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Digital Marketing Certified – Chapter 1 – The Goal

Previously in Digital Marketing Certified, I shared a little bit of my story, my path to and through digital marketing from investing $2,000 to making $12.   I also shared how it’s actually worse to get stuck in a rat race as an entrepreneur.

You probably also learned for the first time that it’s cheaper and much more effective and efficient to leverage digital marketing to build a business than it is to spend your hard earned money on billboards and yellow books.

Okay.  I know I didn’t mention yellow books yet.  But you should know that it’s probably the biggest scam of the 2010’s because many people still spent millions of dollars literally on those two marketing channels long after it had become obsolete.  Sure we still received it at the house but they went straight into the garbage right?

I am glad you are still reading because we are actually just getting started.  Just like the last 10 years of digital marketing, that was all introduction.

This whole thing is about to be better and more exciting.  We are just scratching the surface.  And I’ve promised from the beginning, I want to take you on a journey that is so self explanatory, you couldn’t wait to apply to your own businesses and endeavors.

If you are like me, you shy away from attention.  It’s like a taboo to seek attention beyond the average level of attention that you get when you go to work daily.  But fortunately or unfortunately, you have to get attention when you have a product or service to offer.  You can’t get stuck with that “I’m conservative” excuse.

I am speaking from experience.  I know it may be hard to believe but I am introverted to a large extent.  My natural instinct is to keep things quiet and win quietly.  But that won’t work when you have a business to run with a goal to at least create more positive impact. Precisely, you need attention.

So Lisa just wanted to make money.  That was the goal she thought.  She had spent probably about $2,300 or more in different digital products in efforts to make money online.  Not only that, she had abandoned some other traditional business she was trying to build.

This was the very early days of marketing online and it was an exciting idea particularly for those who were tired of chasing family and friends around to support their little businesses.  For some people, the goal had become to shame those who never supported them, to prove a point or to seek validation from the wrong sources.

Lisa had just lost her life savings on investing in a traditional business and she wanted to make some quick money so that she can prove to herself that she can do it.  But that is “it?”

This is also a tell-tale sign and little-to-no wonder why she lost money in the first place.  Do you notice the vague nature of her goals?

Many people jump into digital marketing just like Lisa.  It’s either a goal with respect to sentiments or goals set in the wrong direction.

The truth is that there are more than enough platforms online that will take your money and send you back into the streets without apologizing for it.  It’s your responsibility to turn profit and their responsibility to take your money in exchange for access to the advertising platform.

After my first consultation with her, it was clear to me that we couldn’t move forward until I helped her set clear and concise goals.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.

“What’s your goal?” “I want to get more clients.” “Why?” “Because I want to.”  “Okay.  I can’t help you.” “Why not?”  “Because I can’t.” “Okay thanks.”  That’s literally but probably an oversimplified version of the conversations.  

But it’s actually worse now because anyone can jump on an advertising platform and lose money because it’s accessible.  

Many of the online and social media ad platforms are advertising the easy to get started message.  So people are jumping on, setting up an account without setting goals properly.

Digital marketing is a beautiful development in recent and modern times but there are more variables and layers to it than a typical human mind can contain or sustain at any point in time.

Digital Marketing

Therefore it’s easy to lose track of activities and potentially lose money just by the mere fact that you know what you want.  You know your business more than anyone else and I’m sure you think you know who your ideal customers and clients are.  

But that’s a problem.  Let me explain.

For everything that you know about anything in life, there is always a blindspot.  You can also think of such blindspot as a function of your biases based on your past experiences.  Traditionally, that would be good enough to carry you for up to 5 years or even more with advertising your product and services.

However like everything else now in the human experience, what you knew yesterday can be easily obsolete today just like that.  Things are moving so fast that the human brain can’t keep up.  And what does this have to do with setting goals in digital marketing?

Wait.  I’ll get there.  As I was saying, you think you know your business.  In fact, you too have your social media profile and participate as a consumer on those various platforms; but that’s it.  As a consumer, you know these things.

