I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. Don’t get me wrong: I do find that the end of the Gregorian calendar is a good a time as any for self-reflection and goal setting. But I’ve also found that, for many, “resolutions” just don’t seem to stick very well after the first couple weeks of the year.
Often, that’s because the resolutions made are simply too vast — not specific, achievable goals with clear checkpoints along the way. With a vague goal in mind, many resolvers are left simply to try to achieve something unclear and — therefore — easy to forget and leave behind.
Rather than try to pay off on a measurement-free resolution like, “I’m going to lose weight,” setting specific goals, such as, “I’m going to lose five pounds in each of the first three months,” can take you from trying to doing. Remember Yoda’s famous words from The Empire Strikes Back? “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
Setting measurable and achievable goals leads to success. That should sound familiar to anyone reading this magazine. As the leaders of the performance-based marketing world, that’s been your life’s work — whether you’re the marketer or retailer, or the agency or service provider tasked with making those marketers’ and retailers’ campaigns a success.
Measurable marketing has become the way of life, especially in the expanding digital age. Today, if a campaign doesn’t start with obvious key performance indicators (KPIs) and clear ways to measure them, that campaign should be considered DOA.
But the trend toward performance-based campaigns hasn’t come without its own new set of challenges. Just take a look at some of the stories in this issue, including a feature on the growing expanse of the digital media universe and our latest update on the evolving consumer journey and what it means to marketers who are constantly refining their campaigns to connect with those consumers.
With media options expanding — and a quickly growing group of service providers claiming to have just the right ways to crack the code of sales and lead attribution — marketers can be just as overwhelmed by the data produced by performance-based campaigns (both online and off) as consumers can be the massive amount of marketing messages they receive.
What’s the only way for marketers to avoid being overwhelmed? Well, that takes us back to the beginning of this column: starting every campaign — or even every single facet of an omnichannel campaign — with clear, measurable, and (hopefully) achievable goals. Only if you know the specifics of what you want to achieve will true success come.
One last thing: best of luck to each of you on that first five pounds this month!
— Thomas Haire, Editor-in-Chief