Are we nearly there yet? The insanity of business goal setting - Thinking Out Loud 001

Are we nearly there yet? The insanity of business goal setting – Thinking Out Loud 001

by | Feb 16, 2023 | Business Strategy, Digital Marketing, Marketing OBJECTIVES, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Strategy Examples

Click through to the good bits.

00:00 Introduction.

02:50 Objectives.

07:04 Smart objectives.

08:16 5 Fundamentals of Leadership – Simon Sinek.

14:32 When David Goggins was in the military.

16:46 Formula for success – Andy Gwynn.

20:54 Marketing can save the world – Michelle Carvill.

25:15 Objectives in well-being – Abigail Dixon.

27:40 Businesses not thinking out their objectives – Claire Daniels.

29:54 The definition of success – Abigail Dixon.

32:52 Marketing strategy, objectives.

36:02 Growth for growth’s sake – Abigail Dixon.

39:55 Greta Thunberg to world leaders.

41:09 Objectives in capability – Ketan Makwana.

44:58 Reigning in your objectives – Ben Kench.

49:09 10.000 x your business – Michael Gerber.

Martin Henley: [00:00:13] Hello there. My name is Martin Henley. This is the Effective Marketing content extravaganza. And if this is your first time here, you couldn’t possibly know that I am on a mission to give you everything you need to be successful in your business. Providing of course, what you need to be successful in your business is to know more about and be implementing more efficiently, more enthusiastically and more effectively sales and marketing in your business. Because of course, that’s what you need. You need more customers more profitably. That’s what’s going to give you the bigger invoices, the bigger profit, the nicer car, the nicer house, the nicer holidays, the nicer retirement, all of those good things that you deserve because you are the hero that decided to run your own business. So what goes on here is I give you everything I know about sales and marketing as part of the What The series that happens on a Monday. On a Tuesday, I pull in anyone I can find with experience to share that will be useful to you if you are looking to be more successful in your business. That’s Talk Marketing on a Tuesday. Every other Wednesday, Melanie Farmer comes through and we look at the Marketing News and we speculate wildly about what that might mean for you in your business, in your marketing career, in your marketing life. And on the other Wednesday, I review so you don’t have to. This is the first ever episode of Thinking Out Loud where there will be nothing in the way of conclusions.

Martin Henley: [00:01:31] And on a Friday we review the very best and the very worst of marketing content on the Internet. So if that sounds like it might be interesting or useful, please tell me it does. We’re only here to be interesting or useful. Now would be a good time to like, share, comment, subscribe, get involved because that will give us the motivation we need to continue on this epic, epic journey. So today is the first ever episode of Thinking Out Loud, and I’ll give you a sense of what this is about. It feels to me because I’m engaging in this channel. I’m talking to all of these amazing people. I’m looking at the very best and the very worst of content on the Internet. I’m reading books, looking at tools. I’m doing these things. It feels to me like I’m in front of a tsunami of content and that’s good. That’s great. But I think the mission is to make it useful, to make it usable. So am I going to put this into a course? Am I going to put this into a book? You know, what am I going to do with it? How is it going to work? And so this is kind of my new mission is just to kind of pull a few things together so that they’re all in one place. So this is happening more for my benefit than for yours. But it might be that you are also thinking about these things and it might be that this is kind of useful.

Martin Henley: [00:02:50] So this is where I’ve got to. I’ll tell you what I’ve been thinking about is I’ve been thinking about objectives and I’ve come up with the title. Are we nearly there yet? The gross insanity of business goal setting. Because it seems to me that this is really important. Like when I put a strategy together, I tell people that the situational analysis and the goal setting, the objective setting are 80% of it. Once you know exactly where it is that you are and exactly where it is that you want to go, then the answers, the solutions, the options start to present themselves. And then it’s just a question of staying on mission, you know, And that for me is how you put together an effective and effective strategy. And so but the objective thing, I think people are really not so good at. So I wanted to look at this. Of course, you need to be making objectives because like John Lennon reportedly said, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. And let me tell you, if you’re not making plans for your business, somebody’s making plans for your business. So what will happen to you while you’re busy making other plans is people will come and they will take your resources, your budget, your energy, your enthusiasm, your time, and you’ll be left with nothing. And the danger that, of course, is that if this is the one opportunity you have to run your own business, then you might miss that opportunity because you weren’t being careful enough with your resources.

Martin Henley: [00:04:23] And we know that the marketing industry is full of sharks who will come and take those resources away from you in a second. And it sharks from the very bottom from the spammer who wants to, I don’t know, be spamming your connections on LinkedIn all the way up to LinkedIn and Facebook and Instagram and Google who don’t particularly care if you take value away from the services that they provide. They care much more about the money that they take from you then the value they give to you. So top to bottom, you need to be religiously fanatical about how you manage your resources because somebody will come and relieve them from you if you don’t. Right? So this is where I am with it in what the series. We’ve done two videos on objectives. The first one is what? Marketing objectives. And the second one, what are smart objectives? Now, the reason I’ve broken this down into two is because I think it’s important. I really know it’s important Once you know where you are and where you want to go, then really the options will present themselves. They absolutely will. The reason I produced a video on marketing objectives is because people say to me a lot, marketing doesn’t work. And that puzzles me a little bit because I look at businesses like British Airways or McDonald’s or Marks and Spencers or Apple or Microsoft or Amazon, and marketing’s working perfectly well for them.

