Chasing the Dream

Like many hundreds of thousands of other parents, last Thursday was a big day for Gill and I, waiting for news of our daughter’s A level results. In our case, it was good news, all her hard work paid off with the grades required for her to go to music college and chase her dream of becoming a professional musician. Congratulations to her and all the other students who have gained a place at university, college or whatever the next step is for them.
Of course, while there is a huge focus on results day, it is really just the culmination of the years of practice, rehearsals, study, revision, tests, exams, auditions and concerts without which there would be no results.
Most businesses were started with a dream too, often captured in a business plan with goals. In marketing, we set objectives that relate to the bigger business goals and then build a strategy (the route to get there) and create short term action plans. Just as with students, it can take significant resource, applied consistently to reach the objectives. We need to track our effort – do we do what is in the plan? are we sticking to budget? are we staying on strategy? and are we getting the desired results? At the strategy development and planning stages we need to work out the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will show us if we are on track to achieve our marketing objectives and business goals.
It’s easy to lapse – we can drop the marketing activity when we are busy or cash is tight; give in to the temptation not to try to measure because it’s difficult and “it’s only an indicator”. But the lesson from the hundreds of thousands of students who last week moved one big step closer to their dreams is to keep to the plan, put in the hard work and measure the results.