OK…We have cleared how you can become successful by managing your objectives. Now what?
The Second Step: Separate components
In trying to formulate your marketing mix, you should separate the components.
Do not confuse an Objective “We want 30% of the take-out pizza market in Newcastle” with a Method “We will advertise more on Facebook”.
Do not confuse an Objective “We want to sell 5,000 folding bicycles in California next year”, with a Strategy “We will concentrate our marketing in California.”
The Objective is the most important component. If you set a clear objective, you will probably achieve it. President Kennedy famously said “The United States should set as a goal the landing of a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth by the end of this decade”. The Objective was numerical (250,000 miles) and measurable (they got back OK) and had a time frame (end of 1969).
It is easy to confuse a Method and an Objective. The International Space Station is a Method of living in orbit. Lacking a numerical and measurable objective, the Space Station has circled aimlessly for many years, costing billions of dollars, and accomplishing no scientific breakthroughs.
Once you have your Marketing Objectives set, the Strategy and Methods flow naturally.
For example, you may set an Objective “Whatever Princess Catherine wears today, we want to ship 100 copies by noon tomorrow.” This is an easy numerical Objective to measure, and would be very profitable, but it could be difficult to execute.
However, clear Marketing Objectives will get you thinking along the right lines.
- First, we cannot make these clothes in China as the shipping takes too long.
- Second, we need to find paparazzi who will email us photos as they follow the Princess.
- Third, we will need a lot of cloth in different colors as we will not have enough time to order the cloth.
Maybe we will need some computer software to convert photos into patterns. We will limit production to the 2 most popular sizes. It all starts to come together, and soon all our customers will look as delightful as Princess Kate, and the bank will be happy.
So we realize the Strategy as “onshore, same day design, manufacturing, and sales of women’s dresses in limited sizes.” The Methods are the paparazzi, the design software, computer controlled laser fabric cutting machines, high speed sewing equipment, and contracts with boutiques in Knightsbridge.
Do not be timid in setting goals
Embracing the stretch Objective works wonders. This blogger worked on a large healthcare call center project. Patients were often waiting almost an hour on hold to speak to nurses who were scattered throughout 100 clinics. The company set a stretch Objective for the new Call Centre – maximum time on hold will be 20 seconds. From there, every project decision was oriented to that “20 seconds”.
The Strategy and the Methods followed naturally. The Strategy was “design a centralized 24-hour call center, staffed by licensed nurses, with all patient information online”. The Methods were a team of nurses who only worked in the call center, an advanced telephone system, an online diagnostic decision tree, and a new patient database.
The goal was met the first opening day.
President Kennedy set a stretch Objective for a program with huge unknown technical challenges. The program was tremendously successful.
Of course, you don’t have to be President Kennedy to set a defined stretch goal, but if you do, you will probably find you will accomplish the same success.