Martin Henley: [00:05:49] So why isn’t it working maybe for you? Or why are people saying to me it doesn’t work? And I think the reason people say it doesn’t work is because people don’t know all of the things that you can achieve when you start to invest in marketing. And the thing you can really achieve, of course, is you can generate yourselves lots of opportunities to sell and then start to get selective about which ones you sell to. But understanding more about yourself, understanding more about your market, understanding more about your products, understanding more about your customers, all of these things like actually developing products that are going to be really useful, getting your pricing right. So what are the four P’s? The four P’s are product price, promotion and placement, deciding where you’re going to place things. You know, there’s an enormous amount you achieve just by thinking about marketing before you even actually do anything. So there are lots of things that you can achieve in marketing. And if you’re if it’s not working for you, one or two things are happening. You’re not doing it right. There’s a good chance you’re not doing it right or you don’t have any idea what you’re supposed to be achieving. So how are you going to know? And that’s the other thing about goals. If you don’t write it down, then then you know, how do you know when you’ve achieved the goal? If you’re not committed to a goal, then how do you know? So that was the first thing.

Martin Henley: [00:07:04] The second thing then is the smart objectives, because your objectives for me, I mean, you can go and check these videos and say exactly what I’m saying about these things, but your objectives for me should be, I’m going to put you on this camera and then I can just face forward and speak to you. Okay, This should be smart. So for me, smart, there’s variations of this, but for me, it’s specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timed. And if you start to qualify your objectives in that way, then you will start to have objectives that are actually achievable. Although actionable is the A that I use. You actually start to achieve your goals because what you have to do a little bit like I’m doing here is be much more mindful about what is it I want to achieve, how am I going to achieve it? And actually coming back to check if you are just getting blown around in the wind, you don’t stand a chance. Someone is going to come and they’re going to consume all of your resources. Now this came up for me more recently again, because when I get on a plane, what I like to do is I like to download a load of videos. I’m not particularly selective and I downloaded this video from Simon Sinek. So is this going to play?

Speaker2: [00:08:16] In January of 1968, the North Vietnamese Army launched a surprise attack against the Americans. This was the Tet Offensive. Tet is the celebration of the Lunar New Year, and there was a tradition in Vietnam that had gone on for decades that there was never any fighting on Tet. And yet in.

Martin Henley: [00:08:40] 1938. All right, So I just want to say that I really don’t enjoy these war stories, analogies, things, especially when it’s Americans. I’ve spent some time in Vietnam, and what you may not know is Vietnam has spent 1600 of the last 2200 years at war with different people. And maybe what went on with the Americans might be the worst of that. I really don’t enjoy these things anyway, but the point is useful. That’s why I’m sharing it with you. He will get there in about a minute.

Speaker2: [00:09:09] The North Vietnamese generals decided to break with tradition, with the hope that they could surprise the Americans, overwhelm them with force and bring a swift end to the Vietnam War. They attacked over 125 targets across the country with over 85,000 troops. Now, here’s the amazing thing. The United States actually repelled every single attack, every single one. And at the end of most of the major fighting, which was after about a week, the United States had lost fewer than 1000 troops. The North Vietnamese lost 35,000 of the 85,000 troops. And if we look at the Vietnam War as a whole, we see that America lost 58,000 men and North Vietnam lost over 3 million people. And the close examination also reveals that America America actually won nearly every major battle it fought. So it raises a very interesting question. How do you win all the battles, decimate your enemy and lose the war? It raises new questions about how we understand the concept of winning and losing. James Carthy, a theologian from NYU, wrote a little book called Finite Infinite Games, in which he talks about games and how we play them. Basically, if you have at least one or two competitors, you have a game. And there are two types of games. There are finite games, and there are infinite games. Finite games are defined as known players, fixed rules and an agreed upon objective like football.

Speaker2: [00:10:53] We all agree what the rules are. We all agree whoever has more points at the end of the game is the winner. The game concludes and we all go home. Then you have an infinite game. An infinite game is defined as known and unknown players. The rules are changeable and the objective is to perpetuate the game, to keep the game in play. When you put a finite player versus a finite player, the system is stable. Football is stable. When you pick an infinite player versus an infinite player, the system is also stable. The Cold War was stable because we cannot have a winner or a loser, and so we both keep playing until one of the players runs out of the will or the resources to keep playing and then they drop out of the game. Problems arise. However, when you pit a finite player versus an infinite player, because a finite player is playing to win and an infinite player is playing to keep playing and they make very different strategic choices. And invariably what happens is the finite player finds themselves in quagmire. They find themselves frustrated and running through the will and resources required for them to stay in the game. And this is what happened to America in Vietnam.

