Are We There Yet?!: The marketing milestone marathon

12 08 2011

Road trip boredomRoad trip! The joy of adult existence; the bane of children everywhere.

Do you remember your earliest family road vacations, when your parents packed you and your siblings into the back seat with fruit snacks, juice boxes and various luggage items that wouldn’t fit in the trunk?

The first 30 miles were a blur of car games, sing-a-longs and back seat Chinese fire drills. The second 30-mile stretch disappeared in a haze of napping.

But those next hundred miles… ugh! Time and mile markers crawled by at snail’s pace. It was only a matter of time before a plaintive “Are we there yet?!” emanated from the back seat.

As adults, we may have tempered this impatience with maturity, but as business owners – particularly new business owners – our marketing plans occasionally find us regressing back to childhood frustration. Here’s what happens…

The Too-Lofty Marketing Plan
A marketing plan consists of one or more goals, usually about increasing revenue, that act as a marketing mission statement of sorts. It gives your advertising both a direction and a purpose. However, it’s not uncommon to mistake bigger for better.

The problem with Texas-sized goals isn’t their validity or their value; it’s the fact that they take so darn long to accomplish. The adult in us valiantly clings to patience. But the child in us (i.e. the inexperienced, exuberant part of us) is wondering if we’re EVER going to get there.

The last thing you want is for your enthusiasm to wane halfway through accomplishing your goal. You need that youthful energy to drive your entrepreneurial creativity, and keep your business evolving.

So here’s what you can do: Keep your big goals, but also keep your inner child gainfully amused along the way…

1) Create micro-goals.  Give yourself and your company something to shoot for every year, every month, every week and every day. It’s empowering to work with purpose.

2) Celebrate milestones.  Congratulate yourself and your team for accomplishing the little goals that are going to make the big ones possible. Create daily opportunities to feel triumphant. Success grows exponentially, so you may wind up breezing by your big goal and accomplishing something even greater!

3) Get creative with your goal setting.  Marketing goals don’t always have to be directly related to fattening the company wallet. Believe me, just about any strategic goal will lead to increased revenue in the long (or short) run. Alternate goals can be about networking events attended, sale opportunities researched, new marketing avenues explored, partnerships formed, efficiency increased or creating a new and marketable benefit for your product or service.

DMT Challenge of the Week

Take a few minutes to write down your marketing goal for today, one for the upcoming week and one for the end of the month. Be sure that each goal is measurable, so that you can determine whether the goal was a success. Now decide on your reward for each accomplishment, making sure that the scale of the reward fits the scale of the goal.

If you plan it right, the journey to your final goal will be as enriching as its ultimate achievement. And your road trip will be as exciting as your final destination.

“When you come to a fork in the road – take it.”  – Yogi Berra

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com


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2 responses

14 08 2011
woldhamBill Oldham

Hi Dawn,

Your post has several home truths in it.

I did a course for starting up a new business which gave us three months of intensive work on a business plan and other aspects of starting up a small business. (http://www.deewr.gov.au/Employment/JSA/EmploymentServices/Pages/NEIS.aspx)

Your suggestion of micro goals is a great one. It is so easy to get snowed under by all the different roles that you have to assume as a small business owner.

And how do you sort out all the suggestions from books and mentors to find what feels right to you? Just one small step at a time as you said.

We were given the statistic that after three years time, 80% of the course participants would still be in business. It worked out that only 20% were still in business after twelve months. I had a slight advantage that I had been doing my business on the weekends for the previous five years. Also, all that I really needed was a pump and a bag of balloons! (http://kew.hotkey.net.au/~billo/index.html) Whoops. I am not sure if that is a breach of netiquette.

We were just not prepared for the time and effort that it takes to grow a small business. And we would also see the ones that seemed to be doing every thing the right way and still not make even one sale!

Thanks for your post and all the best.

bill Oldham

16 08 2011
dmtartistryllc

Perhaps not “netiquette-appropriate”, Bill, but approved by this authoress, nonetheless 🙂 I’m glad you found value in this post… quite meaningful coming from an academic. It’s a pleasure having you as a reader.

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