Setting Goals

Setting Goals

Shawn Doyle (not the Canadian actor on House of Cards) is a public speaker and assists people to get better at what they do. I love his quote, “You can’t hit a target unless you are aiming for it, and you can’t achieve a goal without having one.”

Every day, I deal with sponsors and properties that need to understand this. In my mind, they don’t have specific and defined goals, and that is why they often feel as though they are on a treadmill. They are investing in sponsorship marketing, but don’t seem to be getting ahead. The reality is that they truly don’t know if they are getting ahead or not, because they don’t have defined goals.

We work with our brand clients to define their objectives in much more detail. Without specifics, they cannot truly determine their ROI. When they say, “We want to increase brand awareness,” “We need to see sales rise,” “We need to drive more traffic to our social channels or web site,” or “We need to get our staff more engaged with our company,” I say “Those are well and good, but what do they mean?”

Here is how I might define those more specifically.

  • Our goal is to see a 6% increase in sales revenue over same period last year (quarter) where we were aligned with ABC event.
  • We seek to generate 2,500 new followers on Facebook within six weeks.
  • We seek to generate an increase in time spent on this or that specific page on our website over a six-month period.
  • Our objective is that, within five years of this marathon sponsorship launch, we will have an 85% employee participation around the event either through running, volunteering, or pledging.

Without specifics, you cannot measure success or failure. Furthermore, if you have specifics, you can set benchmarks along the way to ensure you are not waiting until your sponsorship or the event is over to determine ROI. You can measure along the way and adapt if necessary.

It is no different for those on the property side. Your goals may be 20% new sponsor growth, a 90% retention rate with existing sponsors, or an average 7% year-over-year growth in returning sponsor revenue. It may be ensuring there are $X being spent by your sponsors in activation or looking for X number of activations over a set period of time. If you are really good, the goal might be to ensure each sponsor achieves its two top goals associated with your property!

Without defined goals, we cannot be successful. Well, at least we won’t know if we are successful other than through the anecdotal “Boy, a lot of people probably saw our banner” or “Everyone seemed to be smiling at the event, so that was great!”

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  1. Hi Brent!
    Great read and valid point. I see this way too often with very generic and vague goals. What is the most unique or abstract goal you have ever heaed from a client?

    • Josh,
      One of the most unique was back in the 90’s from a fast food chain that had a strong brand from the 60’s and 70’s but needed to rebuild brand awareness and consumer confidence. They were doing a mass expansion in Alberta and Saskatchewan and BC to some extent. They were building corporate owned stores in large, but also small community rural markets. Then they were selling the stores once up and running to franchisees. The goal was to make them look bigger and higher profile than they actually were. To give the impression to the potential franchisees that they were in the big leagues So we tied them into a sponsorship and promotional program on radio and with the Flames radio broadcasts. Sure there was some traditional goals to drive store traffic and revenues, but the biggest part of the goal was a B2B objective from a consumer retailer.

  2. Hi Brent!
    Great point. I’m sure they saw some good ROI on that investment! Another example of that type of goal was with Lucas Oil about a decade ago with their naming rights deal for the Colts’ new stadium in Indianapolis. They wanted to appear to the public and commercial markets as a big-time player in the oil industry, while in reality (at the time of purchase at least) they were a small-medium sized oil company.

  3. Josh,

    Yes, very similar!! Thanks again for your insights and input. Brent


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