Martin Henley: [00:12:09] Okay, good. So what you’re saying is what you’re saying is basically and I do think it’s a disgusting analogy, the more I think about it and it’s not actually even quite working for Simon Sinek. So what he’s saying is that the Vietnamese launched an all out. So what you’re saying is essentially the Vietnamese won because they were fighting just to stay in the war. I think it’s a little bit insensitive to describe this as anything as a game, certainly, because what option did they have? Where were they going to go? They had to leave Vietnam like that with basically they were in a corner. They had no option but to stay in the fight. And America was expecting to win the war. And America essentially ran out of energy because the end never came in the end was never going to come according to the Vietnamese. So but the contrary to that is now he’s saying, but Vietnam launched this all out, you know, final blow, offensive type thing. I suppose it didn’t work, but they still had the resources to continue. Okay. So this is how this refers to the business and why I’m talking to you about it and why it got me thinking is because surely that’s that being in business, isn’t it? Don’t. When I was running my business, I was always expecting that some months something was going to happen. It was going to be very different.

Martin Henley: [00:13:24] Like I was going to have a big win and it was going to take it to the next level. But that big win never came, you know, And every month actually look pretty much like the last month. We were always growing. We were always doing marginally better. But that wasn’t my expectation. My expectation was that there was going to be a step change and that step change never came. So it becomes a war of attrition, you know, So so this idea of like, how long is the game? Like when do you stop playing the game, How long do you resource for is really interesting. So surely running a business is more of an infinite game than it is a finite game. It’s not a game of football where you’re going to play for 90 minutes and you play within these within these parameters, within these lines, and you play with this amount of people and there’s a referee. It’s not that game. It’s an infinite game where you want your business to go on for as long as possible. So that was interesting to me. And then that brought me to didn’t bring me to, but then this popped up in my in my one of my feeds and this is David Goggins and this is what he’s saying. I have to go to it. Okay, So it’s here.

Speaker3: [00:14:32] When I was in the military. We call these instructed leg runs. Most of the time we knew the start and end points. So on the way back, I start seeing people getting happy and shit because the end was near, but there were some asshole instructors that would hear the happiness. And go right on past the end point. When that happened, everybody stopped talking. Can’t you stop dropping? And I start taking fucking souls. At that time, I knew what happened in their minds. They were living off the hope factor. They hope these judges will stop running. They hope the water was never cold. They hope the weather was fucking good.

Speaker3: [00:15:14] I don’t live out that hope shit. I wish the water was cold. I wasted motherfucking stretch. Just keep on fucking running. I wished for the fucking rain, when the ending is unknown and the distance is unknown. That’s you know who the fuck you are? Stay hard and I’ll still carry.

Martin Henley: [00:15:36] Yeah. So. So stay hard. Definitely stay hard. So what’s interesting to me about this? So this is like I was living on Hope. I was thinking, okay, maybe this big deal is going to come through. Maybe these big clients are going to come through, maybe we’re going to have this big success. But the hope was never coming. I should have been enjoying much more the journey. You know, I should have been understanding this is an infinite game. There’s not going to be a step change. Nothing tremendously exciting is going to happen or exciting. Things were happening all the time, but nothing so exciting that it was going to be life changing. These things were never happening, so I should have been playing the infinite game and I wasn’t playing the infinite game. I was playing a finite game. Stupidly. I was playing the wrong rules. You know, I was playing a finite game in an infinite setting, so I was playing the wrong rules. Okay, So this comes up a lot in the conversations that I have in talk marketing. So here is friend of the show, Andy Gwynn. He comes along and we react to stuff. Sometimes I react badly to stuff and he consoles me or counsels me is what really goes on. This was his recommendation, which is what I think maybe we all think. Uh, maybe I should push the start button earlier.

Speaker3: [00:16:46] It’s. Let me. Let me give you that formula for success you write down. Yes. The formula is m eight times. This time C equals R, It’s a four. It’s an actual formula. Yeah, it’s a formula for success. What is it? It’s like this. The headline of our video. We’ll see. Yeah. So what is it? M m a and I called it Times. Oh, this is like the Ford says the s yours. You go try and see times C equals R equals r. I also got to I get a guess or not know where do you want to mass awareness times. Response satisfaction times customers equals retirement. Absolutely none of those. That is what they told me. And Tony Robbins taught me that human beings, we overcomplicate things. We’re wired to over complicate things. So the analysis, the analysis, listening to this may or may not like this very much because it’s so. It stands for massive action. Oh, yes. And the Robbins, if you’re an introvert, it could be more action times. The right stuff, times consistently equals results. Think about it. You talked about making cold calls. In the old days, if you made 100 telephone calls in a day, that’s massive action. But if your script is like the one you said, you got hit with an action coach telemarketer and he’s crap. Massive action type zero equals zero. Yes, but let’s say you’ve learned how to write a script, how to engage, how to create rapport, how to position value, and you make 100 calls of the right stuff and you do it for one day and stop massive action times. The right stuff time zero equals zero. So it’s a formula. So if you’re not getting the results you want in LinkedIn in your life and your marketing and your business, which allows you need to work on what we’re talking about, what are you talking about with crap posts? And we’ve been talking about crap messages is the right stuff. If and I’ve got a phenomenal guy and in fact he’s another guy. And he referred to a guy called Peter Wendt. He’s a member of mine.

