It is so important as a marketer in a competitive marketplace (because let’s face it, what isn’t these days?!) that you put your stake in the ground.

Goal setting becomes a ‘thing’ at this time of year as teams and business assess both the calendar year and H1 results as they reset and reforecast for H2.  New Year’s Resolutions also come to the fore in our personal lives as we plan what we would like our next year to look like.

We know that goal setting works:  More than 1,000 studies conducted by behavioral scientists on more than 88 different tasks, involving more than 40,000 male and female participants in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America, show that specific high goals are effective in significantly increasing a person’s performance – regardless of the method by which they are set. Assigned goals by a manager, for example, are as effective as self-set or participatively set goals if they are accompanied by logic or a rationale from a manager. (Latham and Locke, 2006)

However, it isn’t just the ‘big’ goals like overall revenue targets that marketers should be paying attention to, but the smaller targets that contribute to the success of the bigger targets.

Marketers used to have quite a bad rap as ‘branding and style’ before all else.  In this competitive sales (and recruitment) market, I don’t see many marketing leaders like that.  Most of us are incredibly focused on, and tied to, the level of enquiries and resultant sales.

My team will have a giggle when they read this, because one of my most common questions is:

what is your stake in the ground?

  • What open rate are you targeting?
  • How many enquiries will this campaign generate?
  • What will the conversion rate of this lead source be against another lead source?
  • What increase in click-throughs do you believe this campaign creative will achieve?
  • How many shares do you believe this blog title will create?

That’s not to say there isn’t room for lots of creativity, but it is no longer as simple as a ‘brand’ campaign – it needs to generate results because it resonates with a target audience and encourages them to engage and act.

Every single project we run as a team has a number of ‘stakes’ tied to it – everyone from the copywriter to the studio team to the digital team nominates the stake for their work so that everyone can share in the success of a great campaign!

We track all our results to help make our next ‘stakes’ more accurate and detailed.  The team know that I would rather have a stake in the ground, aim for it and miss than have no stake at all.

I would encourage you to work with your teams to nominate ‘stakes’ for all that you do, because after all, if you can’t measure it you can’t change it!


This post was originally published on LinkedIn.