on a tactic you’ve done in the past.
If you’re starting completely from scratch then just set a goal with your best estimates of what’s reasonable for you to accomplish.
Set a Schedule
Then, after you’ve completed the timeframe for your goal, decide if you’ll keep that tactic or change it. Regardless of what you do, don’t abandon the smart goal concept. You may extend your goals to longer time frames and add multiple goals for all the tactics in your marketing strategy, but continue to check in on your progress regularly.
Set a schedule to weekly, monthly, or quarterly check in on each of your marketing activities and see how it is performing against your goals.
We Have Our Eyes on the Wrong Prize
When we’re setting your goals, we want to make sure we focus on measuring things that actually matter.
We’re too focused on the things that don’t matter. We get caught up in vanity metrics and the latest big deal in marketing. Here's some metrics to focus on:
- Conversions are king
- Acquisition Sources
- Bounce rate
- Visits/Unique Visits
- Page Views
- Clicks to site
- Site engagement
- Relevance scores
- Conversion rate
- Quality score
- List Growth
- Open Rate
- Opt-Out Rate
- Spam Reports
- Campaign tracking urls and phone numbers
- QR codes to landing pages
How are you measuring your tactics?
Determine What Works & Earn Your ROE
Get the highest return on your effort possible. This is a never ending cycle. As your business develops and your market changes you need to continue the smart goal process to ensure you’re getting the highest return possible on your efforts and budget.
Now, Take It Up a Notch
Once you feel you’ve got a handle on the smart goal concept for your marketing tactics, we can take things up and notch and make those tactics work even harder for your business.
What The Fu...nnel?
Most people tend to focus their marketing efforts on top of the funnel activities. If you’re not familiar with a sales funnel, the idea is that lots of prospects go in the top and then we use marketing and sales processes to work the qualified few through to the bottom.
- Lead Generation
Activities that introduce your brand and generate interest
- Move to Close
Activities that warm up leads and move them through the sales funnel
Activities that retarget, upset, encourage referrals and gain back
Classify Your Tactics
How can you focus your activities and increase effectiveness?
Measure. Adjust. Work your ass off. Repeat.
Most Marketing Fails. What If Yours Didn't?
As you work through your marketing tactics, I want you to keep one thing in mind. What you do is only part of the battle. I know, this marketing stuff is tricky. What you actually say in your marketing is even more important.
So, before we part, let’s just establish one thing.
No one cares about your business.
Not even your mama.
So, what do people actually care about?
Winning. Survival. And solving the problems that threaten their chances of winning.
Don’t spend the precious few moments you have with prospects talking about yourself. Everything you say must be framed around how you can help solve the customer's problem, otherwise, they'll lose interest or even feel threatened and they're gone.
We developed a communication framework called The Problem Solver Method™. It helps you say the right things in your marketing to make people actually want to learn more about your business, instead of turning them away. download our website checklist and get on our email list where you’ll learn how to say all the right things on your website and other marketing content to help grow your business.
Download our website checklist and get on our email list where you’ll learn how to say all the right things on your website and other marketing content to help grow your business.