Martin Henley: [00:19:06] Okay, cool. So this goes off a little bit, but this is this should be the objective, isn’t it? Because it’s both sides of the coin. It’s massive action. Like you might have a massive offensive times, the right stuff, times consistency. So the massive action you need to put in place needs to be something that you can do consistently. So a bit like David Goggins, you need to be prepared to keep running, to keep churning, to keep going. And what you can expect to see then is you can expect to see maybe your competitors go away or your barriers go away. You know, you start to overcome if you are into this grind. The interesting thing here, of course, the useful thing here, of course, is the right stuff. So now you’ve got to know the right stuff. You know, what is the right stuff? And interestingly, challenging Lee, the right Stuff is going to be specific to your situation. There isn’t going to be a right stuff. Like, I mean, I can help you, People can help you, marketers can help you if they are busy in lots of businesses. But the right stuff for your business is going to be specific to your business. But I really like what Andy Gwynne says and what he got from Brad Sugars and these other people. Massive action times, the right stuff times consistency equals success. Where is it taking us on our journey? I don’t know. There’s no conclusions coming here today. I honestly don’t know. But it comes up more so. For example, sometimes we just have the wrong objective. So this is Michelle Carvel. Michelle Carvill believes that marketing can save the world. This is what she was saying. And this is why why it’s interesting. It does take a long time to resolve.

Speaker4: [00:20:54] Well, there is so I am a radical optimist.

Speaker3: [00:20:58] And I’m a marvelous optimist.

Speaker4: [00:21:01] Yeah. So I would say that. Yes. But also organizations. Let’s take an organization like who gives a crap. I don’t know if you’ve seen those Martin yet. So they are a subscription service, so they’re disrupting a tiny part of the market by getting people to subscribe to get their lead roles, not in plastic wrappings from the supermarket conveniently, but have it delivered in a totally either returnable or reusable or recyclable cardboard box and with totally 100% recyclable bamboo and loo rolls and 50% of their profits goes to driving sanitation around the world. So as a consumer of that, not only are you thinking, oh, well, it’s all you know, there’s no plastic here, so I’ve eradicated that plastic from what was wrapped around our loo rolls historically. But also I am helping this organization to solve the problem of sanitation around the world. Now, for me, those organizations and they’re growing fast and they are it’s almost how can you what is it that you can facilitate to help people do better in their lives? Because if you make me feel better about my consumption, I mean, we do need loo rolls. Not kind of like a luxury item. Okay, we don’t know, But. But I suppose we’ve been programmed. Yes to.

Speaker3: [00:22:43] Yes, yes, yes. So? So. And this is another. Oh, God, I sound like such a conspiracy theorist. I am a conspiracy theorist. I think about these things. We are programmed to believe that we need toilet paper when the effort that when the pandemic hits, we need toilet paper in large parts of the world. They don’t use toilet paper at all. In Asia, they use a bum gun. And that is a much more effective way of being hygienic. And there is no truck shipping anything to anyone’s houses. There’s no there’s no waste going.

Martin Henley: [00:23:17] Okay. So the point of this was that, you know, clearly male Well, meaning this who gives a crap business clearly trying to have an environmental impact, but it’s just the wrong objective, you know, It’s like instead of start delivering bum guns to people’s houses, you know, then there is no production, there is no delivery, there is no nothing. You have a high powered jet that you aim at the area that you need to hide your noise. And that’s the way that it works and it just flushes it away. So there’s no waste other than the waste that you produced. So that’s a much better idea. This isn’t necessarily the best example, but it’s an example. I mean, if we think about it, they don’t use like that. Michel’s in the UK where they use a lot of toilet paper, but in France they don’t use toilet paper, you know, they use bidets. And in Asia, like I say there and in rural Africa, I’m sure they’re not buying in toilet paper. So sometimes I think the objective is just the wrong objective. You know, if you really want to have the biggest environmental environment, environmental impact around toilet hygiene, bum guns, you know, do away with the idea of toilet paper altogether. But maybe we’re program not to do that. And I think the way this typically happens, that’s maybe a more obvious, more extreme example, but people are just on the wrong mission, You know, the mission I think the base mission should always be serve your customers, do a really good job for your customers and and know about that that came up with Simon Bowen recently is not like Simon Sinek says people will want to know your why. People wouldn’t want to know that you’re doing it for them and they want to know why you’re doing it for them is the difference. Okay, cool. So that brings us then to Abigail Dixon. Now, Abigail Dixon is really interested and concerned about the welfare of marketers and this is what she had to say about objectives.

Speaker3: [00:25:15] I think there’s a problem with targets. I think there’s a problem with arbitrary targets, like targets that somebody just pulled out of the air. Like it would be really nice if we did this. And then they become codified in that sort of target. That doesn’t help sales and people.

Speaker4: [00:25:30] It isn’t especially it’s unrealistic. I mean, I was reviewing the business plan yesterday for a client. I was like, that’s that’s punchy since you’re going to deliver like a quarter of a million sales and then know incremental sales in the next four years. And they’re like, yeah, I was thinking.

