Expecting Effectiveness in Your Marketing Objectives: Why You Need the Right Perspectives
Ideally, your organization is aligned so that success against your marketing objectives directly translates to success for your business. If lead generation is a defined marketing objective, for example, hopefully, you also have an active, defined, and measurable lead management process. Thus, lead production should proportionally contribute to revenue production.
What happens to your lead gen marketing objectives, though, if you don’t have a finely tuned lead management process in place? Should you still expect that successfully delivering a high volume of leads will effectively translate to a high contribution to revenue? To find your answer, forget that we’re talking about leads for a moment.
Instead, imagine you’re a plumber and your goal is to get the water running again for a renovated home. Should you expect that success will come from simply turning on the main valve? Or, should you expect that after an inspection of the current pipe work, and any fixes for problems flushed out in the process, that at that point you’ll be able to successfully turn the water on?
Evaluating Marketing Objectives and Expectations:
The point of the plumbing example is to highlight the interplay between objectives and expectations. The objective may have been to turn on the water, but you can easily imagine what kinds of problems would spill out if you expected that simply turning on the main water valve would be enough.
For a lead generation marketing objective, turning on the lead flow may be the end goal, but you can’t expect to effectively attain that goal if you don’t also expect to successfully check off all the steps that make reaching that goal worthwhile.
For any marketing objective, the first step toward effectiveness is setting clear expectations for what reaching that end goal entails. In the case of a lead generation marketing objective, you may want to first expect to successfully prove that leads can measurably progress into closed deals. Within the first phase, expectations may be to generate a manageable test pool of leads, and when one contributes to a closed deal or won account, that’s the first success. You may expect to find disconnects to fix between marketing generated leads and sales activities around opportunities, and fixing those gaps may also be a success. Instead of picking a random lead volume number to hit, you might also want to set expectations that the ability to calculate how many leads you need in order to hit your revenue goals is a successful win toward your ultimate marketing objective. That way, even if you generate more leads, it doesn’t necessarily mean more problems.
Aligning Marketing Objectives to Expectations:
In other spheres of marketing, we see other examples of how expectations significantly impact the value and attainment of marketing objectives.
When it comes to content marketing, for example, there can be a deluge of desirable marketing objectives to pursue like hitting certain production volumes, capturing captivating levels of engagement, achieving content coverage in key phases of the buyer’s journey, along with supporting other marketing efforts as well.
In order to not get carried away, or get caught continually chasing new ideas or competing marketing objectives, you need to set realistic expectations for what you can achieve with your content efforts, and make sure your entire team is aligned with these goals. Define which needles can and should be moved by content marketing and which key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to measure to understand whether or not you’ve successfully attained that expected movement.
Your expectations for your content marketing objectives should be to find things that always allow you to move forward without ever having to take a step back. From our perspective in a wildly innovative, rapidly evolving environment like healthcare information and technology, we believe you can't afford to stand still. Having expectations for marketing objectives aligned to proven trends or known facts means the content marketing wheels that give you traction keep turning, and you never waste time, effort or momentum trying to reinvent them. What you expect to do, in terms of marketing objectives is a balance of what you actually can do and what you need to do.
Making Marketing Objectives Meaningful Outcomes for Buyers:
From a broader perspective, one of the biggest, most consistent expectations marketers need to have around their marketing objectives is that success from a marketing standpoint must also mean some kind of success or relevant value from the perspectives of your buyers. Your buyers as individuals, and together as a part of the buyer collective are not simply targets to hit. These are people, just like you, with busy, complex, and often stressful jobs. When you get a buyer as a lead from a download, hopefully, that buyer is also getting valuable information from that download, and finding further paths to more valuable information as well. Marketing objectives that set expectations for buyers to show positive behaviors, like downloading or viewing other assets after an initial engagement help to keep marketers honest and aware of meaningful developments for buyers.
Instead of expecting interactions with buyers or members of your buyer collective to be like targets to hit, you may want to view the engagements more as puzzle pieces to put together. Instead of hit or miss marketing objectives, your expectations push you toward iteratively improving outcomes. The more puzzle pieces you have on your buyers and the buyer collective, the clearer the picture, and the greater your capacity to be successful in their eyes as well.
Overall, what you expect out of your marketing objectives determines what you put in, and what you expect to put in also determines those outcomes. When you expect to be effective in the right ways, you can create a virtuous cycle of improved marketing performance and compounding business value. When expectations and marketing objectives are out of synch, the cycle can skew more toward the vicious variety. If you don’t have a sense for where expectations are around marketing objectives, your best bet is to expect to fix that first.
If you’re looking to see better results from any marketing objectives specifically tied to the healthcare information and technology space, please contact us today!