In this book, we are focused on what it takes to be a profitable producer for the various digital platforms.  Everything happens so fast and it will be a losing battle to attempt to keep up with it just by knowing what you want.

Knowing what you want is not enough to run digital marketing campaigns successfully.  It’s precisely a good way to lose money or lose time and energy or run campaigns that will frustrate you and make you resent the idea of digital marketing all together.

Instead, I want to help you set smart goals.  S.M.A.R.T goals.  I promise.  I am not talking about vision boards.  And I am not knocking vision boards either.  But they can be as vague as they get.

Knowing what you want is a good place to start but it needs to be aligned with quantifiable business goals and objectives.  

Too many people work for 10 years or more, save good money and build excellent credit, run to the bank to get a loan.. Just off knowing what they want.

I have way too many stories of people who have had to start from scratch like that.  Some of them even lose their family because of the financial stress on the relationships they care about.  I can tell you that it starts from the foundation.

Once you’ve identified what you want from digital marketing, be it leads, sales, customers, clients, deals or to recruit quality team members into your organization, then it’s time to put that into black and white, assess and align with your business goals. 

I want you to trace it to actual profits or whatever you want to call it in order to be able to afford doing it.  The way I was raised, I also tend to shy away from the idea of maximizing profits.  So I understand when people say things like “I just want to help people.”

That’s cute.  But you also want to be able to afford doing it over and over again.  Breaking even on the money, time and energy you spend on either a for-profit or non-profit organization will end up frustrating the whole thing.  And then it becomes pointless.  

So it’s very important to align what you want out of this with maximizing profits and business goals in order to define goals and business objectives properly for your digital marketing efforts.  To suggest anything less than spelling it out like this for you is destructive behavior.

Your goals need to be defined in a quantifiable manner.  Remember this was all about finding new opportunities to serve.  

This could be a new student for your school or course, a new customer for your business, a new client for your private consulting practice,  a new deal etc.  

The bottomline is that these are people that will go from awareness of what you have to offer to consideration of your product or service and then hopefully to conversion.  You could be a pastor and we could be talking about attracting new members to your church.

So this is going to be an experience for them from awareness or discovery to conversion.  What are your goals?  And how soon do you want to accomplish the goals?  

In addition to that, I want you to be aware that the experience of your ideal customer, client or member will happen in segments.  Some of them will discover you and convert to a customer right away, some will not convert till two years later and everything in between.  Oh… and some will never convert.

Branding and influence

You will set high level goals and you will also set goals to optimize the experience of the audience firstly by building brand and influence.  “Branding and influence” all in itself sounds vague but we are able to quantify and track progress with digital marketing.

Back in 2009, when I first stumbled into digital marketing, it was easy to set up an experience and make money without  branding but competition is a bit higher right now as digital marketing becomes more popular.

How do we know?  We set high level goals such as a specific amount like say… One Million Dollars in Sale in One Year, but we also set micro-goals at every segment in the experience of your customer.

A smart goal will also help in a feasibility study before wasting your hard earned money on a project that will lead nowhere.  Digital Marketing is for everyone but every campaign type is not for every business type.  A smart goal will help us further in a feasibility study of a good campaign fit among so many opportunities.

Let’s spell out smart  goals.  S.M.A.R.T.  And let’s break it down.  I did not create this.  From a little research, I found out that the smart goal is a concept that was created in 1981 by George T. Doran.  Since I’ve personally learned about it, I’ve also seen different versions of it.

S for Specific – Your goal needs to be one thing at least defined as that… at a high level first before we break it down using a process called CBS (Campaign Breakdown Structure).

There is a book I will recommend and link up in the reference section at the end of this book called “ONE THING” by Gary Keller to help you understand the concept even more.

M for Measurable – The project management institute (PMI) called this “meaningful”.  I think that is interesting.

What it means (no pun intended) is that you can actually measure your goal and therefore be able to track progress towards achieving it.  “Speaking of achieving it…”

A for Achievable – How realistic is this goal?  I know you may have heard and believe in all types of manifestation of your desires and all types of Jedi mind tricks and techniques to attract what you want in life.  I believe in those things too.