Speaker4: [00:25:48] I think that’s realistic. You just told me all the things that are happening in your in your marketplace that are affecting why you can’t grow in the legislation changes and the lack of supply and the problems that we’re having recruiting people into the profession and your customers and the lack of understanding and the level of education. And I could go on and on what was in there. You’re still going to go after an extra quarter of £1,000,000,000? Yeah. Punchy, not realistic, setting smart objectives. And I think for me. Checks the psychology important.

Martin Henley: [00:26:23] So bloody important, so bloody important. So here there’s a weird thing that goes on. I think we’re going to touch on it again more in a second with Claire. But people just think having a stupid objective is like what you’re supposed to do. Like shoot for the moon. You might miss and hit the stars sort of logic, but they’re stressful, you know, That is absolutely stressful. So why not just sit down? This is why your situational analysis is really important. You sit down. This is where we are. What realistically is the next step from here? You know, and I’ve been involved in projects where we’ve we’ve we’ve grown a business 300% in two years. It can happen. But you don’t plan for that. You know, if you plan to do the next step and a bit like make it a little bit ambitious, make it a little bit stretching, that’s fine. And you have like some good fortune and there’s a nice win behind you. Then it might, you know, you might get that 300% growth, but going all the way back to the beginning, those step changes don’t happen. And if you’re expecting them to happen every month, they don’t really happen. So this brings us to Claire Daniels. So this is objectives, not Thought Out by Claire Daniels. What does she have to say about businesses not thinking out their objectives.

Speaker4: [00:27:40] And obviously listening to ways things grow quicker than how much you have to invest. So, you know, it’s quite a it’s just a basic model, I’m saying, of like going to do. So if you want to get 3% growth, for example, you might have to have a conversation with someone about spending 300% their budget. Obviously that’s unlikely to happen, but they’re probably going to have to spend more than what you spending. And actually people get very uncomfortable with that conversation. You know, I kind of clearly said this to to apply and he said, right, this is where I want to be. I said, are you comfortable with me coming back to the plan and how much more budget you’re going to need to spend to get there? And they hadn’t really been a consideration about the more budget part. You know what? Your strategy is going to fall down very quickly without having that proper planning in place of what you need to spend to get you where you want to go.

Martin Henley: [00:28:32] Yeah. Okay. So this makes my point then, which I think is a valid point. You are essentially in the business of buying customers. If you are marketing proactively, every customer you achieve is going to cost you an investment of time and energy and money and support and confidence and all of these things. So if you want that stupidly unrealistic 300%, maybe the conditions are right, all you have to do is up your investment to 300% and you will be in a situation to realize that maybe there are three times as many people searching than you are currently attracting through your paper click advertising. Maybe you could grow your database by three times. Maybe you could do all these things. And the other end of this is that and I don’t know if this is where we come to in a second. I think we are coming to in a second is you also have to be able to deliver that. So if you are if you are a consultant, a sole owner consultant, you’ve got 40, 60 hours to deliver a month, a week, you can’t deliver 120. So you can’t get you can’t deliver 180. Certainly you can’t get to three times. So what actually do you have to deliver? Okay, So we’re back with the wonderful Abigail Dixon. She must have said something. I’m losing track of what interesting things these people said. Let’s see what it was that she said.

Speaker3: [00:29:53] Movement.

Speaker4: [00:29:54] The movement. So actually saying, you know, the way that I liken it to is like if you’re going to set out. You’re going to run a marathon. Now, let’s just put my hand up. I don’t run anywhere. I don’t run it anywhere unless I’m in danger. So it’s just this is just purely an analogy, right? If you’re going to set out to run a marathon and someone says to you, Right, Martin, I want you to run. The first question you’re going to say is, how long should we to run for and how long am I having to run? How far am I having to run? Is there a certain time frame in which you need me to run? Is there a certain speed in which you need me to run? Like you need clarity, right? No one’s just going to go. No one’s going to run, you know? So if you really want to motivate people, you have to say, right. The definition of success is by the end of 2023, we are going to have delivered, as you say, an incremental million. And the way in which we’re going to get there is by recruiting new customers in and to hit the extra million, we’re going to recruit this type of customer with this level of value for talking the business to business world, this type of industry, this type of revenue, for example. And in order to do that, what do we need to do? And we plan all the activities and we measure the activities. And so many businesses don’t do that. They just like we need to get more customers into to generate. They don’t think about how they don’t think about the choices available to them. They don’t look at the measures that they’re going to track. They don’t always they set at beginning of year, but they don’t measure them throughout the year. And I think it’s all of that. You know, as I always say, you would never say no one’s going to want to run a race if they don’t know where the finish line is.

