The simple marketing formula that'll save you a lot of grief



In a perfect world, you’d already have your positioning nailed. If not, check out this piece about positioning in marketing.

Now with a tick besides your hopeful positioning strategy, we need to talk about goal setting.

Goal setting. Everyone knows what it is, and does it at some point.

And yet; being good is difficult.

It’s easy to set goals, but hard to follow-through.

For marketers, effective goal setting is crucial to effective marketing. It sounds like common sense, but there’s an art to effective goal setting.

What makes a great goal? Too difficult and you give up. If it’s too easy, the outcome is likely to be mediocre at best.

Don’t worry, we're not going to rattle off Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely; as being the holy mecca of goal setting.

It’s a good acronym, but it helps you to develop, not accomplish goals.

Goal setting in itself achieves nothing other than giving yourself the illusion that you’re doing something productive. Yeah, we’ve all been there...

It’s all about doing stuff.

But before we can discover the secret behind achieving marketing goals, we need to learn about marketing with purpose.


What is marketing with purpose?

No, we’re not talking about social or not-for-profit marketing. Although, the principles discussed here would still work.

Instead, we’re talking about marketing with a clear strategy and goals in place. The flip side is marketing for marketing sake...

It’s no great surprise that this doesn’t work.

If you’re spending dollars on marketing or advertising just because you have an available budget... STOP. You’re throwing your budget down the waste dispenser.

Instead, read on, and start spending your marketing budget on activities that actually produce results.

But first, here’s the secret to marketing with purpose (it shouldn’t really be a surprise):


Goals + Strategy = Marketing with purpose

It’s amazing how often we encounter clients asking for a new website, social media management, blog articles etc. without any goals in mind.

It doesn’t make sense. You’re basically saying, do something with this money; because I want something done, but I don’t know why.

Why do you want a new website? Just because a competitor updated theirs, doesn't necessarily mean you should too.

Why do you want to be more active on Facebook? Because ‘Facebook is popular these days’ is not a strong-enough reason.

Why do you want to write a series of blog articles? Because you like reading articles online (hint: not a good reason).

You get the picture: goals plus strategy, and you’re good to go.

We discussed strategy extensively in our recent article. Today, we’re focusing on goals.

But not on goal setting (as this has been done to the nines); we’re focusing on how to achieve marketing goals.

How to work relentlessly to achieve marketing goals

Nothing's for certain. We can’t give you a magic formula, and boom: all your goals are achieved.

Hard work and persistence are always required. However, there’s a reason why certain marketers and advertisers have risen above the rest. David Ogilvy, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs; heard of them?

And no, they didn't achieve outstanding results because they were special. Their outputs were special, but they were born very much normal, and human.

So, how can you become a high achiever? 


High achievers think about goals differently. No matter how ambitious, they believe their goals are attainable. 

When you truly believe something, you don't give up at the first, second or third hurdle. You keep going and find a way. 

High achievers see goals as stepping stones to greater things. And what’s more; they're not aiming to accomplish them; they are going to accomplish them.

Applying this to your situation, you need to cultivate this attitude in yourself and the team around you.

It starts with you. If you don't believe a goal is achievable, why would anyone else? 

Dale Carnegie wrote that there is only one way to get people to do something, and that is to make them want to do it. He went on to discuss how there are two ways to achieve this:

1) Make people feel important
2) Show appreciation 

Be aware of how you talk. Are you encouraging? Are you appreciative? Are you optimistic? #winning

You need to express this confidence, especially after set-backs and during roadblocks. This is the time that people start to feel discouraged. 

Remind them (or yourself!) that it's all part of the process and keep moving forward. 


We touched on it before: high performers are not half-arsed people. They give everything to their pursuits or nothing at all.

Once they’ve set a goal, they roll up their sleeves and work to the point of obsession.

While we don't recommend that you work yourself into a frenzy, we do suggest that you accept that it's not going to be easy from the outset. 

When you commit to a goal, you accept the possibility of failure. Which is why so many of us don’t go all in. Instead, we half commit.

This is why so many of us don't achieve our goals. We need to shun 'intentions' and commit to clearly defined goals. 

Science also tells us that we need to take ownership of each goal. Otherwise, be prepared for disappointment. 

However, high achievers know that the outcome is never guaranteed. It requires complete commitment or you’re better off spending your energy elsewhere.

In a team environment, ensure that everyone has a defined set of tasks and emphasise the importance of each role. The more important they perceive their role, the harder they'll work to do their bit. 


Tell everyone you know. Write your goals down (not just once). Goals left in your head are more like dreams (hopes rather than actionable plans). 

If you work in a team, tell everyone and keep them updated on progress. However, don't forget that your colleagues will likely have professional goals of their own. 

Help them reach theirs and they’ll help you. Working collectively, you can move forward as a team.

As a team leader, you’ll need to motivate and ensure your team is moving in the right direction. Find out what drives each team member and try your best to align tasks with strengths and interests.

If that’s not enough, offer tangible incentives such as a day off, cash bonus or something more creative. 

Discuss goals everyday. Celebrate success and combat challenges together.

But don’t just talk about it with colleagues. Involve the other people in your life.

When your goals are out in the open; and your friends, family and the world can see them... you’ll have a lot of people to answer to.

The more transparent you are with your goals, the more accountable you’ll be to yourself and those around you. 

You're likely also be accountable to a boss and management. Clear communication can help you mitigate difficult situations, such as when you don't hit your targets. 

As long as you give regular and honest updates, results (positive or negative), shouldn't come as any great surprise to anyone. 

But don't make excuses or play the 'blame game' if things go pear-shaped... Just focus on how you could improve and what you would do differently next time. 

Management want to hear about learnings and improvement; and everyone in the organisation should want to see you and your team succeed. 


Goals + strategy = purpose. In some ways, that’s the easy part. Accomplishing goals requires a lot of hard graft.

What’s more, it requires an optimistic attitude, total commitment, good habits and accountability.

The good news: is that achievement is infectious. If a team or individual is lauded for good performances, then others will be motivated to raise their standards too. 

Unlocking the power of the collective, you and your team can achieve things you never thought possible.

Just ask Elon.

If you need help unlocking your strategy, get the positioning strategy guide here. If you’d like the PDF version of this article, download it here.

Positioning in marketing strategy guide