But when you are setting up digital marketing campaigns that involve spending time, energy and possibly your hard earned money, I want you to make sure that you are doing so with respect to a realistically achievable goal.

The manifestation stuff depends on hope as a strategy but successful digital marketing campaigns depend on setting specific, meaningful and achievable goals.

Do you have the skills to achieve the goals?  If you don’t, does someone on your team have the skills?  Or do you have access to the necessary education to acquire the skills?  That is obviously a “yes” because this is a great start in that direction.

If you will be dropping this book before you complete it, it’s best to throw any digital marketing related goals in the trash already.  It will save you so much headache.

Without the direct or indirect access to the required skills and resources, especially education, you will lose money in digital marketing and it’s worse if you are losing it in the form of time and energy.  

You can make money back but you can’t get time back.  When people waste time, they are usually not valuing and tracking their time properly.

R for Relevant – I’ve seen other versions labeling this as realistic.  But that would probably correlate more with the previous one which is “achievable”.  

The relevance factor is moreso another level of making sure your goal for a digital marketing campaign aligns with your overall business objective.  If it doesn’t, it becomes another distraction.

Personally, I resent all forms of distractions in business because frankly, I’ve been a victim of distractions multiple times in my business career.

advertising

Also, some of the advertising (or ad) platforms you will be setting campaigns up on have metrics for measuring relevance factor and quality score even at micro levels.  So I want you to start adopting that mindset right now already at this higher level.

T for Time-Bound – And again, PMI called this “timely”.  Remember, we are not just setting a goal of one million dollars in that previous example.  We are setting a time frame because of the dangers of Parkinson’s law.

What is Parkinson’s Law? 

Parkinson’s Law is the old adage that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. The term was first coined by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in an essay he wrote for “The Economist” in 1955.

When you don’t set a desired achievement time on a goal, you are still setting a time; forever or never.  These are terrible timeframes for business.  In fact, the ad platforms will stop taking your money eventually because they are set up to only work for folks who know what they are doing.

The whole point of this is to reiterate and reemphasize the importance of defining success up front and subsequently avoid unnecessary disappointments with your digital marketing campaigns. It’s a mindset and it’s the proper foundation before engaging too far and in too deep.

Here is an example of a goal statement.

Specific“I want to write a book called Digital Marketing Certified (DMC).”  

Measurable“The book will have a minimum of 10 chapters and 30,000 words between 150 and 200 pages.”

Achievable“Because I am busy with other endeavors, I can realistically achieve writing this book in about 12 weeks.”

Relevant“Digital Marketing Certified (DMC) is relevant to my overall business goals because it will educate my friends on what I do, help me get more students and clients, educate my future clients first, and more importantly make projects 1,000 times easier for the team and stakeholders.”

Time-Bound“The book will be ready for publishing in 12 weeks because I am committed to releasing a video version weekly on my YouTube channel. until release.”

I know what you are thinking.  “OLA, what about an actual digital marketing goal statement example?”  

I got you.

Specific“I want to generate new clients at the $7,500 price point into my consulting business with digital marketing.”

Measurable“I want to generate 13 new clients into my consulting business.”

Achievable “I have 2 clients already generated from my last traditional word of mouth campaign leveraging a messaging app broadcast. I have generated some revenue, streamlined by prospecting process and I can do this 13 more times definitely.”

Relevant“Getting 13 month more clients will not just put me at 15 clients which aligns with my overall  business goals, it will also bring in more revenue so that I can invest in more efficient processes, acquire more resources and build my team.  I don’t want to be a slave to the business.”

Time-Bound“I want to acquire all 13 new clients in the next 90 days.”

So this is what I want you to do.  Open an empty document on Google Docs and write your very own goal statement.  If I were you and I am completely new to digital marketing, I would definitely print it out for my desk.

In the next chapter, we will dive into the next piece of the pieces that you need to understand deeply in order to create successful and profitable digital marketing campaigns.

Like me, I know you want to serve many people.  But you must understand these people as individuals first and not as a group in order to create the most optimized impact as aligned with your overall business goals.