Martin Henley: [00:31:34] Okay. So this comes beautifully back around to what Simon Sinek is saying. Is this a finite game? Is this an infinite game? So nobody’s going to want to run a race exactly like Abigail says if they don’t know what the finishing line is. Now, what you have to consider is that when I ran my business, I was a bag of energy. You know, I was so excited for changing the world for all these things. But then what happens is you employ people and they don’t care the way you do. Why would they? You know, it’s not their retirement. It’s not their it’s like they want to come from 9:00 till 5:00 and they want to do what they have to do. And probably no more than that. And that’s all. So in that case, then you have to have finish lines. You have to be able to say, okay, we achieve that goal, let’s party, let’s celebrate. So people who aren’t driven for all eternity get an opportunity to celebrate that they’ve achieved something and then have the energy to go on and achieve again. So it’s interesting, this idea of objectives. It’s really interesting. And again, Abigail was telling us what Claire was telling us is you have to resource these results. So here’s the next thing that Clare had to say about communication objectives just not being communicated. What chance do you have of achieving your objectives if you’re not communicating them? What if you haven’t established what your objectives are? You can’t communicate them.

Speaker3: [00:32:52] I just want to say one last thing about marketing strategy, which is about objectives. I think the world would be a much better place if everyone just knew what it was they wanted to achieve in their business and just did that. You know, this idea of there being no ceiling or no limit or no party because you never get to a goal, I think it’s devastating for businesses like this. Perpetual I sound like Greta Thunberg, but this fantasy of perpetual growth, it’s really not healthy in a business. You know, it’s much better if you know exactly what you need and then exactly what you want just outside of that. And then just do that because otherwise people are just flailing around for no good reason.

Speaker4: [00:33:37] Yeah, I agree. I mean, we see it. I’ve got a couple of clients that, to me, having been in that situation, is blatantly obvious that actually their goal is to go to an exit and go to a sale. But they don’t talk about that. They’re not going to tell their employees that. They’re not going to tell their suppliers that, so they’re not talking about it. So we said we’re talking about the numbers they want to hear, but we could aid them much better if they were clear to us. Actually, what we want to do is we want to deliver on an exit strategy and we go, okay, well, outside of what marketing can deliver to hit the numbers, there’s also a piece we should be doing around driving shareholder value and, you know, PR and stuff like that to drive the value of your business up. But people don’t talk about that.

Martin Henley: [00:34:24] So there you go. So it’s a mixture of both of those things. So people just aren’t well, people are confused about what it is that they’re trying to do or they are willfully not letting people know what they are trying to do. This is cardinal this kills businesses 100%. This kills businesses. So the worst case I can think of where this happens is where you’re doing the marketing and then you don’t ever get any feedback. So you put leads into the sales team or into the website or into the whatever, and then the business doesn’t want you to know if that sale was successful or what the value of that sale was or anything like that. That then becomes a thankless task. It’s like, Why are you doing this if you don’t ever get any feedback? How could you how could you possibly do that? And the reason is because I think the people who run businesses don’t want their staff knowing how well they’re doing. If they don’t know how well they’re doing, like if there isn’t that communication on the feedback, then how is that going to work? How are they going to sustain that energy to be investing in their time and energy in your business? And then, like, people want it to be a secret that they want to exit. If you want to exit exactly like Claire says, there are people who need to know about it. Shareholders, for example, employees like what you do if you’re looking for an exit is entirely different from what you do. If you’re not, if you’re in a finite game, let everyone know there’s the fishing, there’s the fishing line, there’s the finishing line, chaps, let’s go for it, you know, So this is insane. So this is the last thing and not the last thing. This is the last thing that Abigail said to us is about growth for growth’s sake.

Speaker3: [00:36:02] So what’s the thing that. So there’s this thing about that I think is also an issue which leads into the last reason I think that marketing people might be unfulfilled. But there is this growth for growth sake, like I think the business world would be a health and much healthier place if. Sorry, there’s two things I want to say, but it would be a much healthier place if they just sat down and said, not like what do we want, but what? What do we need? You know, what do we have to do for everything to be really cool? Do you know what I mean? Let’s And they just aimed for that. And then maybe the next year they could come back and say, What do we have to do for things to be a bit cooler? But this growth for growth sake I think is really, really damaging to kind of everybody involved because that’s the race that you don’t know where the end is. You know, that’s like like how how hard and how fast can we run for how long? You know, that’s I think that’s stressful. I think that’s really stressful.

Speaker4: [00:37:09] And if we’re going to stick with the running analogy, I think what often what what often happens is that they will get to that race and they’ll hit the finish line. And no one celebrates it.

Speaker3: [00:37:19] No.

Speaker4: [00:37:20] No one celebrates it. So then you’ve basically conditioned those people to say that if you work really, really hard and you get to the end, there is nothing in it for you. Yeah, and they do feel demotivated. You know we need that don’t mean. We need to tell our friends that when we work hard at something, it is a positive thing. Otherwise it becomes a negative thing. But I also think back to your constant growth. I think too many organizations chase the growth, but forget about hanging on and protecting their existing business. So I see a lot of strategies being written that says we are going to grow by doing these new customers in or recruiting these these new users into the brand or getting our existing users to buy us more frequently. Or we’re going to enter into this market. And you say to them, okay, so what are you going to do about the existing 100 million business that you’ve currently got to protect that, to maintain that, to retain that, to keep those customers happy, and to make sure that you’re still delivering the best experience that you can deliver to make sure they still want to choose you and all of those things that go along with it.

