Inbound Marketing is an S.O.B. of a Problem!

Frustrated with your marketing?  

You are not alone, I often need to remind myself that it can be an S.O.B of a problem. Once I stop laughing when I think about that, I can generally start focusing on what needs to be done in order to fix it.

Set Realistic Marketing Goals

It seems that one of the hardest concepts for people to grasp in marketing is how to set realistic and measurable goals.

Clients often say to me, “I want more sales, can you get me leads?”  If the answer to the question was easy, there would be no need for marketing at all. People could simply go out and buy leads, measure conversion and know exactly how many sales each day or year it would generate.  As I am sure you are already aware, it doesn’t quite work that way. You need to consider a number of factors when dealing with people.  Do they, will they and can they afford to buy your products and services, etc?

Do they, will they and can they afford to buy your products and services, etc?

Marketing is about analyzing the buyers, the market and then creating strategies based on those metrics in order to measure success. Not all of these metrics can be quantified because sales are not the only metrics that are important to the brand.  

How do you know that you have been successful if you have no idea where you’re going?

If you were planning a road trip across the country to Florida, a different route would be needed to take depending on where you started from. Your starting and ending point will determine the road or highway that you will take, the time in which you will need to get there and how much it will cost.  

If an individual travels from Montreal, the itinerary will look a lot different than someone who is traveling from Georgia.  

Consequently, each of these individuals could have the very same family situation, interests, be the same gender, speak the same language and have the same annual income. The only thing different between them is the distance and cost it will be to get to Florida.  

Do you think each of them will have the same measurable and realistic marketing goals?

  • They both want to get to Florida  – this goal can be achieved by both of them easily.
  • They both want to get to Florida before Monday – this goal can be achieved by both of them if one leaves earlier than the other one.
  • They both want to get to Florida before Monday for a cost of less than 150.00 – this goal is achieved by both of them if one leaves earlier than the other and does not eat at restaurants or pit stops along the way.

Goals like the one depicted in the first statement are easy to reach, but they do not clearly define the plan of action that one must take in order to achieve it, and they are harder to measure.  Marketing goals are similar.

  1. If the goal of the brand is to increase sales and leads, this is easily achieved with a small amount of effort.  Success is hard to measure because any increase would result in a positive score.
  2. However, if the goal is to increase sales by 50% within a three month period, this is a bit more definitive. It is also hard to achieve, but easier to measure as the value will be positive or negative.

The marketing plan in the second scenario would look a lot different.  

Many business owners fail to understand what their own needs are and therefore any measure of success seems good to them when clearly this is not the case.

Creating realistic, definitive measurable goals is the most important part of inbound marketing success.

Organize your marketing

Using an Inbound Marketing or CRM management systems like HubSpot or Marketo is the best way to keep your marketing organized and makes everything easy to track, but this type of system can be very expensive and is sometimes cumbersome. There is so much information that business owners and marketers often get lost in it.

You can easily create your own similar DIY system by creating a number of customized Excel sheets and templates. It might take a while to create the first set, but once created, they can easily be modified to use over and over again. Create a folder for each campaign and client and place the templates in there, edit them for each new campaign or client.

Each marketing folder should contain (at minimum):

  • A template for setting and measuring goals.
  • Keyword analysis and similar SEO information.
  • A buyer persona template.
  • Google (or other) analysis for measuring metrics each month. This will include things like traffic, engagements and social media buzz.
  • A detailed Social Media Marketing plan or schedule.
  • A detailed content management plan or schedule.
  • Client information and resources such as the images you are going to use for posting.


Be flexible with your marketing

Inbound marketing is an S.O.B and things will go wrong.  Don’t sweat it – fix it. You need to be flexible in your attitude and planning to allow room for errors and adjustments. If your plans are too rigid or based on unrealistic and specific expectations that cannot easily be changed, you will likely fail.

You must remember, you are dealing with individuals and metrics that are hard to measure, don’t be fooled into thinking you are above that, be flexible in knowing that you aren’t. You cannot always predict what a person will do or how they react, you can only try.  

Need help organizing your marketing and getting on track?  We can help get you there.  Call today for a free assessment of your current situation. 1-450-613-2576

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Published by Madeline Foster

I am a senior digital marketer, product manager, and consultant but I also like to write about trendy things. My passion has always been writing, my mission is to help the world become a better place through socially responsible social media because I believe that everyone needs a voice.

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