One of the most common mistakes when conducting a strategic marketing session is not establishing a clear and attainable purpose at the very beginning of the meeting. In layman’s terms: “What do we want to specifically and realistically achieve from this meeting?”

See if this scenario sounds familiar: The head of a business or organization calls a meeting with key staff members to figure out a plan to launch a new product, announce a new program, or simply to discuss ways to increase revenue whether it’s sales, donations, or any opportunity to add dollars to the bottom line. But unless a strategic agenda has been created in advance this meeting could be a colossal waste of everyone’s time.

While increasing revenue is often the ultimate goal for any marketing discussion it should rarely be the immediate goal. It’s simply not realistic to expect a conversion the very first time a prospect learns about your offer. At a+h we always recommend starting a strategic marketing session by first determining the realistic objectives and then creating a Customer Journey Map that identifies the sequential path for engaging your target prospects through each phase of the conversion journey. This Customer Journey Map becomes a blueprint for achieving the series of specific marketing campaigns and realistic goals.

Each marketing campaign is designed to achieve the identified attainable results. For instance, the first goal may be to generate potential new leads or prospects interested in the new product or service. A lead generation campaign could consist of strategically sharing engaging content with the target prospects and directing them to a landing page designed to provide additional information about the product or service.

To summarize: Identifying a series of sequential and realistic goals is the best path to take if you want to earn the opportunity to attract and gain new customers. Once you’ve established the goal then you can work backwards to create the series of touch points for the customer journey.