How To Set Actionable Marketing Goals

The Growth Report #45

Creepy Friday,

I let my new AI friend (let’s call her Gracy Growth) do the intro today.

Just click this link or on the picture below.

It’s nuts.

This is made with a software called Synthesia. You literally type a text and a non-existent (sorry Gracy!) person speaks it. They call it Video AI. Still not 100% there yet, but imagine Gracy in 5 years!

I was creeped out and needed to share this with someone.

Thanks for listening. You are a true friend.


We had a successful podcast launch last week and are back with another written newsletter episode of The Growth Report.

Drruuuummmroollls 🥁🥁🥁…

...Today's topics

📈 Marketing Strategy:
How To Set Actionable Marketing Goals

🧰 Tools of the Trade:
Educational Resources and Inspiration for Marketers

⛑️ Reflections from the Trenches:
Consistency is the Gatekeeper

📈 Marketing Strategy

How To Set Actionable Marketing Goals

We talked a little bit about defining the right KPI's for you and your team in the newsletter two weeks ago.

But let's have a look at one very important distinction when it comes to setting goals to drive action: Output Goals vs. Input Goals.

Output Goals

Output focused goals are things like retention rate, engagement rate, generated leads, quarterly revenue and so forth.

These are metrics you should monitor.

But output metrics are not action-oriented and hence difficult to actually grasp and make progress on. Especially if you communicate them to your team, freelancers or agency, output-focused goals can be dangerous.

Dangerous because, if not broken down to actionable steps, they can lead to scattered, wasteful efforts across team members with no underlying and coherent strategy.

Input Goals

Examples for very simplified input focused goals are: Releasing a podcast episode every week, spending 30 minutes making sales calls per day, implementing one prioritized acquisition experiment per week etc.

These are metrics you can act on.

Input goals give you a sense of control over your daily, weekly and monthly progress, but you should not use them blindly.

Because while (well defined) input metrics are a great way to break down and delegate larger goals, they don't offer the larger view and the why of a specific task.

Don't you use these goals in isolation

For example, let's say you want to generate 100 leads (output) and you set an goal of recording one webinar per week (input). After four webinars you recognize that while you made a huge buzz on LinkedIn or Instagram and lots of people visited your website, only 5 people actually showed up. So we gotta have a look and tweak the execution of that input metric or change it altogether, because the desired output (lots of leads) does not match the actual output (lots of website visits, but few leads).

🏋️‍♂️ Or a simpler way of putting it: If you want to get six-pack abs (output goal) and you decide to engage in 60 minute squat exercises 3x per week (input goal), you might strengthen those abdominal ads a little bit, but the real development (output) will be in your tighs and glutes.

And That's Why you need both.

It's really when you marry the two that you unlock the full potential. Output goals let you know where you want to go, but ultimately they’re out of your control. And while inputs are controllable, they alone don’t always lead to results. Inputs need something to work toward.

Or in Alan Cohen's words:

“Use both and overlook neither.”

Ultimately, it's your job to determine where setting output goals is enough (and let your team break it down into intelligent input goals that get the job done), and where defining the input goals yourself makes more sense so that you actually achieve the desired outcome (i.e. output).

🧰 Tools of the Trade:

Educational Resources and Inspiration for Marketers

🚢 Quote of the week

"A ship is safe in a harbor, but that is not what ships are built for."

John Shedd

Marketing & Leadership Education

Brands and (Digital) Products that caught my eye

  • 🐻 Bonjoro - A tool for video-based marketing funnels. Check out their examples, this could work really well for onboarding sequences for example!

  • 📝 GrowForm - Pre-built and embeddable multi-step forms that are already conversion-optimized!

  • 📊 OneBar - A knowledge wiki for your company that pulls questions and answers from Slack, Google Drive, Emails etc.

Interesting reads

  • ⏱️ Imitate then Innovate - To improve your writing, podcasting, marketing skills etc, binge-read your favorite writers, marketers and creators and shamelessly copy their style. Then innovate.

  • 💭 Technological Stagnation - Despite the frequent media coverage of blazing-fast change and innovation, there’s a question of, "Is progress today as fast as it was in the past?" This piece looks at the common objections to the idea that progress has slowed.

⛑️ Reflections From the Trenches

Consistency is the Gatekeeper

Historically I have not been a very patient man.

But I am starting to learn that meaningful progress and success (in every part of our lives) can only be attained through steady, consistent effort.

I really see two options in front of us: We can either be a genius or we can be patient.

So if you are not a genius (and your mum saying you are does not count!), then consistency is the hurdle to clear. It’s the required standard to progress.

Keep Shooting

Jame Clear made a sobering statement recently:

"It took me... 200+ articles before I got a book deal. 250+ articles before I got major media coverage. 100+ interviews before my book hit the bestseller list. You need a lot of shots on goal.
Not everything will work, but some of it will.
Keep shooting."

Or how the ever-wise Jack Butcher would put it in visual form:

Keep Shooting...that's stellar advice. Mistakes are part of the process.

It's only a failure if we don't try.

So Trying IS the practice.

The Conundrum

But you know what makes it so hard? We want results! And we want them now.

The art of patience and consistency really is about learning to stop obsessing over the end results. All we can ever do in the present moment is giving it our best.

And once we drop the need to control the outcome of our actions, anxiety starts to magically melt away and we are free to do our best work.

So let's keep shooting at the metaphorical goal or archery board.

And mistake by mistake, we'll get there.

That's it for this week.

Enjoy your well-earned weekend 🏡

See you next week,