help us figure out exactly what the purpose of their marketing efforts are and organically create the strategy moving forward. And what should you do if, after asking these questions, there is still not a fully functioning purpose? Nothing! Go find a purpose! Here are the five questions, along with video clips related to them. Well, the videos sort of deal with them. Actually …okay, fine—I really just wanted to find an excuse to search YouTube videos during work. Don’t tell anyone. Anyway, enjoy. 1. What are your goals? Without goals—specific goals—there is no way to know if your efforts are working. Without goals, your efforts will likely be without focus. You will end up trying to do a lot of things without actually accomplishing anything. The more specific, and the more defined your goals are, the easier it is to know what needs to be done. This classic speech, taken from Miracle, shows one coach who clearly understood what his goal was: Beat Russia. (Spoiler alert: He did!)

2. What are your tactical plans to accomplish those goals? You now have this clear goal in mind. Okay, how are you going to get there? The great thing about inbound marketing is that there are ways to find what does and does not work for your type of business. If you have the right analytics in place, you can pinpoint what has worked for you in the past, or perhaps what has worked for your competitors. Equally important, you will know what doesn’t work. Obviously, you won’t have all of your plans in place at the beginning, but it helps to have something in mind to begin with. Here’s an example of a reporter who did not have an adequate plan in place.
(If you liked that video, here’s another one for the fun of it: 3. What are the challenges you expect to face in the pursuit of these goals? To create a plan, you must have a solid understanding of your challenges, whether they are internal, external, budgetary, imaginary, short term, long term, or The Terminator. You can’t climb over a mountain if you are unaware of the mountain. These men (some of which you might recognize) knew exactly what stood in their way, and that made all the difference in the world. (Skip to the 1:28 mark)
4. What is the time frame by which you want to accomplish your goals? When do you need to get going? If you need to start soon, you better have the first three questions figured out. If you can’t begin for quite some time, don’t spend too much time on them when time will alter your plans (I just broke the record for the amount of times the word time was used in one sentence!). When do you need to reach your goals? The urgency of your goals will affect how aggressive you need to be with your plans. If you’re planning on doubling your business in one month, you either better be a brand new business, or you better be ready to spend some serious cheddar. Regardless, it’s vitally important to be realistic with your timelines.
5. What will happen if you do not meet your goals? What will it mean to you if you do?  This is big picture thinking. This is understanding whether you really want to put the necessary time into goal-setting, strategizing, and implementing. If the answer to this question is “Nothing much,” you’re either wasting your time or money (or both). But if the answer to this question is something meaningful (something like “Get one step closer to my dreams”), well then, get to work! Understanding the consequences of your inbound marketing helps prioritize your efforts in a way that ensures you are on point. It is also what creates the necessary culture in order to succeed. As this final video demonstrates, understanding the consequences of your actions gives you great purpose. Whether your goal is to live on a private beach someday (in a good way, not in a Castaway way), or simply to get back to your family (refer to this clip), consequences should always be on the forefront of your mind.

Greg is the founder and CEO of Stryde and a seasoned digital marketer who has worked with thousands of businesses, large and small, to generate more revenue via online marketing strategy and execution. Greg has written hundreds of blog posts as well as spoken at many events about online marketing strategy. You can follow Greg on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.