Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ambitious Growth Goals - Audacious or Reasonable?

How audacious of Procter & Gamble to set a goal of adding 1 billion new customers worldwide by 2014! And yet during this past year, P&G says it added 200 new customers, hitting its short-term goal right on schedule, thanks to its ability to weave its well-known blockbuster brands into consumers' daily lives and habits. Introduce consumers to your brands, let them experience the competitively-superior benefits, and the result is additional sales and market share plus (eventually) profitability enhancement.

Coca-Cola has a 2020 Vision for long-term growth. The cornerstones are to live the brand's values, focus on the market (and its needs/behavior), work smart, act like owners, and "be the brand." Improving economic conditions are certainly part of the reason for Coke's recent growth achievements. But focusing on opportunities in Asian markets has also helped drive the company toward its ambitious global growth goals during the past year.

So are stretch goals, seemingly highly aggressive and possibly outrageous, good for a marketing plan? Yes, under these circumstances:
  • The organization has the resources and willpower to support strong, sustained growth.
  • The managers and employees are motivated and will be rewarded for stretching toward the new goals.
  • The organization will be able to measure interim results and make mid-course corrections if needed to stay on track toward each period's objectives leading up to the long-term goal.
  • The offers are competitively superior and the marketing environment presents suitable opportunities for communicating and delivering benefits to the target segment(s).

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