Speaker4: [00:38:27] And that often gets forgotten. And then a leaky bucket happens. And yeah, sometimes I’m all for growth as long as the growth is done when you have a stable base. So if we’re using that running analogy again, sometimes you need a year off marathon training, sometimes you need a year to get stronger to consolidate yourself, to take things a bit easier so you can come back stronger and harder again. And I don’t think enough businesses do that. And I think that comes back to how they’re owned, whether they are privately owned or they are, whether they float, whether they are owned by shareholders or investors. This money needs to generate money. I suppose what I’m thinking I’m hearing from you is actually what do we need to do to do greater to good and what do we need the money to do to do that? And that comes back to businesses that have true purpose like the Patagonia of the world that are.

Martin Henley: [00:39:28] Okay, cool. Good. So I’m running actually running out of time. So good. So it’s this thing. It’s like so every businesses think that they just have to grow. Like, that’s the objective. We don’t even need to think about objectives anymore as long as we’re growing. If we’re green, we’re growing. If we’re red, we’re dead. Is that what they say? I don’t know if that’s what they say, but if something like that. So here’s what Greta Thunberg actually has to say about it. So this is interesting.

Speaker4: [00:39:55] Is the money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you? For more than 30 years.

Martin Henley: [00:40:11] So is it? I think it is a fairy tale of always ongoing economic growth. And I think it’s much healthier to be thinking, actually, if you’re a marketing agency, especially, maybe you should be or whatever kind of company, maybe you should be investing in the growth of your customers. Like if your customers, if you achieved growth for your customers, then that achieves growth for you. So that goes back to what Abigail was saying. Think about your base. Think about what’s paying the bills right now. So I’m coming around to okay, so where we are, we’re going to have to short circuit this process because I didn’t expect this to go on for so long. Claire Daniels Just just talking about objectives not being resourced, that is not actually having the resource to deliver on the extra sales that you’re making. This is interesting from Ketan. This is how he responded at the very beginning of the pandemic. This is the interesting.

Speaker3: [00:41:09] About everything else. So February 2020, I was in Thailand. I was literally finishing up my work with the government there. On our program, we have a six year contract to deliver all of this innovation stuff. I boarded a plane and I was reading the news about 83 cases in Thailand for the COVID 19, and they said Thailand is the hot spot. You don’t want to go Thailand. And I’m like, I’m a glutton for punishment. Everywhere I slip and go, there’s always some sort of I’ve been on, you know, I’ve been in North Abuja, I’ve been on South Sudan, I’ve been in Honduras and San Pedro Sula, which is the murder capital of the world. All these kind of areas of of cutting it. Anyway, I was boarding my flight. I sit down and I think this innate, innate feeling that I need, something’s going to happen, you know, to us, you know, not back in the UK, you know, nothing immediately. But over time, if you think about it, if this virus is spreading itself from China into Thailand, it’s going to come across from the Asians. And lo and behold, we were locked down in the UK by March.

Speaker3: [00:42:23] And as a business owner with an international company where we’re always travelling, we’re always face to face, I have to make some real world tough decisions. I can look at my strategy and say, What’s working, what’s not working? The two things that I sat up on the plane for that 18 hours journey back. What I was discussing in my mind and writing out were two things capability and capacity. Let me repeat those again, capability and capacity. Number one, the question is asking is, does our business capability to change? Do we need to have capability in other areas than just what we work on talent, innovation, business, innovation, all these kind of areas? And do I? And the second area about capacity was very much do I have enough capacity in the business to be able to take on these types of clients or this type of business, or do I need to change a few things in the business that it resulted very quickly? By the time I got back home, I sat down, I laid out my strategy, I spoke to my board, and then I said, Look, I made this decision. I said, Write all our corporate contracts, people.

Martin Henley: [00:43:37] Okay, So we can stop that there. But the concern for Ketan, faced with that, like we were all faced with that ridiculous, ridiculous, not ridiculous. Ridiculous isn’t the world changing, damaging, disruptive situation where business as we know it was changing overnight? Now, because Keaton is a strategist, because he’s thinking about his business, because he’s thinking about his goals, he’s thinking about his objectives, then he was able to adjust, but his immediate thought wasn’t, where on earth am I going to get a customer from or what am I going to do? His immediate thought was, Well, what actually what what can we deliver now? What capacity, what capabilities do we have and what capacity do we have to deliver those things. And he went on to redesign his business on the flight from Thailand back to the UK, where he landed properly in a pandemic situation and went on to have some of his best trading years. So this idea of objectives is really, really important and really, really strong. And then this brings me to Ben Kench, who was a lovely, lovely man, Ben Kench, the author of The Idiot’s Guide. Is it The Idiot’s Guide to Selling the UK version? And this is what he had to say.

