At Corkboard Concepts, our eye is on the desired outcome of our clients. We focus on what they’re looking for – increased revenue, more subscribers, increased candidate flow, or anything else – and then we work backwards to implement the tasks needed to achieve this. It’s like solving a maze – you can start at the beginning but the path is more clear if you work backwards.
Note: Corkboard Concepts does not play “crystal ball” marketing, and as such is unable to promise outcomes, however, our goals are always set to achieve those.
Marketing and advertising campaigns are oftentimes broken down into the tasks and processes needed to make a campaign successful. This is a logical approach to larger tasks. You take a larger task, break it into smaller, more manageable pieces and work from there.
Task-driven, or task focused marketing is the opposite of outcome-based marketing. Task Driven marketing is the focus on the individual tasks that ideally will build to an outcome. The setback with task driven marketing is direction. With outcome driven marketing, if the end is the reference point, you always know which way you have to go!
One of the most prominent areas for Task Driven marketing focuses is with Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. The industry is full of Search Engine Optimization plans that are focused on checking the box on individual tasks. Spending all of your time or resources making sure month in and month out that meta descriptions are changed, headings are updated, content is optimized and so on.
This often results in a monthly outline of tasks that need to be achieved. Success, or at least “completion”, for a task driven SEO is then derived from completing those actions. This is the SEO-plugin factor. It’s a great tool to help people work, but too many people get caught up in only completing these items, not the goal.
Task driven means fall short most times because it’s so caught up in the individual tasks that it loses sight of the goal. It also forces tasks that may be unnecessary because the frame of reference is doing something, not achieving it. This focus can either cause a business or organization to not maximize efforts or in some instances work against themselves.
A hard outline of monthly tasks to be done can even be harmful when for instance, your Meta Titles and Descriptions are already performing really well but since a change has to happen your SEO functions start to work against the true meaning of optimization.
When you move from task-based to Outcome Based marketing, you’ll still have tasks to accomplish, but they’ll be in line with the end goal! Considering the types of outcomes that you’re looking for is the best place to start!
Let’s say for instance, your company offers business services. Your tasked with growing B2B leads.
Task: Create Content/Optimize Pages; Results In: More Search Traffic
Outcome: Gain more local financial advisory leads; Task: Create a series of localized, instructional articles on financial tips. Enable an exit intent popup on articles. Create a paid media strategy. Optimize to form submissions, report then pivot if needed.
Reporting on processes is wrong. Process based reporting, in absence of outcomes, is not even incorrect, it’s harmful. The ideal scenario is to report on total outcomes, then work backwards.
If you take a step back and really think of the two approaches – tactics vs. outcomes – it starts to make more sense as to why you wouldn’t want to focus on the former when reporting. Tactics are closed response reporting.
It’s a matter of “yes” or “no”, which is not a gauge of performance. In the image above, performance fell sharply in May however the same boxes were likely being checked as months before. If the focus was just on these tasks, the negative trend line could have continued. Being focused on outcomes though and leveraging the visibility reports allowed for corrections to the downturn and ultimately a more positive outcome!
Outcomes like sales, visibility, etc. can be gauged. Certainly these are “Yes” or “No” answers as well – “Did performance increase?”, “Did visibility increase?”, etc., but they may also be asked based on how much, like “How much did performance increase?”.
And, you can optimize based on outcome-based reviews.
Our team has always sought outcomes as a factor of performance and not tasks being delivered. These tasks are a major portion of who we are – creating over 1,000 ads per month, producing hundreds of new pieces of content, feeding to directories, pushing updates to Search Console and more – but our eye is always on the end prize!
Learn more about Corkboard Concepts focus on outcome-based marketing and contact us today!.