Managing our own expectations with anything, personally or in business, isn’t always easy. There are many factors involved; emotions, money invested, time invested, reputation, competition and well, just being human…
Often it isn’t just the case of managing only your own expectations either, but also that of your business partners, team members, professional contacts, suppliers and so on, which adds another layer of complexity.
When it comes to business marketing though, there are a few things you can do to manage your expectations, so they don’t manage you!
It is good to have high expectations, right?
Well, yes and no…
There is always the argument that says it is important to have high expectations so you can strive forward in life and in business.
However, high expectations do need to be reigned in with a reality check as to whether they are attainable.
If your high expectations are backed with real statistical evidence that they are doable with the resources you have at your disposal, then by all means aim high and expect the best.
However, in reality, expectations are nothing more than our best guesses with a splash of hope. Mostly they are based on emotions like pride, competitiveness and desire to achieve. And many expectations are not attainable.
The biggest danger with having high expectations is that it ultimately leads to disappointment. And often that disappointment is channelled at someone else – your supplier, your contractor or your team mate – rather than reassessing how realistic your desired outcome was in the first instance.
3 ways to better manage your own expectations in marketing
Here are 3 ways to better manage your own expectations when it comes to your marketing campaigns:
(1) Don’t mistake expectations for goals
Remind yourself that goals and expectations are two different things. Goals are based on reality and facts, whereas expectations are based on belief and hope.
It is really best to relinquish all expectation and instead work strategically towards achieving your goals.
(2) Communicate with others for a reality check
Whatever marketing campaign you are about to embark on, or have running, sound out it’s potential by talking to others first.
Just because you have what you think is a resounding idea that will yield the returns you think it will, it doesn’t mean it will. First, talk it through with business partners or colleagues who will give you their honest feedback.
Also talk it through with marketing professionals that will have experience in seeing how results pan out for similar campaigns and promotional ideas for other businesses. Whilst there is no magic wand to give the exact same results for one campaign as another, there are typically trends that can be tapped into, which help to turn your unmanaged expectations into realistic goals.
(3) Check in with available statistics and tools
It is logic that a blog, no matter how wonderful it is, with all the right SEO techniques applied, will reach Page 1 on Google as soon as it is posted live. But logic tends to go out of the window when we are managing our own expectations!
This is why it is always helpful to use past performance statistics to assess your chance of potential success. This could be from the wider market, or from the statistics you have available from your own campaigns.
Google Analytics, Mailchimp (and other mailing apps), Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram (and all social platforms), all have their own means to extract data from past marketing efforts. Some also have market benchmarks as added information.
Use these tools to align your expectations with reality, for example:
- Review Open Rates on historical email campaigns to assess how many people may open your next e-newsletter.
- Check in regularly with your social media post performance, so you can gauge which posts are engaging and which are not, which adverts are successful and which are not. Use this as a basis to goal-set for future social campaigns.
- Ensure you use Google Analytics or another web analytics tool to see how your website is performing month on month, including paying attention to where your traffic is coming from, so you can see the campaigns that are actually bringing results.
Marketing Square provide regular performance reports for all our marketing campaigns, which can be used as a benchmark.
“If you align expectations with reality you will never be disappointed.”
Create satisfaction in your marketing
So, whilst it is good to aim high in business and in life, to avoid disappointment it is vital that you factor in reality.
It also makes your working relationships more fruitful.
When your expectations are not met, it is natural to look for the scape-goat as emotions are involved.
When your goals are not met, you can strategically look at the reasons why, as your goals will have been based on facts and reality. This objective assessment enables you to continually tweak your marketing strategy.
Key points and next steps
- Communicate with colleagues and professionals to sound out new ideas and to ensure you are not running away with unattainable expectations.
- Factor in the budget and time you are allocating to your marketing, or a marketing activity, and have a really good think about what could realistically be achieved given your resources.
- Relinquish expectations and instead work towards realistic goals.
- Use statistics, tools and reports at your disposal to ensure your goals are realistic.
Best of luck – you know where we are if you need anything!