Three questions that apply to everyone and nearly everything:

Do you set goals?

Do you set up a plan to meet those goals?

Do you meet or exceed those goals?  

You can ask those same questions to a high school freshman, a college freshman, or a 50 year old and you will be able to determine the level of success they will achieve.

Everyone has goals, even if they don’t consider them goals. Each one of us has a goal of waking up, eating a couple of meals and going to sleep at the end of our day. But those goals can also be considered habits.

To really make some positive changes and improvements, setting goals is truly a first step.  Not the only step, but you have to have a goal first.

Let’s jump into the business world since that’s my focus and sharpen that focus to advertising and marketing.

The goal oriented question I have for you is:

Do You Have A Marketing Measuring Stick?

Last year I launched several advertising and marketing programs for new advertising partners and some were more successful than others.

Not because some produced greater measurable results.

The real reason some were more successful than others has to do with setting goals and measuring the performance.

Some businesses were kind of fuzzy on their goals and so it was hard to determine if or when they met their goals.

Some businesses set goals but never fully put in place a method to track or measure the results.

Other businesses had unrealistic expectations and were not open to learning how to properly align their goals and expectations with the actions required.

On the flip side, I got to work with several advertising partners that were wildly successful and will likely be lifelong advertising partners.

What’s the difference?

It comes back to: Do You Have A Marketing Measuring Stick?

If you don’t then you are having to rely on assumptions and feelings which is a dangerous way to live your life and a business.

Let me tell you about the advertising partners that quit last year but shouldn’t have.

The first one was a dentist who I had worked with a few years ago and helped them build their practice from scratch.  Then they cut expenses for awhile because they were expanding by buying another practice and wanted to show the bankers a more favorable cash flow.

Two years later, I meet with them again, but instead of meeting with the doctor and his wife whom I had worked with the first time, my meetings are with a staff person who has been assigned to handle his marketing.  I give her credit.  She is smart.  But she also needs some guidance and mentoring to help them make smart marketing decisions.

Instead, this dentist office didn’t follow my recommendations to track response.  Without this critical information, all they can do is go with feelings since they don’t have any data.  In my final meeting with them, they said, yes, they did get an increase in the types of patients that we were advertising for on the radio.  But no, they didn’t keep track and so it’s a wild guess as to how profitable they were.

The real problem with this dental practice is they cannot justify ANYTHING they are spending money on to bring in new patients, because they have no measuring stick or record keeping.   I really feel worse for them than me because they are blindly spending money without any accountability.  And unfortunately this is the way the majority of businesses make advertising decisions.

Ironically the other advertising partner was also a dentist and a competitor to the first dentist.  Their offices were about two miles apart.  With dentist #2, we had a measuring stick because our entire campaign was digital with no radio ads. The measuring stick I used was the reporting I got every month.  The digital ads were responsible for 80% of the new visitors to their website.  That’s more successful than any other digital campaign I have run!

So why did they quit?  They went in with a short sighted mentality.  They initially decided to give it a shot. I told them what our minimum time commitment was and they were reluctant but did it anyway.  And despite evidence that we were building their practice, they decided to use a different measuring stick.  They decided to stick with a budget no matter what the results were.   I had a gut feeling about both of these dentists from the beginning, and I was right.

One more doctor story.  This time a chiropractor with two offices.  This doctor and I worked together starting last summer and just recently I tweaked his campaign.  We were in agreement with how to measure and what to measure.  2017 is going to be a fantastic year for the chiropractor.

The dentists I worked with, I am going to use the information I did gather and find another dentist that can work hand in hand with me (including the “measuring stick” or tracking) and help them grow.

Do you have a marketing measuring stick?   Do you know what to measure and how to measure it?  Do you want help?