What’s you ‘more’?

In his 1989 book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, Steven Covey selects as his second habit ‘Begin with the End in Mind’. It’s one of my favourites, and I do try to adhere to it whenever I can. I sometimes paraphrase it as “work out where you want to go before you set off”. It seems so obvious and yet time and again I see examples in business of this vital step having been missed.
The most common place I see this ‘gap’ is not surprisingly in relation to marketing. Many business owners and leaders seem to be either perplexed by the complexity of marketing and just sign the cheques, hoping something good will happen, or are scared of challenging the marketing team (in-house or external) to define what they are aiming to deliver.
The alternative to beginning with the end in mind is the saying “If you don’t know where you are going, the one thing you can be sure of is that you won’t get there.” This is the situation I often see in small and medium-sized businesses. Lots of well-intentioned marketing activity, but results that surprise and disappoint in equal measure.
When the question is posed – “What do you want your marketing to deliver?” the answer usually begins with the word “more”. It’s usually more sales, more leads, more profit, more business value, more attractive (to staff, recruits, referrers, distributors or suppliers). That shouldn’t be a big surprise of course; if you are investing time and money in marketing, there should be a significant improvement in performance as a result.
What would it be for your business?
If you could move forward in time 3 years, and look back on a highly successful marketing programme, what would it have achieved? What would be different in your business as a result of that marketing activity?
Or, if you prefer to look at it a different way, if you think about where your business is now, what does your marketing have to do to help you address your challenges, take advantage of your opportunities and achieve your goals?
I’ll bet the word “more” features quite heavily!