Ever heard of the song “Chasing Pavements” by British soul singer, Adele? I really enjoyed the song but until I had heard it, I’d never heard the phrase “chasing pavements” used in a sentence before.
So, what does it actually mean? After checking it out on one of my favorite sites “Urban Dictionary”, the actual definition is “A fruitless activity. Trying to achieve something that is destined to fail, usually as a result of blind hope.”
All people are prone to failure, whether we want to admit it or not. Failure is the way that we grow and learn. If a child falls off his bicycle while learning to ride, he might cry from a skinned knee, but he’ll get right back up again. As adults, we need to put our egos aside and learn to do the same.
For the child on the bike, his goal is clear. He wants to learn to ride.
Marketing for a tech company, however, is a slightly less obvious goal. Sure at the end of the day we want to earn revenue for the company but what goals will get us there? How do you avoid the idea of chasing pavements when it comes to reaching your clients? How do you define and achieve success?
Defining Marketing Success: Different for Every Organization
In every industry and indeed in every company, success is defined differently. Are you marketing efforts measured by website traffic? The number of conversions you’re getting from your blog posts? How many of your MQLs are moving through your sales funnel? Is it all three of these?
At the end of the day, success is going to be defined as reaching your goal. For most companies, getting more clients for their service or more users for their product is delineated as the primary goal. But that primary goal can be broken down even further into smaller, individual goals that will lead closer and closer to that moment of sweet success. How do you do this and how do you know where to focus first?
Goal-Setting: Breaking it Down- In More Ways than One
At Penguin Strategies, here’s how we set goals for us and for our clients. We are big fans of setting SMART goals- both small ones and larger ones. Our friends at HubSpot helped us to clarify the term. SMART means:
Specific - Set real numbers with real deadlines
Measurable - Make sure that you can track your goal.
Attainable - Work toward a goal that is challenging but possible.
Realistic - Be honest with yourself. You know what you and your team are capable of. Don't forget any hurdles you may have to overcome.
Time-bound - Give yourself a deadline.
SMART goals are only the first step in a series needed to reach success- gaining more clients or users. That being said, it’s important to set those time-bound benchmarks and to focus on one goal at a time. Setting up a marketing or business plan to use as a guideline is wise and can give you a better picture from a higher level. However, to really reach success, it’s important to really focus on one or two smaller goals first, achieve them and then move on to the next one in the plan so that “success” can be more easily reached.
How to Be “SMART”: Seeing SMART Goals in Action
The best way to understand a concept is to see it in action. Here is one of the compartmentalized goals that we would set for a client organized using the SMART method:
Specific: I want to engage more potential leads using LinkedIn.
Measureable: I will measure my success by how many times I reach LinkedIn’s Top Contributor (TC) spot in three groups – measured on a daily basis since the algorithm makes the designation each day. This will give me greater exposure and clout within the group.
Attainable: I will post both my own content and will share content from other relevant sources in the three groups I have specified and will monitor these groups daily. I will be sure not to enter groups that are noticeably inactive.
Realistic: I will reach the Linked in Top Contributor spot four times within a month in at least one group.
Time-bound: I plan to reach this goal within 1 month from the day I start this process.
As time progresses, some of these may need to be modified a bit. However, working within this framework is more likely to guarantee success.
Yes, the measurability of goals is important, but this actually relates to the “R” of SMART - being realistic. Yes, you want leads to convert via social media channels for instance, but you need those leads to click through first before they get there. Measuring both click-through and conversion rates are important. Together, these separate goals will help you to achieve success. They may take time, and, as always, things may not go exactly to plan. However, with this defined road map complete with goals that are set out, there’s a better chance of success happening and without too much trouble.
How does your company set goals? How do identify which goals need to be achieved first? Until now, how have you defined “success” in a specific area?
Let us know below in the comments how you avoid “chasing pavements” on your way to “success”.
Photo Credit: Martin Creed