Part One: Goal Setting

By: Ryan Woolley

In this five-part series, we’ll tackle the critical marketing components within a go-to-market strategy. The details of each component will be unique depending upon whether you’re launching a new product line, service, business unit, etc., but this methodology is universal and will help guide you to achieving sustainable success.

Part one of this series addresses what is seemingly the most straightforward of all five components, yet often times the most convoluted. And arguably, the most important: Goal Setting.

The single most effective way to achieve your marketing goal is to keep it simple. Don’t confuse “simple” with “easy”. And don’t overthink this process. I’ve seen smart people and smart companies spend way too much time trying to create complex KPI’s to revolutionize their business. The good news is there are dozens of tried and true frameworks for goal setting. 

Companies that I have personally seen achieve rapid levels of growth have always incorporated the following into their goal setting framework:

  • Specific: this is usually a new customer acquisition target, a revenue target, or a margin target. It should be a specific KPI that unquestionably drives business growth.
  • Measurable: this should be obvious. Goals such as, “ I want my company to be more famous and well know within X industry,” is not an adequate goal on its own merit.
  • Time-bound: it’s amazing how often this is overlooked. And more times than not, the reason the goal is never met. Set a deadline.  

If this sounds familiar, it should. Probably the most widely know goal setting framework is S.M.A.R.T. Goals, commonly credited to the founder of modern management,  Peter Drucker. S.M.A.R.T Goals add in the important attributes of  attainable (realistic) and relevant (it will impact your business objectives/mission).

Awesome. We’re done. Time to achieve exponential growth.

Not quite.

The above framework is a simple and straightforward way to determine if your goal is adequate. There’s nothing worse than launching an execution plan against an insufficient goal. Setting an adequate goal is one thing, taking the time to establish an execution plan to reach that goal is another task all its own.

Now that your goal is stated, here is an execution method that is useful in keeping yourself and your team on track through its execution.

  1. Determine the Critical Success Factors (CSF) for achieving your goal. Keep your CSFs at 3 to 5. Ask yourself, “to achieve my goal, what is absolutely a required condition.”
  2. Determine the actions that must take place in order for each CSF to be achieved. Do this for each CSF individually. Be prepared to assign each action out, prioritized and with a deadline.
  3. Document the obstacles that would prevent you from achieving each action. This process should be done in conjunction with the person for whom you are assigning the action to. This will help achieve buy-in, and together you can navigate how to best overcome the obstacles.

The combination of establishing a S.M.A.R.T goal, and executing it against a tangible plan as described above, will give your business the best shot of hitting your goal.

Stay tuned for part two of this series, where we’ll dive into the second component of a go-to-market strategy: Developing Value in your Market.

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