Daydreaming is one of my favorite pastimes. Sure, there are people who think it is a waste of time or just for children. But that’s just not the case. I think people need to daydream. We need something to hope for – a bigger, grander tomorrow or the promise of hope and happiness.
Do you ever daydream about what your organization can accomplish? The people that could be helped? The lives and communities that could be transformed? I’m guessing you do. These dreams may be what initially stirred your blood and inspired you to get involved and do something about it. The dream to make a difference.
Passion is great and it plays an important role in seeing your dreams come true. But to really make a difference it often takes more than just passion – it requires us to set goals and take steps toward reaching these goals. Anthony Robbins says, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” In other words, setting goals will help us transform our dreams into plans and then into reality.
So, where do we begin? Much has been written on goal setting but this month I would like to write specifically about setting marketing goals for your organization. Setting and working toward these goals will help your dreams become a reality – one step at a time.
Fit overall organizational goals.
Consider the organization’s mission and objectives when developing your marketing goals. Your job, as a marketer, is to help the organization achieve its overall strategic goals. Where does the organization want to be in a year? How about 3 years? What steps need to be taken to reach these targets? This information should provide the direction you need to create your marketing goals. For example, an organization may have a goal of raising awareness among the general population about the harms of child sex trafficking. A coinciding marketing goal would be to increase advocacy partners by 20% by December 31, 2009.
The goals you set should be attainable but they should also present a challenge. David J. Schwatz once said, “Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big successes.” Set goals that will stretch you to new heights and don’t be discouraged if you fall short of achieving them all. An example of a goal that stretches you may be to increase individual donations by 20% during 2009. For others, this may be an easy target and in that case the percentage amount should be increased. Even with falling short, you will likely achieve personal and organizational growth as well as see some movement toward your ultimate target.
We also recommend developing a list of skills required to achieve these goals. If you do not currently possess all the needed skills, develop a targeted plan for building these skills or bringing on the additional help you need.
Be very specific on what you want to achieve and when you want to see results. In the example above we clearly stated we wanted to increase individual donations by 20% during 2009. This type of detailed goal setting will help you develop strategies for success and complementary timelines for implementation. Once you’ve set the goals, you can add the initial timeline to your calendar. Consider placing these dates in Outlook or your daytime organizer to serve as reminders in the future and keep you on track to meeting your goals. We will discuss developing your implementation calendar in later months.
Must be measurable.
Many people can quickly create a measurable goal. For example, a nonprofit building a donor program may set the goal of increasing their funding base by 30 monthly donors every quarter. However, to actually measure the results there are a couple other steps that should be considered.
- You must determine the base line of support from which you are measuring. In this case, you will need to calculate the current number of monthly donors.
- You should monitor the results on a regular basis – typically this is done monthly or quarterly. Since this is a quarterly goal, you will want to measure the results monthly so that you can see the progress toward the goal before reaching the end of the quarter. This will allow you to step-up your efforts or modify your strategies to make sure you stay on track for meeting your goals.
Must be supported by a strategy for meeting the goal.
Think about how you will achieve the goal – what is your strategy? In our initial example, our goal was to increase advocacy partners by 20% by December 31, 2009. Possible strategies may include:
- Distribute a minimum of two (2) press releases/month to all local media outlets (tv, newspapers, radio).
- Provide a minimum of one (1) public interview/month with a media representative regarding the harms of child sex trafficking.
- Increase newsletter subscribers by 15% each quarter during 2009.
- Distribute a quarterly newsletter to all subscribers, donors, and new contacts.
We recommend implementing one (1) new strategy at a time to see how it works. Implementing more than one strategy at a time will hide the true results of each individual strategy or approach. You may be reaching your target, but you won’t know why. Which activities are resulting in the success? It may be the result of one strategy and the others can be discontinued thus saving the organization money. We will discuss developing strategies further within the next couple of months.
This month, we encourage you to take some time to set marketing goals for your organization. Use the resource sheet (download here) provided, to document your goals and begin setting the path to success.