How to apply the “Golden Circle” to your marketing and performance measurement

The best-in-class marketers are the most accountable and aligned. They understand the importance of measuring the right things and know how to do it. To learn more about the research that supports this claim, view results from VEM’s 2015 Marketing Performance Management study or read the summary.

About five years ago, Simon Sinek, a marketing consultant, introduced the concept of “The Golden Circle,” which has three rings.

  1. It’s the reason the business exists. This is the reason why your business exists.
  2. How: Here’s how the company fulfills its core belief.
  3. What does the company do to achieve this core belief?

Sinek suggests that many companies approach marketing in reverse: they start with “What” (events or content) and then move to “How” (what channels they use). Then, they move on to “How” (what media are used). He says that the first thing to do is to ask, “Why.”

We agree. BIC marketers begin with business results, as business outcomes answer “why?”

As many marketers are in the midst of their marketing plans, it is now a good idea to review how to use the Golden Circle as well as the best practices of alignment and accountability. This will ensure that your marketing efforts for 2016 make a positive impact on the business.

Use the Golden Circle Concept in Your Marketing Plan

Start by Why

Determine what impact you want to make on the business outcomes before selecting programs and activities. Business outcomes are quantifiable, specific efforts that your organization needs to make in order to achieve its business goals and declare success. Three parts make up a well-crafted business result:

  • Specific business targets, such as revenue, will be affected by customer-centric goals.
  • Success can be measured in a clear and precise way
  • Timeframes for achieving goals

The majority of organizations will achieve at least two goals: to keep existing customers and to acquire new ones. You will be able to define success more clearly if you are more specific about your customers, markets, and products. How closely do you match your business outcome statements with the following?

By FYE, X customers from each of our five top segments will adopt the new ABC product. This will result in Y dollars of revenue and increase the share of the wallet by Z percentage.

Decide how to proceed.

After deciding what your company will bet on, you need to determine how marketing can make a difference. There are two main components to your marketing plan.

  • Goals These goals determine the Marketing contribution to the outcome and how Marketing will be measured. Marketers don’t market to revenue buckets; they sell people… So make your objectives customer-centric and behavior-based: Increase our referral rate of tier 1 existing clients by 40% by YE20XX in order to accelerate the sale cycle by 10%.
  • Strategy Once you have identified your goals, you need to develop a plan of action. There are many possible strategies. From customer-centric strategies, such as ambassadors or personas, to influencer and product strategies, such as bundling, there is a wide range of options. The first step is to create the system; the second is to bring it into reality. The What is then brought into play.

Add the What

What comes naturally to most marketers? Marketing is known for its campaigns, programs, and tactics. It is important to ensure that the What and the Why are directly connected. It is easier to make that linkage for line-of-business leaders and financial people.

Make your marketing plan accountable.

You are now well on your path to alignment.

You must make your plan measurable to complete it. Two concepts can address accountability.

Performance targets based on outcomes

Your performance targets are stakes in your ground. Performance targets are needed for all outcomes, programs, tactics, and objectives. When you report your results, performance targets give context. You can determine if you have achieved success and identify what works.

It can be challenging to set performance targets if you are not accustomed to them. Many organizations don’t do this because they claim to lack the necessary data. There are usually benchmarks or other data that you can use in order to set your performance targets.

It is important to take this step. They help you improve performance and start a conversation about priorities. They can help you to define a common direction, focus on the task, and make adjustments. When set correctly, performance targets serve as a tool for accountability and alignment.

(Learn more about the types of metrics in this article, “a href= “”>Which Metrics Measure Marketing’s Impact on Business and Influence Strategic Direction?/a>). Learn more about metrics by reading this article, “Which Measures Measure Marketing’s Impact on the Business and Influence Strategy Direction.”

Metric Chains

A metrics chain is a series of metrics that links activity, output metrics, operational metrics, and outcomes metrics. These links, along with the associated data, are a great way to connect your marketing efforts to results. Metrics chains are the basis for your dashboard/reporting.

It is important to create concrete performance targets that are related to your goals and activities. You can avoid drowning in data if you have a clear metrics chain. You already know what to do. Linking is easier when you start with Why (the desired outcome) and move on to What (the actions you must take).

Let’s say, for example, that your company must acquire a specific number of new clients in a particular segment to meet revenue and market share goals. You need Marketing to bring in some qualified prospects who are willing to participate in a test. To support your objective, as a marketing team, you create a multichannel campaign that includes four touch points (e.g., direct messages, whitepapers, presentations, newsletters, webinar ) and multiple channels (email, websites, social media, webinar slide share, syndication, etc.). Campaigns are based on buyer personas and the customer’s buying process. Each of these touches and channels has a performance goal designed to generate trial inquiries. Your metrics, when properly constructed, will create a link between your marketing programs, product inquiries, customer acquisitions, and market shares.

Once you have completed the alignment process, your marketing plan will provide a clear link between marketing activities inv, vestments, and business outcomes. This makes it easier to identify metrics and data chains. You will also be able to defend better the budget required to reach your goals.

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