Entrepreneurial Operating Systems (EOS) make it easier to manage not just your business but also your marketing strategy. You can break down annual and long-term goals into more achievable bites to remain focused on each goal. As a result, you actually achieve more throughout the year. You also create more realistic timelines to mark and evaluate progress so you can measure how your efforts impact where you want your business to go each year.
At the heart of EOS is prioritization, allowing you to gain real traction when meeting goals. You create “Rocks” to mark priorities making each priority more visible and more accountable for achieving marketing goals. In fact, at StructureM we use EOS when planning our own business goals. Here we look at how you can use EOS to build your marketing strategy by setting realistic goals.
In EOS, you establish Rocks in manageable timelines so you can evaluate progress. An example of a rock in marketing might be implementing a video content system to produce a set number of videos each month. Another example might be developing an aggressive marketing campaign to help feed more leads into your sales funnel. Setting Rocks every 90 days for quarterly evaluations tends to work well. It’s a logical timeline that tells you how you’ve progressed towards your year end targets.
You only commit to no more than three to seven Rocks at any given time to avoid overburdening your team. This is important to maintaining focus and prioritization for EOS to work. At the end of each quarter, you should complete at least 80% of your Rocks. Rocks also make it easier to manage limited time and resources so you can accomplish more goals for the year. Team members contribute to meeting goals for a true sense of achievement throughout the company.
Rocks eliminate competition created by departments working in silos. Instead, everyone works together to meet mutual goals. Everyone has the same priorities with a shared vision of longer-term annual goals. Your company Rocks define the top three to five goals most important for the entire company to achieve. Each company rock requires involvement from multiple departments, including marketing, sales, and customer service. Each department creates its own Rocks scheduled with deliverables and due dates. Larger projects are broken down and shared across departments based on roles. As a result, people are more incentivized to work together, creating a more collaborative environment beneficial to overall business success.
Breaking Old Habits
EOS is the best way to break old habits of rushing into a marketing strategy with an all-or-nothing attitude. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re looking for ways to improve your approach to marketing strategy. With Rocks, you limit your workload to three to seven Rocks per period instead of trying to tackle your entire marketing strategy at once. You create priorities that keep you focused on important goals, allowing you to accomplish more while it feels like you are doing less. This makes better use of your resources and makes it easier to stay within budget.
Building Marketing Strategy with Rocks
Marketing Rocks are set to help meet company goals. For example, if one of the top priorities is increasing sales, marketing needs to create Rocks that help the company achieve that goal. As mentioned above, that might be video production or email marketing. You might include implementing systems that improve your ability to run campaigns or develop and post videos more effectively. If you find more complicated Rocks don’t allow you to complete your goals within 90 days, then that rock becomes yearly instead of quarterly. This ensures you remain focused on those bite-sized Rocks but have longer periods to meet the company’s broader goals.
Creating a list of ideas you feel will help meet the business’ overall vision allows you to see things in smaller pieces. You can then assess your ideas and determine which ones align with the company’s goals. You can prioritize your goals for the year based on the company’s priorities which define your Rocks.
Accountability in EOS
When you define Rocks, you can then assign accountabilities for all related deliverables. When one person is accountable for specific Rocks, you ensure each part of your goal is completed so you are less likely to encounter shortfalls when meeting goals. Although the company holds the marketing team accountable for reaching aspects of their overall goals, accountability within the marketing team ensures everyone understands their own personal role and deliverables.
With priorities in order and everyone understanding their deliverables, you can identify the results you expect to see each week. Measuring progress based on a set of activities assigned to specific team members allows you to assess your success. Measurables also provide executives with a bird’s eye view of each department’s success in working toward broader company priorities. These activities are key to success over the year.
Your measurables should be based on tracking your leading and lagging indicators. They will often vary based on your priorities and, therefore, might change from activity to activity. For example, in some cases, your measurables might be tied to the success of another department, such as helping the sales team make more calls by generating more leads through email campaigns. Your measurables are designed to provide a sense of accomplishment or identify weekly shortfalls that impact your 90-day and annual Rocks.
Match Measurables to Priorities
Team members are accountable for meeting certain benchmarks or metrics based on their deliverable actions. Measurables are a key part of EOS because the purpose of Rocks is to create achievable goals. Measurables allow you to review your progress on a weekly basis and ensure you can achieve marketing goals based on your marketing priorities. Consider desired outcomes and key indicators that lead to those outcomes to create measurables. Some examples of EOS marketing measurables include:
- Monthly web traffic trends for Rocks related to a website redesign
- Qualified lead conversions for Rocks based on email campaigns
- Social channel success based on Rocks designed to establish a presence on a new social channel
- Email database growth based on Rocks related to increasing subscribers
- Gated content visits based on Rocks related to content development to improve SEO
- Keyword performance for Rocks based on improving organic ranking
Your measurables must relate to your priorities to effectively show progress, which will vary based on department and company goals.
It might seem overwhelming to begin the process of implementing a marketing plan around EOS, but it doesn't have to be hard. Hopefully, we've helped identify some ways to streamline your goals and build accountability into your plan. If you need a little help building a marketing plan like this, we're happy to chat.