Saturday, July 28, 2012

101 Marketing Secrets - Whoops! Starting Over At the Real Beginning

What a difference a week makes.  Just last week I started this list of 101 Marketing Secrets based on my 60 years of experience as a sales and marketing professional.  I know that in my pictures, I don't look like I'm 80+.  Old photo?  Great surgery?  Excellent genes?  Not exactly.  I started selling at age five when my great grandmother gave me some Christmas card samples left over from taking orders and sent me out door-to-door.  That was the beginning of an almost continuous 60 years of starting small businesses, some of which got big.

Not me!
But, I digress.  As I was researching one of the posts, I ended up down one of those rabbit trails we all go on doing internet search.  And it hit me.  Starting with profit, cost, and sales were pretty darn interesting, and counter-intuitive for most readers.  But they should have followed goals, strategy, and tactics.  Maybe these can be the prequel trilogy released after the first trilogy.  My kids are shouting "You're no George Lucas, Dad."

Goals Are the First Step in Every Major and Minor Marketing Process

The word "every" is a well considered word.  My editors sometimes point to my use of such words that may or may not be provable.  In this case, I'm saying every, and I'm sticking with it.

The first marketing goal setting session should be personal.  What are your goals.  Being 100% honest here, I haven't always, and don't always take the appropriate time to contemplate my personal goals.  At almost 100 years-old, I have not drawn up my bucket list.  But the other day I was in a conversation with someone approaching retirement, and doing a bit of counting of her available retirement funds.  She wondered out loud how she could maximize her income and net worth by age 65.  My immediate response was "Why does it matter?  What will you do with the money?"

I suspect that everyone reading this could get by in retirement on $3000 a month of after tax income if single and $5000 if married.  Maybe far less.  So what would you do differently if you had double or triple that number.  Maybe nothing.  Maybe it is just for peace of mind or a desire to leave a bunch to the kids or grandkids.  But wouldn't it make sense to have some goals so that the decisions you make are grounded in strategies and tactics that are likely to get you to the goals?

Then you come to your larger business issues.  What are the goals of your small business?  Sell out someday?  Leave to kids?  Work until you drop?  Why?  Generate a certain amount of income?  Value?  Why?

Now, let's drop down another level.  Goals for a new product launch.  Goals for an event.  Goals for an advertising campaign.  Goals for an expansion.  Goals for sales.  Goals for profits.  Goals for the next hire.  Goals for each employee position.  Goals for a new equipment purchase.

The Point - Whether you are having a team meeting or make all decisions on your own, start each decision process with a statement of the goal.  As you write down the goal, there should be some ability to see that this goal coincides with the overall goals of your company and your personal aspirations.

If you would like to learn more about goal setting, purchase a copy of my most recent Warner Business Book offering, Running a 21st Century Small Business.  I will admit that some of the internet portions are outdated, but most of the book is still 100% on point.  And the cost is nominal.

Next we will review the difference between strategies and tactics.  Do you know the difference?  Does it really matter?

How are you doing at setting goals before making decisions?  Do you suspect that setting goals would make a difference in outcomes?  Let me know in the comments.

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