Speaker3: [00:44:58] When you’re a parent and I’m a parent. And as I said, it’s been the focus of my life. That child is grateful, maybe for the gift that daddy or mommy buys them, but they would much rather have the time, not the trinkets. And that’s one of the mantras that I’m always trying to share with business owners. It’s time there’s more precious than the trinkets that you can buy. So so just adjust your value system. You know, maybe we need counseling or loving or just a smack for a wake up call. We we’ve got to adjust our value system because I believe that it’s the machine creating the stress because they know that stress drives purchase. It’s by design. However, if we just you know, there’s a brilliant book out there you may have heard of may have read certification. I mean, it’s I read it because I’m already on that. Get rid of stuff. I don’t need stuff. But actually, we just don’t need the crap that we don’t wear or, you know, that we throw away two years later because there’s a new. Why does anyone need a new phone every year? That one that’s five years old still does more than we could ever imagine.

Speaker3: [00:46:14] You know, we trap in ourselves. So, yeah, you know that I have this diverse head that I love business and I love sales and where the customer wants and needs it, sell it and sell it ethically with integrity and help. But conversely, we don’t need to be encouraging people to buy stuff that they don’t need. Let’s all save some of that pressure and go and have genuine time with our kids. Get there with energy, roll around and hook be be not so knackered that you can give and share and be interested. You know, we’re just all out of kilter. The last 40 years of this consumerist society, maybe the last 50 years, it’s not served us. And I hope that we wake up as a race. There’s nothing wrong at all being in business, and if you can serve someone, feel good about it, but less as a race and just our value system and our buying habits. And I think in five years time it could be all a lot healthier. A lot happier. Yeah. Good. You know what a shitty sales podcast is turned into? We would say. So a couple of lovers telling people to care more and sell less, but.

Martin Henley: [00:47:32] Okay, good. So that’s interesting. So now I’m somewhere near a conclusion. I’m somewhere near a conclusion. It’s better for the planet. It’s better for the people who work for us. It’s better for us if we aren’t driving so hard, if we aren’t chasing this growth for growth sake, that we understand that this is an infinite game, that if it gives us what we need every month for the next 30 or 40 years, and if when we get to retirement, maybe it is worth something, someone will write a check for something. Maybe that’s enough, maybe that’s enough. Maybe that’s what’s better for the planet. Maybe that’s better for what’s for us emotionally. And then a thing happened, which is I was talking to Simon Bowen on the talk marketing thing and everything he said was quotable for the hour and 15 minutes. But one thing that he said that motivated me was to go and read the most successful Business in the World by Michael Gerber. Now Michael Gerber, the book I read right at the very beginning of my business, The E-Myth, The E-Myth, The Entrepreneurial Myth sustain me for the nine years that I ran my business. Hugely, hugely motivational book, hugely sensible, hugely exciting. So anyway, Simon Bowen tells me that this other book is is better, and it’s basically the ten principles of the most successful business in the world. And the first principle is essentially, let me move me out of the way. The first principle a small business built rightly, can grow 10,000 times in its current size, 10,000 times.

Martin Henley: [00:49:09] So now everything I’ve thought about do less, sell less, be less is all gone completely out of the window. Because I know exactly how motivational this is. I know that I launch myself out of bed for nine years, that I was running my effective marketing business because I’d read Michael’s book, Michael Gerber’s book and other books. So who am I then to say to you, Do less, be less. You know, if you are aiming small, then that’s not very exciting. What’s exciting is aiming for the moon, missing the moon and hitting the stars. That’s what excites, that’s what’s emotional. Maybe that should be your objective. I don’t know is the truth. I’m thinking out loud. I didn’t expect this to go for an hour, but this is what’s been going on. You know, I’ve been. Consuming all of this content. I’ve been having all these brilliant conversations. This is where I’ve got to. What I know for a fact is that you need to be setting objectives. You need to be making the plan. You need to be making sure exactly like Mr. Lennon told us, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. I believe that’s true. What happens is if you don’t make a plan for your business, somebody else will and they’re going to rob you of your resources and you’re going to be in a whole load of trouble.

Martin Henley: [00:50:27] You’re not going to be getting the value that you want out of your business. And that, for me, is the worst thing that could possibly happen. So so that’s everything. I think that’s where I’ve got to with objectives 100% need to do it. You should base it on where you are. That’s the most important thing. You should make sure that you’re in a position to deliver what it is you’re going to sell. You should be thinking about the planet. You should be thinking about yourself and your home life. But also you should be thinking about your motivation in We’ve Got to the End. I hope this has been an interesting and useful. If it has or even if it hasn’t, you would help us enormously by liking sharing comments and getting involved, because that’s what gives us the motivation to continue on this epic, epic journey. And we’ll be here the next by next time you stop along. And we hope that’s really, really soon. Thank you for being here today. Thank you for taking the time to check out this episode of Thinking Out Loud. If you found this interesting and useful, then YouTube thinks you’re really going to enjoy this one. And this is the latest thing that we’ve produced. If you haven’t yet and you could take a second to like, share, subscribe and comment, then that will give us the motivation to continue on this epic, epic journey.

Martin Henley

Martin Henley

Martin has built a reputation for having a no nonsense approach to sales and marketing and for motivating audiences with his wit, energy, enthusiasm and his own brand of audience participation. Martin’s original content is based on his very current experience of running effective marketing initiatives for his customers and the feedback from Effective Marketing’s successful and popular marketing workshops.







Leave this field blank