The answer may seem clear, but many small businesses put the strategy before the goal. I know I have been guilty of this for my own marketing in the past. The shiny object syndrome of a fancy new tool or case study strategy leads us to jumping in and trying to figure out how to best leverage it without knowing what we want to get from it both in the short term and the long term. Let’s discuss a couple of reasons your goals need to come before your strategy.

Goals help define what your strategy should be in the first place. You can hire all the agencies and consultants in the world to come up with the most creative campaigns, but if you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish you are just wasting money. You need to have an understanding of who you are trying to reach and what action you want them to take. Once you know that, the tools and strategies to use fall into place much easier.

Goals let you know if your strategy is working. Again, you can put a ton of energy and money into a strategy and never know if it is working or not. Without goals, you may be wasting time and money on tools and strategies that will never bring you any business results. When you have goals, you can measure from time to time if your strategy is working. If not, you can make changes or abandon it and move onto something more effective.

If you are looking to get your goals AND strategies in line for 2015 be sure to sign up for my Marketing Plan Workshop on November 13. Get more information and apply to be part of the fun. Early bird pricing ends on October 31.