The Real Reason Why Your Quarterly Marketing Strategies Suck

It’s the middle of the middle month of the quarter, which means it’s probably time to plan out the content for the next quarter. Hopefully, this quarter is going great. But it might not be, and it’s not the end of the world. Luckily, there’s another quarter around the corner, so look at it like a second chance and make the most of it.

Here’s the thing, a lot of quarterly strategies aren’t good because they aren’t based on real goals.

They Aren’t Based on Real Goals

You may have already heard this comparison, but I’m going to run with it anyway. Business goals in quarterly strategy planning are like having a destination when you plan on going somewhere.

I enjoy an aimless walk as much as the next person, but when you’re running a marketing strategy you probably don’t want it to feel like an aimless walk. So, in this case, when we’re “going somewhere”, we really need to get there.

Alright, cool. I have a few questions about where we’re going.

  • What address do we put on Google Maps?
  • Are we going to need to stop anywhere on the way? If so, we should be sure it’s on the way to our destination.
  • Should we drive, take the subway, Citi Bike, or walk?

Goals Touch Everything in Our Quarterly Marketing Strategies

I bet this is obvious, but I’m going to say it in the name of due diligence. Goals touch everything in our marketing strategy.

Here’s a list of some of these strategic questions to ask about various marketing initiatives. Obviously, these questions are a lot easier to answer if we know the goals we’re marketing towards.

  • What happens before, during, and after a sales handoff?
  • What advertising platform should we use?
  • How do we break up our budget?
  • Are we running Google Ads, Spotify, Twitter, or Native Programmatic?
  • Will we be investing in any traditional media?
  • How should we configure out marketing automation campaigns?
  • Where should we focus our PR work?
  • Are we pursuing social media?
  • Who, or what, should we be listening to, or for, on social media
  • Do we need to blog?

Real Goals vs. Phony Goal Setting

In spite of the corny comparison before, goals are still insanely important, and getting real goals is crucial.

So, what’s the difference between real and phony goal setting?

Phony Goals: Clients Giving Goal Data Just to Move the Conversation Forward

If you’ve ever been talking with someone who is taking the stance that you’re wasting their time by asking about their goals, you’ve experienced phony goals.

If this has happened to you, I suggest packing it up and reconvening when they’re ready to talk. Humoring this lack of respect for proper goal communication will set you up for a hard relationship together.

A client who shares goals quickly just to get the conversation moving to the next phase is the equivalent of jumping in your car and picking a random destination in Google Maps just to start driving.

If that’s how your client wants to run their marketing, good for them. Personally, I’d move on though.

Real Goal Setting: Respecting the Goal Creation Process as the One Thing We Absolutely Need

While we strive for our best, we can have a content strategy that isn’t a raving success when we get started. While not ideal, this isn’t a death sentence. We can use testing and data to guide it back on track.

Goals, on the other hand, absolutely have to be on point from the very beginning, we can’t course correct goals based on engagement with our content. It doesn’t work that way So the process demands respect. Clients who respect goal setting prioritize it above everything else and see it as our North Star.

I hope you all have solid goals and an inspiring vision to lean on when planning this quarter. But if you don’t, you can make it right, there’s still time.

Happy strategizing.