How can a mission-driven organization or business translate their goals for growth into a strategy that will achieve trackable and measurable results?

JB Media Founder Justin Belleme asked Heather Watkins that question at SOCAP18, when she appeared as a panelist in a session he moderated on Marketing and Branding for Social Impact Organizations.

Watkins has a long history of helping businesses achieve their goals. She began her career in the tech industry, honing her digital marketing skills at Optimizely and Marketo. When she realized she could apply her expertise to grow organizations that are making a positive impact in the world, Watkins started her own agency. Better Impact Marketing helps social impact organizations build marketing infrastructure “from the ground up.”

Here was her answer to Justin’s question, along with a worksheet she provided that can help any organization translate their goals into successful tactics.

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1. Begin With Your Top-Line Goals

I focus on startups and small companies and this is where they struggle the most. I hear them ask, We have this huge ambitious goal and we have this beautiful story we want to tell, but how do we connect what we’re doing with marketing and actually achieve our goals?

For most of us, the primary goal will be a revenue target. I notice a lot of people say, We have this huge revenue target. We’re gonna do social media, and maybe we’ll spend some ads, and we want to do some events.

But, they don’t actually understand how that connects to that revenue goal. I like to start with the question, what is our top-line revenue goal?

2. Then Consider Your Conversion Rate and Pipeline

Let’s say you want to close a million dollars in business this year. Let’s back into how you can actually attain that.

What is your average deal size? If it is $10,000 that means you need to win and close 100 deals to hit this goal.

For every sales pitch you deliver, how many do you end up winning? Let’s say you win one out of every four pitches. That means you’ll need to have 400 pitches under your belt in order to get 100 closed deals. The total “pipeline” you need to create from those pitches would be $4M (400 x $10k).

What is your lead-to-pitch conversion? Let’s say for every 5 leads that comes in, you only pitch to 1 of them. That means you’ll need to generate 2,000 leads in a year to have 400 pitches and 100 closed won deals in order to hit $1M in revenue.

That’s a lot of leads we need to create! What are the campaigns that we’re actually going to run in order to get there?

3. Set Targets By Channel

Now that you know how many leads and deals you need to create, you need to set goals by channel. I typically bucket the channels and their associated goals into Owned Digital, Earned Digital, Paid Digital, Events, and Partners. In this simplistic scenario, let’s say each channel is responsible for 20%. Using the above conversion rates, you’d need to create 20 closed deals worth $200k, 80 pitches worth $800k, and 400 leads from each channel.

4. Figure out your Budget

To figure out how much you need to budget for marketing programs, a good rule of thumb is to win $5 for every $1 spent on your paid channels. So, if your goal is to win $200k from a channel, you’ll need to spend at least $40k to generate that much business. And keep in mind, this is an ideal benchmark, it will take a while to hit.

The more you focus on optimization around everything that you’re doing in marketing, the easier these numbers look, and the easier it is to actually execute on. But, my recommendation is really, understand what your top level goals are, get down to the bottom, and then create campaigns that can actually achieve those goals.

If it’s too hard or it’s too much money, then we need to optimize the middle of the funnel and really figure out how to make every activity that we do more impactful.

Learn More

This is one of a series of posts that feature insights from industry experts on the topic of marketing and branding for social impact organizations, taken from the session that JB Media Founder Justin Belleme curated and moderated at SOCAP18.

If you lead a purpose driven company and want to get more expert advice on social impact marketing, please read the other articles in this series:

Watch the entire session focused on Marketing and Branding for Social Impact Organizations, recorded live at SOCAP18.