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Exercises

Developing the Vision

This is the fun, but also more difficult, part. A good majority of marketing professionals mix up strategy and tactics. A tactic is not a strategy, but rather a piece of a strategy. The best way to think about your strategy, or vision, is to think about what things will look like a year from now.

Go back to the “Integration and the Marketing Round” section of this chapter. Is your vision in one of those bullet points? Or is there something else you’d like to achieve?

A vision typically seems out of reach and sometimes overwhelming, but it can be achieved if you’re marketing in the round.

Some examples of great vision statements include the following:

  • “To develop a perfect search engine” –Google
  • “A personal computer in every home running Microsoft software” –Microsoft
  • “Change the perception of the PR and marketing industries” –Spin Sucks Pro
  • “To make air travel cheaper and more convenient than auto travel” –Southwest Airlines
  • “Helping people around the world eat and live better” –Kraft Foods
  • “Eradicate sexual abuse forever” –Zacharias Center

Of course, the marketing round vision needs to work in tandem with and complement the organization’s vision. If there isn’t a clear vision for your company, it’s your job to create one and to be sure your senior leaders are communicating it effectively and consistently.

You’ll also note, in the previous examples, the vision statements are not long or convoluted. They give people something to work toward, and they make decisions easier by asking the question “Does what we’re about to do get us closer to the vision?”

A vision statement has two components: the external vision and the internal vision.

The external vision defines the outcome you want to achieve. The internal vision is one of change, but it also is a clear understanding of the strengths of your colleagues and the assets of the company.

For example, Kraft wants people around the world to eat and live better (external), and their core strengths are providing food that is easy to prepare and healthy for busy families.

As you begin to consider the marketing round vision (or the company vision, if you don’t already have one), the following questions should be brought to the first and second group meetings:

  1. What are our strengths, as a group and as an organization?
  2. What are our weaknesses?
  3. What are our opportunities? Where are we stronger than our competition?
  4. What are our threats? Where is the competition beating us?
  5. Who are our primary customers?
  6. Who are our primary influencers?
  7. What trends are affecting our business?
  8. What trends are affecting our customers?
  9. How do we create value for customers?
  10. Do we talk about ourselves more than we do about our customers?
  11. Do we have anything innovative coming out in the next year? If not, is there anything we can create that provides our customers with something new to stay ahead of the trends?
  12. What challenges will we face as we begin to communicate this vision internally? Externally?

Now, write your vision.

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Creating the SMARTER Goals

In order to create the dashboard you’ll use for reporting every week, you need to create your goals.

In the dashboard exercise, there are some examples you can use, but they are consolidated. Your SMARTER goals need to be clear and use each letter of the acronym.

Let’s take sales as an example.

Increase sales by 5 percent in the next 12 months (remember, this is just for the marketing round team, not the entire company).

It’s specific, it’s measurable, you have to decide whether it’s attainable, it’s certainly relevant, and it’s time-bound. Then you’ll evaluate how the marketing round’s efforts are affecting sales and reevaluate during every team meeting.

Now it’s your turn. For every discipline that makes up your marketing round, each person should create one to three SMARTER goals using Table 1.1 as a template. Remember, they should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound, evaluate, and reevaluate.

Table 1.1. Creating SMARTER Goals

Goal #1

Goal #2

Goal #3

Marketing

Advertising

Public Relations

Corporate Communication

Digital/Web

Social Media

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Marketing

Direct Mail

Email

Content

Building the Dashboard

Although there isn’t a dashboard system that works the same way for everyone, there are certain metrics everyone should track. Those metrics are listed under the appropriate goal, but they are not, by any means, the only things to be considered for each.

This document, shown in Table 1.2, can be used to help the marketing round determine what should be tracked and who is responsible for reporting to the team. In some cases, you may want to get your chief financial officer involved to help determine the benchmarks from which to measure each month.

Table 1.2. Dashboard Metrics

VISION:

Responsible

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Goals

Sales

  • Increase
  • Sales specific to a product or service (i.e., eBook or inventory selection)

Lead Nurturing

  • # of downloads, registrations, or subscriptions

Lead Generation

  • # of unique contacts

Lead Conversion

  • # of unique contacts to become customers

Customer Retention/Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

  • Days, months, years customers remain

Customer Service

  • Reduction in call volume
  • Improvement in using social platforms with customers

Brand Awareness

  • Increase in mentions of produce or service online

Thought Leadership

  • Increase in interviews and guest blog opportunities
  • Increase in speaking engagements

Web Site Traffic

  • Increase in visitors
  • Increase in unique visitors

Employee Retention

  • Decrease in turnover
  • Increase in morale as defined through surveys

Other goals:

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