Goals are only as effective as the strategy and execution used to achieve them. Based on a recent Economist Intelligence Unit survey of 500 senior executives, 90% of companies do not accomplish their goals regularly on a quarterly or yearly basis.
This is why setting clear goals, and execution strategies is a crucial component of success.
Strategy Needs Clarity
The first step of crafting a strategy involves understanding what stands between you and success. It consists of reflecting on your past accomplishments, your people, processes, and technologies so you can identify the gap on which you need to focus.
Another dimension that informs strategy are the opportunities within your reach. It involves understanding the current state of your market and your competitive advantage. When evaluating any new opportunity, you should always consider whether or not it will enhance your existing competitive edge.
Involve your leadership and reflect on what they see as your most significant opportunities to capitalize on and the greatest threats to address.
Last but not least your clients should inform your strategy. Reflecting on how you can help your clients grow their market is the third dimension to consider in your strategy.
Stay True To What Makes You Unique
In the digital marketing space, the speed of change makes it challenging to stay up to date, let alone leading the pack. When setting your goals, it is essential to refer back to your company’s vision. Ask yourself:
- Are the goals you are setting aligned with who you are as a company and why your customers see value in your services?
- Do these goals extend your reach and enhance your competitive edge?
- What role will technology play in supporting this goal?
There are always new tools, offerings, and trends to stay on top of but you should align any new investments or initiatives with your company’s vision. If this alignment is compromised it can be easy to lose your competitive edge.
Technology is an integral component of digital marketing and as such when setting company goals a supporting technology strategy is just as important as budgeting and having the right people in place.
If everything is important, then nothing is.
But you will still expend lots of energy, time, and money without accomplishing your goals.
Smart companies do not lack ideas. To achieve goals, however, they know that saying “NO” is more important than saying “yes.” That is why priority and focus is the difference between achieving goals and a failed execution.
Tips for Prioritization:
- Go back to what you reflected on at the start of this process and assess your goals based on what is most achievable. (Time, cost, constraints, value)
- Selecting few goals to accomplish at a time.
- Focus- keep your goals in mind and only those goals until you have achieved them. Don’t let distractions steer you away from your goals.
Everybody wants to win, therefore missing your goals can be discouraging for your team and leave your company hovering at the status quo instead of excelling.
As Peter Drucker famously said, “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.”
Goals need to be tangible and measurable, or in other words, you need to agree on what success is, regarding numbers.
Tangible metrics make you realize very quickly if you will win or lose, there is no middle ground. Metrics allow you to promptly set objectives and make data-driven decisions internally as well as with your clients.
An essential aspect of a goal is the cost of measuring it. Reconsider the measurement or the goal if a significant level of effort is required before you can begin measuring it.
Goals in all departments need to be aligned with the overall company goals, so it is important to have a clear line of sight between your team, department goals, and overall company goals.
Tips for communicating goals:
- Be clear about what the goal is and what is the impact of that goal to the overall company goals.
- Be clear about who owns the results. Does the team or department have at least 80% ownership of the outcome? Work with each of your departments to ensure they can take responsibility and accountability for the goal.
- Socialize the metrics and advancements about the goal
- Provide a feedback channel
At TangoCode, we work with digital marketing companies that have growth goals. Growth goals revolve around an opportunity to grow a portion of your client base or building a new revenue stream. In either case, to achieve these types of growth, it is necessary to have the right processes and technology in place to manage your new workload at scale. Once the correct goals are set to capitalize on an opportunity, we help companies build the strategy and customized solutions to achieve their goals without sacrificing margins or what makes your business unique.
More to come on creating a strategy to achieve your goals and how to ensure they do not break down during execution.