Uncertainty: How to set business and marketing goals

Over the past year, we’ve learned that uncertainty can strike at any moment and hugely impact markets and consumer behavior.

Was your business prepared?

You may have survived a challenging year. Congratulations! You are now looking forward to a brighter future, but still very uncertain.

Setting business and marketing goals in an uncertain environment can be difficult. How can we make informed decisions without reliable predictors?

You can’t predict the future, but that’s not bad. What can I do? Stay transparent, manage your morale, and set goals that are adjusted to account for all possible outcomes.

Here are the steps.

Quick Take-Aways

It is essential to accept and acknowledge uncertainty to maintain company morale.

Brands can reap the benefits of focusing on objective factors and measures they can control.

Organizational innovation is best cultivated in uncertain times and during crises.

Brands must be transparent and customer-focused in all communications.

Set Effective Marketing and Business Goals

Let’s first define what it means to have a great business or marketing goal. Most businesses use SMART goals as a framework. These goals can be measurable, specific, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Using a SMART framework for goal setting is the difference between talking a lot (we’ve all been there) and setting specific goals with metrics to measure progress and keep you accountable.

Uncertainty makes it difficult to set business and marketing goals.

Although SMART goals sound lovely, what happens when external circumstances aren’t perfect or worse?

Over the past year, businesses in all industries have faced enormous uncertainty. Companies can take away from this: Uncertainty is difficult, but survival is possible.

Brands that face uncertainty head-on and adjust their marketing and business goals accordingly can thrive in an uncertain market. They often find new opportunities that they otherwise might not have seen.

The SMART goal framework is also helpful. It is still necessary and relevant, with realistic expectations, adjusted metrics, and an innovative mindset.

Embrace, Don’t Resist

Step one: Accept the uncertainty. It is impossible to change the current situation, and refusing to accept it will only cause friction between your company, your customers, and your employees.

Discuss the uncertainty and encourage discussion within the organization about how to set new goals and maintain company morale.

Transparency about uncertainty can reduce fear and anxiety. Most importantly, your employees will feel part of a team working towards a common goal.

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