Whenever I talk to a prospective client, one of my first questions is “What’s your goal?” I’m astonished by how often people have never given thought to the question. After some fumbling around, the answer I usually get is some variation of “Make more money.”
That’s a noble wish, but not very useful in establishing a direction. It’s only slightly more helpful than “Win the lottery.”
How much more money? By when? In which markets? To be truly useful, a goal must be specific, measurable, and have a time component.
Last week, I met with a client for whom we’re managing a pay-per-click campaign. He had recently analyzed his business and set a new goal: to double the number of clicks received on keywords relating to a particular product line by the end of this year. That told me exactly what we needed to do. Once a clear goal was established, reviewing the options and laying out the best plan was easy.
You know what they say: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up someplace else.” A pretty good argument for setting specific, measurable goals.